Kirk Boyle

Assistant Professor
236 Karpen Hall, CPO 2130

Office Hours

  • Mon: 

    • noon - 1:15 p.m.
  • Wed: 

    • noon - 1:15 p.m.
  • Thu: 

    • 1:20 - 3 p.m.

I feel honored and proud to teach at North Carolina's public liberal arts university. That the University of North Carolina Asheville is a public institution appeals to my working-class background as a first-generation college student from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. That UNCA is a liberal arts university suits my generalist proclivities as an academic.

While I specialize in theory (broadly defined), rhetoric, and film studies, my scholarly interests include representations of labor and social class, the relevance of critical theory in the 21st century, and the ideological operations and utopian aspirations of cultural artifacts—specifically screen texts—produced within the political economic context of postmodern, neoliberal late capitalism.

In my classes, UNCA students can expect to learn about critical inquiry and the moves that matter in academic writing; the American literary tradition from Columbus to Cisneros; the lingo of literary and critical theory; the virtuous and vicious legacies of modernity; and the expectations, philosophies, and rigors of a liberal arts education.


Ph.D., University of Cincinnati, 2009
M.A., University of Cincinnati, 2003
B.A., Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Robert E. Cook Honors College, 2001



The Rhetoric of Humor: A Bedford Spotlight Reader. Bedford/St. Martin's, 2016.

The Great Recession in Fiction, Film, and Television: 21st Century Bust Culture. Co-Editor with Daniel Mrozowski. Lexington Books, 2013.

Book Chapters

“‘The Missing Element Is the Human Element’”: Ontological Difference and the World-Ecological Crisis of the Capitalocene.” Eco Culture: Disaster, Narrative, Discourse, Eds. Robert Bell and Robert Ficociello. Lexington Books, 2018.

Historicism/Historicity.” The Žižek Dictionary. Ed. Rex Butler. Acumen, 2013.

The Imagination of Economic Disaster: Eco-Catastrophe Films of the Great Recession.” The Great Recession in Fiction, Film, and Television: 21st Century Bust Culture. Lexington Books, 2013.

Journal Articles

"The Truth is Outsourcing: Notes on the Post-Industrial Spaces of The X-Files." Mediapolis: A Journal of Cities and Culture. 3.2, September 15, 2017.

"Three Ways of Looking at a Neoliberalist: Mobile Global Traffic in Cosmopolis and Nightcrawler." Quarterly Review of Film and Video. 34.6 2017, 535-559.

Ideology at the End of Times.” Postscript: The Journal of the Philological Association of the Carolinas. 27 Spring 2011-Winter 2012.

Children of Men and I Am Legend: The Disaster-Capitalism Complex Hits Hollywood.” Jump Cut. 51 Spring 2009.

The Four Fundamental Concepts of Slavoj Žižek’s Psychoanalytic Marxism.” International Journal of Žižek Studies. 2.1 February 2008.

Reading the Dialectical Ontology of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou Against the Ontological Monism of Adaptation.” Film-Philosophy. 11.1 June 2007, 1-32.

Whose Apocalyptic Ruses?: Derrida, Psychoanalysis, and Biblical Criticism.” Journal of Philosophy and Scripture. 4.1 Fall 2006, 1-20.


HUM 324: The Modern World
LANG 120: Foundations of Academic Writing 
LIT 240: Introduction to Literature
LIT 324: American Literary Tradition
LIT 330: Readings in Film: Theory, Adaptation, Genre
LIT 335: Western Literature: Enlightenment to Modern
LIT 440: Literary Theory & Criticism
LIT 488: Seminar in Major Author: Edith Wharton
LIT 497: Senior Seminar I
LIT 498: Senior Seminar II
LSIC 379: The Culture of Calamity

Dream Courses

LIT 374:0H1 Readings in Social Class and Culture
LIT 484: Seminar in Major Literary Period: Postmodernism
LIT 488: Seminar in Major Author: Bertolt Brecht


Society of Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS)
Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC)