The photo shows a headshot of Derek S. McGrath from the late 2010s. He is in his late 20s, is white, has brown hair, and eyeglasses.


Derek S. McGrath is an independent scholar. He has published on popular culture, especially comics and anime, in volumes from the University of Iowa and Lexington Books. He has taught numerous college courses in writing, rhetoric, and American literature, with a focus on the 19th century and representations of gender. He has presented about his scholarship and teaching at conventions in academic and fan studies, from the Modern Language Association to Anime Expo. He has close to a decade of experience in administrative support for virtual and in-person conventions. He also blogs and streams about teaching, comics, and politics. He lives in South Florida.

At a glance

PhD, English literature (19th-century United States studies, gender studies), Stony Brook University (2014).

Reads and writes about animation, comics, fandom, and pop culture.

Publishes on representations of gender, antebellum domestic ideology, and teaching practices.

Research Interests

Early to 21st-century American literature and popular culture.

Gender studies.

LGBTQ studies.

African American literature.

Native American literature.

Digital humanities, new media, and multimedia and online rhetoric and pedagogy.

Visual and material culture.

Animation, comics, and graphic novels, including anime and manga.

Music and poetry.

Writing and rhetoric.

Curriculum vitae



A graduate of the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College of Florida Atlantic University, Derek’s research and teaching interests include American literature and popular culture, with an emphasis on gender studies.  His other interests include digital humanities, new media, and popular culture, with an emphasis on comic books.

Derek has designed and taught a range of courses: introductory literature and composition courses, the gateway course to the English literature major, sophomore surveys of American literature, and upper-division courses for English majors. Whether teaching literary works from John Winthrop to Maxine Hong Kingston, or using classroom discussions to approach Scott Pilgrim, Fullmetal Alchemist, and film and music adaptations of the works of Edgar Allan Poe, his courses encourage students to see the world around them as a set of traditional and untraditional texts that can be interpreted.

Derek’s dissertation, “American Masculinity and Home in the Antebellum Romance,” considers the ideologically laden and often problematic idea of home, as presented by the emerging literary and popular print culture of the United States during the mid- to late nineteenth century.  Based on the works of, among other authors Nathaniel Hawthorne, Derek argues that it was men’s regard for their homes that fostered the dominant literary style in the antebellum United States, the romance.

Derek has given an invited talk at New York University’s Poe Room Showcase, with additional presentations at major national, regional, and international conventions in literature, language, popular culture, and comics and animation. He also has organized academic talks, including a documentary screening, conference panels, and roundtables with comics creators and teachers.




Elsewhere Online








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Independent Scholar