Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of English
Mitch Ploskonka
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Mitch.jpg20th Century American Literature l Disability Studies l Regionalism

Office: C744 Wells Hall
Email: ploskonk@msu.edu
Website: ploskonk.msu.domains

M.A. in English Literature, University of Akron
B.A. in English Literature, Centre College

Mitch Ploskonka is an English PhD student at Michigan State University. He holds a B.A. in English Literature from Centre College and an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Akron. His Master’s thesis, “The fool. Shoot the fool: Ability, Super-Ability, and Disability in Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian,” applies Disability Studies to McCarthy’s text in order to show how such a cerebral novel should first be considered as a corporeal work, one where abstraction is embodied in the characters and the novel’s harsh landscape. The thesis historicizes physical disability and feeblemindedness in American history, questions the prerequisites required for personhood, and the exploitative yet subversive uses of disability – and super-ability – in McCarthy’s work. Mitch’s research interests are in American Literature, specifically Grit Lit, or white trash literature. He is interested in how exceptionalism, masculinity, and ableism are defined and challenged in the literature of America’s underclass. 

RECENT PUBLICATIONS:

“Band of Bastards: Rhetorical Parallels and National Memory in Shakespeare’s St. Crispin’s Day Speech and Patton’s Speech to the Third Army,” Selected Papers of the Ohio Valley Shakespeare Conference, accepted and forthcoming, January 2017.

COURSES TAUGHT:

Michigan State University

ENG207: Literatures, Cultures, Identities – The Gothic (S17) 
IAH202: Europe and the World (F16)

University of Akron

English Composition 1 (F15, S15, Sole Instructor)