Dr. Elyce Rae Helford

Professor (she/her/hers)

Dr. Elyce Rae Helford
615-898-5961
Room 361, Peck Hall (PH)
MTSU Box 70, Murfreesboro, TN 37132
Office Hours

Working remotely during Spring 2021

Degree Information

  • PHD, University of Iowa (1992)
  • MA, University of Iowa (1990)
  • BA, Lake Forest College (1984)

Areas of Expertise

  • Gender and Race Studies
  • Film & Popular Culture Studies
  • Holocaust and Jewish American Studies

 

Dr Helford is director of MTSU's Jewish and Holocaust Studies minor (2014-present) and former director of Women’s and Gender Studies (2001-2008). She currently serves both Women's and Gender Studies and Holocaust Studies Programs.

She also presently serves as the English Department's Director of Online Operations, which includes working on online curriculum and serving as department webmanager.

Biography

Dr H was born and raised in Chicago and its north suburbs. She spent her teen years doing too little studying and a lot of restaurant work, acting, and singing for pop rock bands. After nearly failing out of high school, she got it together and graduated, then went on to complete her BA in English (creative writing and literature tracks) at Lake Forest College, where she received an award for creative writing. Next, she spent seven mostly wonderful years getting her PhD in English at the...

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Dr H was born and raised in Chicago and its north suburbs. She spent her teen years doing too little studying and a lot of restaurant work, acting, and singing for pop rock bands. After nearly failing out of high school, she got it together and graduated, then went on to complete her BA in English (creative writing and literature tracks) at Lake Forest College, where she received an award for creative writing. Next, she spent seven mostly wonderful years getting her PhD in English at the University of Iowa. Upon graduating, she was hired as assistant professor of English at MTSU, and the rest is history! 

Helford has always been driven by an eclectic curiosity, generally guided by a dedication to equality and justice from an intersectional feminist perspective and her Jewish American background. In addition to literary, film, and pop culture studies, she has at times been a Rocky Horror re-enactor, Star Trek fan, a student of Cubism, a community theater officionado, and an Otaku. Most recently, she has devoted her energies to the study of classic Hollywood, including its Jewish American origins, director George Cukor, and film noir style.

After a bout with breast cancer in 2010 and 2018 lung surgery -- from both of which she has recovered with much relief -- she has become more of a homebody, particularly enjoying time with her husband of 25+ years, her son (currently a Political Science major at MTSU), two cats, and an aging pupper.

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Publications

Books

  • What Price Hollywood? Gender and Sex in the Films of George Cukor(UP of Kentucky, 2020).
  • The Woman Fantastic in Contemporary Media Culture (University Press of Mississippi, 2016; paperback 2018), collection co-edited with Shiloh Carroll, Sarah Gray, and Michael Howard (three MTSU English PhD students, now all graduated and in tenure-track or full-time academic positions).

  • Fantasy Girls: Gender in the New Universe of Science Fiction and Fantasy (Rowman and Littlefield, 2000), edited collection.

  • Enterprise Zones: Critical Positions on Star Trek (Westview 1996), collection co-edited with Taylor Harrison, Sarah Projansky, and Kent Ono.

Forthcoming

"Racial Darkness in Ace in the Hole," Journal of Cinema and Media Studies.

In Progress

Liminal Noir: International Case Studies of Gender-bending Classics, co-edited with English colleague Dr. Christopher Weedman.

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Courses

ENGL 2020: Holocaust Survivor Literature (mostly online), Women Immigrants and the American Dream (coming soon)

ENGL 3885: Topics in Gender and Film (Women Film Pioneers, Feminist Film Theory and Criticism)

ENGL 4780: War in Literature and Culture: The Holocaust

ENGL 4860: Special Topics in Film: Film Noir, Film and the Holocaust

ENGL 6760/7760: Popular Culture Studies

JHS 3020: The Holocaust

JHS 4500: Current Trends in Jewish and Holocaust Studies

WGST 3500: Women and the Media