Am I first? Well then....first!

Okie, where to start? To reiterate from earlier today, I'm a first-year PhD student in American Studies. I have two master's degrees, a creative writing MFA from Chapman University (2005), and a folklore MA from the University of Oregon (2011). I did my undergrad in creative writing and English literature (yes, I'm a recovering English major, don't judge me!) at Pacific University, with minors in history and music. Interdisciplinary? Yes please!

Background? I'm from....the West. It's hard for me to name a hometown, since we moved around quite a bit when I was younger. I've spent a good chunk of my life in southern California (all over, but "home" might be Riverside and/or Long Beach), and a good chunk of my life in Oregon (the little town of Milton-Freewater served as my adolescent nightmare).

Interests, they are myriad. My primary research in terms of my dissertation has to do with the connections between the concept of apocalypse in American cultures, how apocalypse is represented in popular culture, and concepts/interpretations of disaster preparedness and "survivalism." My master's thesis was a folklore film called "Zombies R Us: Disaster Preparedness Groups, Self Reliance, and the Death of Modernity." I've also done a folklore documentary about karaoke in Eugene, OR, called "Five Minutes of Fame: a Karaokumentary." 

Something that has long interested me but I'm only now starting to delve into in terms of research is fat studies and disability studies, the latter particularly with regard to mental illness/dementia and its social stigma.

Other things I enjoy reading/watching/thinking about: cyber folk groups, science fiction literature and film (particularly the post-apocalyptic subgenre, of course), gaming culture, and most kinds of music. If I wanted to look at it more broadly, I suppose I could be categorized as someone interested in "leisure studies" as well as a popular culture scholar.

As I feel I've gone on just about long enough (I've been blogging for over a decade now, so it's hard for me to be succinct sometimes), I'll leave y'all with some personal links. I'm also happy to be friends with anyone who uses Facebook, since I'm an addict. (

An mp3 of one of my more recent original songs, which I used for my master's film mainly for the LULZ (featuring my partner and one of his long-time friends):

A more emo song, called Queen of Bones:

And finally, one of my many vlogs via YouTube (channel is This one documents the Walk to End Alzheimer's event I did last September. It of course features yet another original song, one I wrote for my mom, who has the disease.

1/9/2013 12:05:46 am

Thanks Tiffany! This is all great work. I think with your background and interests the readings this term will really spark your interest. I am looking forward to seeing how we can integrate these themes over the course of the semester! And I love the music!! Thanks for sharing.

Jorge Moraga
1/12/2013 03:28:35 am

Really cool video. John's side-kick action is awesome! "We can tot do this!" :)


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