Ryan Poll
Associate Professor
College of Arts and Sciences
(773) 442-5824
U.S. literature and culture, critical theory, popular culture and cultural studies.
Courses Taught
ENGL 482 Contemporary Poetic Forms
ENGL 480 Ethnic Literatures
ENGL 476 Oil Fictions: Reading Along the Transnational Pipelines
ENGL 456A Graphic Novels and Social Conflicts
ENGL 449M The Literary Small Town in the Age of Globalization
ENGL 430 Studies in Literary Criticism
ENGL 413 Crafting Literary, Cultural and Compositional Fields
ENGL 411A Cultural and Literary Studies: History, Theory, Practice
ENGL 410 Literary Methods and Practices
ENGL 402 Ecological Crises and Narratives
ENGL 390 Young Adult Novel
ENGL 380 Multi-Cultural Literature in America
ENGL 379 Twentieth Century Fiction II
ENGL 356A The Graphic Novel
ENGL 354 Star Wars: Narratives, Politics, and Economics of a Billion-Dollar, Multi-Media Franchise
ENGL 352 Jewish-American Literature: People of the Books
ENGL 345 Practical Criticism
ENGL 343 Global Ecologies: U.S. Literature in the Age of Environmentalism
ENGL 316 Forms of Poetry
ENGL 311 Introduction to Popular Culture Studies
ENGL 302 Literatures and Theories of Love
ENGL 301A Special Topics in Literature and Culture
ENGL 219 American Literature: 1865-Present
ENGL 218 American Literature: Beginnings-1865
ENGL 210 Methods for English Major
Research Interests
Narratives and cultures of globalization; cultural geographies and ecologies; energy cultures; working-class narratives; media studies; poetic forms

Ph.D. English with Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory, University of California, Davis, 2009

Selected Publications

Ryan is also a staff writer at PopMatters. 


Main Street and Empire: The Fictional Small Town in the Age of Globalization (Rutgers University Press, 2012)

Aquaman and the War on Oceans: Comics Activism in the Anthropocene (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2023)

Journal Articles/Book Chapters

“The Rising Tide of Neoliberalism: Attica Locke’s Black Water Rising and the Segregated Geographies of Globalization” in Class and Culture in Crime Fiction: Essays on Works in English Since the 1970s (McFarland & Company, 2014)

“The Boss and the Workers: Bruce Springsteen as Blue-Collar Icon” in Blue Collar Pop Culture: From NASCAR to the Jersey Shore (Praeger, 2012)

"Can One Get Out? The Aesthetics of Afro-Pessimism," Journal of Midwest Modern Language Association, Special Issue: "Arts and Activism" (Fall 2019)

"Neoliberal Heroes:Clint Eastwood's Sully and the Haunting of History." The Journal of Popular Culture, Special Edition: Neoliberalism and Popular Culture," (April 2018)

"Lynn Nottage's Theatre of Genocide: Ruined, Rape, and Afropessimism." Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism 35.1 (2020): 81-105.


Room LWH 2024
Northeastern Illinois University
5500 North St. Louis Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625
United States

(773) 442-5824
Office Hours
Spring 2024 Student Hours
Mondays: 6:00–7:00 p.m. (in office)
Tuesdays: 1:00–2:00 p.m. (via Zoom)
Wednesdays: 1:00–2:00 p.m. (in office)
Main Campus