Professor Mark Mullen


Assistant Professor of Writing
ishmael@gwu.edu | MVC ACAD 109| 202.242.6702

 

“Graphomania (an obsession with writing books) takes on the proportions of a mass epidemic whenever a society develops to the point where it can provide three basic conditions: 1. a high enough degree of general well-being to enable people to devote their energies to useless activities; 2. an advanced state of social atomization and the resultant general feeling of the isolation of the individual; 3. a radical absence of significant social change in the internal development of the nation. (In this connection I find it symptomatic that in France, a country where nothing really happens, the percentage of writers is twenty-one times higher than in Israel. . .). But the effect transmits a kind of flashback to the cause. If general isolation causes graphomania, mass graphomania itself reinforces and aggravates the feeling of general isolation. The invention of printing originally promoted mutual understanding. In the era of graphomania the writing of books has the opposite effect: everyone surrounds himself with his own writings as with a wall of mirrors cutting off all voices from without.”

Milan Kundera The Book of Laughter and Forgetting

“Every sentence has a truth waiting at the end of it and the writer learns how to know it when he finally gets there. On one level this truth is the swing of the sentence, the beat and poise, but down deeper it’s the integrity of the writer as he matches with the language. I’ve always seen myself in sentences. I begin to recognize myself, word by word, as I work through sentence. The language of my books has shaped me as a man. There’s a moral force in a sentence when it comes out right. It speaks the writer’s will to live. The deeper I become entangled in the process of getting a sentence right in its syllables and rhythms, the more I learn about myself.”

Don Delillio, Mao II

 

EDUCATION

Ph.D.  English, University of California, Irvine
M.A. (Hons). American Studies, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
B.A. American Studies, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

 

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

“Captains of Industry.”  Review of Pirates of the Burning SeaJournal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds (Forthcoming).

Letter from the Wilderness.”  Eludamos: Journal for Computer Game Culture.  3.2 (2009): 219-244.
Starter Cities: Simulation, Game Design, and the Writing Classroom.”  Computers and Composition Online.  Fall 2008.

“Collapsing Floors and Disappearing Walls: Teaching Visual and Cultural Intertexts in Electronic Games.”  The Rhetoric of Visuality  Ed. Carol David and Anne Rypast.  Parlor Press, 2005.

 

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITES

Memberships

  • Modern Language Association
  • Council of Writing Program Administrators
  • College Composition and Communication
  • International Game Developers Association

 

RESEARCH INTERESTS

Electronic games, rhetoric and composition, pedagogical uses of information technology, nineteenth-century theatre.