Krista Comer, associate professor of English, Rice University, talks about her new book Surfer Girls in the New World Order (Duke UP), on Friday, Nov. 12 at 1:30 p.m. in Ortega Hall room 335. Afterward, refreshments will be served in the lounge. Comer's lecture focuses on critical regionalism as a developing rhetoric for a range of critical practices in literary studies/critical theory; western and post-western scholarship and gender studies.

Comer's presentation is followed by a discussion about how the topic of surfing subcultures and girlhood raise questions about critical regionalism and studies of the contemporary west. The book locates female surf culture in the crossroads between a multi-billion dollar consumer surf industry and surfing's local and global culture. Through ethnography and analysis of cinematic and literary representations of surfing, Comer argues that women and girl surfers bring critical perspectives to the norms of femininity and women's relations to material places. Her research suggests the connections between western studies with gender, borderlands and Latin American studies, as well as methods of engaged research and public humanities.

Comer received her PhD from Brown University in 1996 in American Studies. Her scholarly interests are in geography, power and identity in the literature and culture of the American West. She is the author of Landscapes of the New West: Gender and Geography in Contemporary Women's Writing (1999) and Surfer Girls in the New World Order (2010).

This event is sponsored by the English Department; American Literary Realism; the Center for the Southwest; the History Department; the American Studies Department; the Feminist Research Institute; and support from the Spanish and Portuguese Department and the English Graduate Student Association.

For more information, contact Jesse Alemán, or 505-353-0712.

Media contact: Carolyn Gonzales, 277-5920; e-mail: