Ezekiel Crago

BA in Comparative Literature from the University of San Francisco
MA in English from San Francisco State University

Research Areas:

20th century fiction, narrative theory, modernism

Research Interests:

I am fascinated by those writers and artists considered mavericks by both their contemporaries and posterity. I wrote my master’s thesis on the work of Orson Welles because I believe his work is largely misunderstood, underrepresented, and maligned. For this and other reasons I would like to research and write about Phillip K. Dick and William Burroughs, two writers I believe have more in common than is immediately recognized. I am also interested in the social effects of ideology/mythology or dominant social narratives and the writers who work to interrogate and challenge the hypnotizing power of language and narrative.


Ezekiel Crago is a PhD candidate at the University of California at Riverside. He received a MA in English at San Francisco State University, writing a thesis on the work of Orson Welles as anti-propaganda and the aestheticization of politics. His research has taken a turn from the auteur theory used in that research, and now he investigates genre films tropologically. In his dissertation, he traces the outlines of a post-industrial postmodern model of manhood, an “apocalyptic masculinity,” in the post-apocalyptic film genre that appeared in 1950s Hollywood as a mode of apocalyptic thinking and imagining of anxiety over the role of hegemonic patriarchal white masculinity in a world where traditional masculinist discourses no longer make sense. This crisis of manhood becomes particularly fraught in the decade of the 1970s, a pivotal moment of crisis for American political, economic, and identity discourses, a time when the popular imagination of American subjectivity reoriented itself in relation to class, race, gender, and sexuality.

Recent Activity:

Conference Presentations

“All Too Human: Hank Quinlan as Tragic Villain in Orson Welles’s Touch of Evil.” Presented at the H.E.R.A. Annual Conference entitled “Humane, Inhumane, Human.” Feb. 7-March 1, 2014, Washington D.C.

“Outlaw Discourse: The Filthy Language of Deadwood—Competing Narratives in the American West.” Presented at (dis)junctions Graduate Conference Feb. 2012, UC Riverside.