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Matthew Pangborn

Associate Professor of English and Writing; Modern Languages Department Chair

Department: Department of Modern Languages
Phone: 712-279-1638
Office Location: Heelan 309


  • Ph.D., English literature, University of Albany State University of New York.
  • M.F.A., creative writing (fiction), Texas State University
  • B.A., English, University of California


Dr. Matthew Pangborn is Associate Professor of English and Writing, Chair of the Department of Modern Languages, and Director of the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching. He is also Fiction Co-Editor for The Briar Cliff Review.

Dr. Pangborn received his Ph.D. in Writing, Teaching, and Criticism (English) from the University at Albany and his M.F.A. in Creative Writing (Fiction) from Texas State University. He specializes in a transatlantic, postcolonial, and ecocritical approach to American literature before 1900, and his sub-specialties include literary theory, film studies, the Gothic, and the Energy Humanities.

He has published articles on early American literature, literary theory, film, and TV, but also on modes of transportation, such as cycling and walking. He is working on two book projects: the first, Founding Others: Oriental Tales of the Early American Republic, explores the figure of the oriental narrator in texts written before the Civil War as expressing American ambivalence about a modernization based on increasing technological mediation, rising energy consumption, and a transatlantic slave trade; the second, We Have Always Been Zombies: Historicizing the Zombie Apocalypse, connects the current infatuation with all things undead to earlier Gothic anxieties about modernity, including the fear of cultural decline.

Dr. Pangborn lives in Sioux City with his wife, a freelance grant writer, and their two small sons, who like sports and monster trucks a lot.