Writing Credits and Clips


Finding Franklin: The Untold Story of a 165-Year Search. Montréal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, September 2016.

PYG: The Memoirs of Toby, the Learned Pig. Canongate Books (UK) 2011; Basil (Sweden), Spring 2012; Viking Penguin, Summer 2012 (USA and Canada); Ithaki (Turkey) Fall 2012; Einaudi (Italy) 2013.

Arctic Spectacles: The Frozen North in Visual Culture, 1818-1875. Seattle and London: University of Washington Press; Montréal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2007.

Spectacular Vernaculars: Hip-Hop and the Politics of Postmodernism. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1995.

Television and Media

Historical Consultant, "Arctic Ghost Ship,"a new episode of NOVA airing in September 2015, which focuses on the discovery of Franklin's ship HMS "Erebus," in 2014.

Featured on-camera expert and historical consultant, NOVA's "Arctic Passage: Prisoners of the Ice," 2005 (aired in the UK and Australia as "Search for the Northwest Passage"), a documentary about Sir John Franklin's ill-fated Arctic expedition of 1845.

Selected Articles and Contributions to Books

“After 165 years, Inuit knowledge leads to Franklin’s wrecks.” Nunatsiaq News, special “Nunavut 20” issue, April 3, 2019.

With Stephen Smith, Recaps and reviews of the ten episodes of AMC’s “The Terror,” for Canadian Geographic’s website, 2018.

“Remembering Louie Kamookak, a wellspring of Inuit traditional knowledge.” Nunatsiaq News, April 2, 2018.

“The Finding of Franklin’s Ships: What We Know Now.” NIMROD: The Journal of the Ernest Shackleton Autumn School, Vol. 11(2017).

Editor, Relics of the Franklin Expedition: Discovering Artifacts from the Doomed Arctic Voyage of 1845, by Garth Walpole. Jefferson, NC: McFarland Publishers, 2017.

"Fact and Fiction in “Northerns” and Early ‘Arctic’ Films." In Films on Ice: Cinemas of the Arctic, ed. Scott MacKenzie and Anna Westerstahl. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015.

“Sir John Franklin and America.” Canadian Geographic, special issue on “A Franklin Find,” December 2014.

Introduction to new edition of William Bradford’s The Arctic Regions. Boston: David R. Godine Publishers, in cooperation with the New Bedford Whaling Museum, 2013.

“Exploration and Sacrifice: The cultural logic of Arctic discovery,” in Arctic Exploration in the Nineteenth Century: Discovering the Northwest Passage, edited by Frédéric Regard. London: Pickering & Chatto 2013.

Chapters on “Sir Wally Herbert,” “Fridtjof Nansen,” and “Roald Amundsen” for The Great Explorers, edited by Robin Hanbury-Tenison, (London: Thames & Hudson, 2010)

“Distant Visions: The Poles in Western Visual Culture.” Catalog essay for the exhibition “To The Ends of the Earth: Painting the Polar Landscape,” Peabody Essex Museum, Salem MA, November 2008 - March 2009.

"Soul to Hip-Hop," chapter in The Cambridge Companion to Pop and Rock, ed. Simon Frith, William Straw, and John Street. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001).

Other stories and articles

"Back to the Shire: Revisiting the 1977 Hobbit," Hogan's Alley: The Magazine of the Cartoon Arts, #20 (Fall 2015).

"Attack of the Bob Dylans" (short story), Remarkable Doorways Literary Magazine, October 2014

"Duelling Custers" (short story), Gingerbread House Literary Magazine, Vol. 8 (August 2014)

"A Champion of the Language" (short story), Ocean State Review, Vol. 4 no. 1 (Summer 2014)

"Tupac's Posthumous Live Tour" Op-ed, The New York Times, April 19th, 2012

With Kenn Harper, "Early Arctic Films of Nancy Columbia and Esther Eneutseak," in NIMROD: The Journal of the Shackleton School, Vol. 10 (2010)

With Jon Hauss, "Geographica Incognita" (creative nonfiction) The New Orleans Review, Vol. 25, No. 4, Winter 1999/2000.

Selected public talks and lectures

Franklin and Popular Culture, in-discussion with Leanne Shapton, part of the daylong "Franklin Lost and Found" symposium at Mystic Seaport Museum, April 5th 2019.

Panelist, “The Indigenous Experience at World’s Fairs,” Bard Graduate Center, New York NY, April 10th 2019, in conjunction with the exhibit Story Box: Franz Boas, George Hunt, and the Making of Anthropology.

Franklin and Forensics:  The Science of Finding a Lost Expedition.  23rd Annual Gehrenbeck Memorial Lecture, Physical Sciences Department, Rhode Island College, November 28th  2018.

"Relics of Surpassing Interest: The Franklin Expedition on Display, 1854-2018. Invited Lecture, Mystic Seaport Museum, Friday November 16th 2018.

Host of in-discussion with Michael Palin, US launch for his book Erebus: One Ship, Two Epic Voyages, and the Greatest Naval Mystery of All Time, Columbus Theatre, Providence RI, October 13, 2018.

“The Memory of Ice: Arctic Visions and (Re)visions from the Victorian era to the Present.” Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin, Ireland, December 3, 2017.

“Tales of the Terror: Finding Franklin’s Lost Ship.” Topsham, Devon, sponsored by the Topsham Museum and the Devon and Cornwall Polar Society, November 30th, 2017.

“Making Marks: Officers’ Crests and Sailors’ Scratches.” The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, in association with their “Death in the Ice” exhibit, November 29th, 2017.

"Finding Franklin: The search and the searchers, 1860-2016." Invited lecture, 16th annual Sir Ernest Shackleton Annual School, Athy, Ireland, October 30, 2016.

Inuit Oral Tradition and Franklin
Participant, roundtable discussion following talk by Captain David Woodman
(sponsored by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society)
Canadian Museum of History, Ottawa
April 12th, 2016

"The Franklin Expedition and the Northwest Passage – Then and Now"
125th Annual Warner Free Lecture Series
Volunteers Hall,  Harvard Public Library
January 22, 2016

"Dr. Kane and Franklin: Duty, Fidelity, and Fortitude in the Frozen Zone"
Kane Lodge, NYC, October 20, 2015

"Finding Sir John Franklin: Inuit Traditions and Modern Technology.” Invited lecture, Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, September 29th 2015.

Travel by Pictorial Means: Victorian Virtualities of the Frozen Regions. Providence Athenaeum, June 3, 2014 (preparatory to the wonders of the Wonder Show)

Before Nanook: The Frozen Zone in Early Arctic Film (with Kenn Harper). The Velaslavasay Panorama, Los Angeles, May 10, 2014.

Frozen Zones: William Bradford, Arctic Photography and 19th-Century Visual Culture, Old Dartmouth Lyceum, New Bedford, Massachusetts, September 19th, 2013.

Keynote address, "The Ends of our Exploring," Academic Year Convocation, Rhode Island College, September 4, 2013.

“Heroes and Villains of the Frozen North: The Arctic in Early Silent Films.” Invited lecture, New England chapter of the Explorers Club, Doubletree Hotel, Boston MA, January 25, 2013.

“’Those wrecked or stranded ships’: Unresolved aspects of the Franklin Expedition." Invited lecture, Shackleton Winter School, Athy, Ireland, October 23rd, 2009.

"This strange and awful grave: The curious career of Landseer's 'Man Proposes.’” Gallery talk, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven CT, June 25th 2009.

“An Evening of Arctic Novelty,” The Velaslavasay Panorama, Los Angeles, California. Illustrated lecture with scenes from an 1857 Moving Panorama of Kane’s Arctic Voyages. January 4th and 5th, 2008.

“Victorian Virtual Reality: Arctic Panoramas in the Nineteenth Century.” Invited lecture, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine, November 27th 2007.

“The Stern Romance of Polar Exploration: The Franklin Fascination from 1849 to the Present.” Public Lecture, Redwood Library and Atheanæum, Newport RI, March 25, 2006.

"Vernacular Technologies: Folk Music in the Age of Digital Reproduction," Invited lecture, Pearl Union Library Project, Mitchell Library, Glasgow Scotland, June 1, 2002.

"'The Terrible Aspects of the Frigid Zone' - The Arctic in Nineteenth-Century Visual Culture." Invited lecture, part of a series accompanying the exhibition "Arctic Diary: Paintings and Photographs of William Bradford," Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, February 17 - May 5, 2002.

Podcast appearances

Time to Eat the Dogs, with Michael Robinson, 2018

Guardian Books Podcast, December 16, 2011

Litopia After Dark Podcast, December 6, 2011

Writing Conferences

Ocean State Summer Writers' Conference, The University of Rhode Island, June 2014 (Craft session: 'The Perils of the First Person')

Ocean State Summer Writers' Conference, The University of Rhode Island, June 2013 (Three-day "Beginning Fiction" workshop).

Ocean State Summer Writers' Conference, The University of Rhode Island, June 2012 (Seminars on historical fiction and the vagaries of publishing)