Daniel S. Traber

Department of Liberal Studies, English

"I will say that critique is the movement by which the subject gives himself the right to question truth on its effects of power and question power on its discourses of truth. Well, then!: critique will be the art of voluntary insubordination, that of reflected intractability. Critique would essentially insure the desubjugation of the subject in the context of what we could call, in a word, the politics of truth. "

–Michel Foucault

+1 (409) 741.4382traberd@tamug.edu

Learn more about Daniel S. Traber

Get To Know Daniel S. Traber

What in your life drew you to your current field of study?

In my life? Rephrase the question. My interest in the field is based simply on a love of popular culture and a willingness to take it seriously as an object worthy critical analysis.

What do you hope your students gain from studying or working with you?

Critical thinking, constructive skepticism and comfort with ambiguity.

What are you passionate about in your personal life?

If I tell you it ceases to be such.

Ph.D. English and American Literature, University of Houston, 2000
M.A. English and American Literature, University of Texas at El Paso, 1995
B.A. English (minor in History), University of Texas at Austin, 1991
Courses Taught

ENGL 203: Writing about Literature
ENGL 228:
American Literature, 1865 to Present
ENGL 253:
Introduction to Cultural Studies and Popular Culture
ENGL 338:
American Ethnic Literature
ENGL 415:
Herman Melville's Sea Novels



  • Culturcide and Non-Identity across American Culture.  Lexington Books, 2017.
  • Whiteness, Otherness, and the Individualism Paradox from Huck to Punk.  Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.

Selected Articles:

  • "You Ain’t No Punk, You Punk: On Semiotic Doxa, Postmodern Authenticity, Ontological Agency and the Goddamn Alt-Right." The Oxford Handbook of Punk Rock. New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming.
  • "The Inoperative Subculture: History, Identity, and Avant-Gardism in Garage Rock." DIY Cultures and Underground Music Scenes. Eds. Andy Bennet and Paula Guerra. New York: Routledge, 2019: 185-194.
  • "Motorsports as Popular Culture as Politics: Le Mans, F1, and Video Games."  Special issue on Neoliberalism in Popular Culture, The Journal of Popular Culture 51.2 (2018): 466-486.
  • "Pick It Up!  Pick It Up!: The Transnational Localism of Ska."  Popular Music and Society 36.1 (2013): 1-18.
  • "The Identity Joke: Race, Rap, Performance in CB4."  American Studies 52.1 (2012): 123-142.
  • "Locating the Punk Preppy (A Speculative Theory)."  The Journal of Popular Culture 41.3 (2008):488-508.
  • "Recentering the Listener in Deconstructive Music."  CR: The New Centennial Review 7.1 (2007): 165-180.
  • "Performing the Feminine in A Farewell to Arms."  The Hemingway Review 24.2 (2005): 28-40.
  • "L.A.'s 'White Minority': Punk and the Contradictions of Self-Marginalization."  Cultural Critique 48 (2001): 30-64.
  • "Whiteness and the Rejected Other in The Sun Also Rises."  Studies in American Fiction 28.2 (2000): 235-253.
"Actor-Network-Theory and Classic Car Agency: On Early Porsche 911 Fandom." European Popular Culture Association.  London, England.  25 July 2017.

"Pop, Politics, Pedagogy: The Case of Teaching Le Mans." Popular Culture Association. San Diego, CA. 12 April 2017.

"Stick It to the Man!: The Mythos of the (Vanishing) Manual Transmission." Popular Culture Association.  Seattle, WA.  23 March 2016.

"The Transnational Dandy in Redburn." International Melville Conference. Tokyo, Japan. 26 June 2015.

"Fanged Mestizos, Monstrous Pluralism in Blade." Popular Culture Association. New Orleans, LA. 4 April 2015.

"The Inoperative Subculture: History, Identity, and Avant-Gardism in Garage Rock." Keep It Simple, Make It Fast!: Conference on Underground Music Scenes and DIY Cultures. Porto, Portugal. 10 July 2014.

"Monstrous Forms: Genre and Race in Deep Blue Sea."  Popular Culture Association. Chicago, IL. 16 April 2014.

"Driving Simulators, Hegemony and How to Make Sucking Subversive." Popular Culture Association. San Antonio, TX. 23 April 2011.

"Los Vatos Rudos: Pachuco-Ska's Transnational Localism." International Association for the Study of Popular Music. Cincinnati, OH. 12 March 2011.
Professional Appointments

Elected American Literature Representative, South Central Modern Language Association Executive Committee, 2014-2016.

Contact Info

Daniel S. Traber
Department of Liberal Studies

Phone: +1 (409) 741.4382
Fax: +1 (409) 740.4962

Classroom Lab Building (CLB), Office 127