Hello! I am a freelance writer and blogger from Pittsburgh, PA, who specializes in film, history and the history of film. I have written for several sites over the years, including Anglotopia, Listverse, Moviepilot and PopOptiq, while maintaining my own personal weblog, Nothing is Written. I most often write about classic movies. For history, areas of expertise and interest include the American Civil War, Victorian England, Nazi Germany, '60s politics and the life of T.E. Lawrence. I recently started a history column for The Avocado, an arts and entertainment site and discussion group, entitled How We Got Here. I am also working on my first novel and hope to finish it within the next few months.
I believe that art and history are equally important to understanding our society and culture. Both offer a perspective or distance from contemporary events, while offering a framework for analysis and response. I hope that you enjoy my work, and feel free to contact me at groggydundee(at)gmail.com!
Discusses Underground Railroad activities in Somerset County, PA during the 1800s. Original research
Article on professional anti-Communist witnesses during the McCarthy era, including Matt Cvetic, Herbert Philbrick, Paul Crouch and Harvey Matusow.
Long-form article on the Suez Crisis of 1956. Originally published in Anglotopia's fall 2018 print edition.
Column examining the myth of the mass crocodile attacks on Ramree Island, Burma during World War II.
Article (part of a series) on far right groups in 1930s America, including the Black Legion, Silver Shirts and Christian Front.
Article about the Jenner serpent, a folkloric beast from Somerset County, PA. Original research.
Profile of 19th Century feminist, socialist and presidential candidate Victoria Woodhull
Examination of Richard Nixon's die hard supporters during the Watergate scandal.
Original research uncovering a German immigrant investigated as a spy during WWI, then attacked by a patriotic mob in Salisbury, PA.
Film & Television
Review of The Parallax View and its connection with '70s political culture.
Discusses the Steven Universe character, Lapis Lazuli, and how her characterization reflects real-world struggles with depression, trauma and domestic abuse.
Article about Val Lewton's classic horror movies, Cat People and I Walked With a Zombie.
First in a two-part article about Leni Riefenstahl's film Tiefland, produced during and immediately after the Third Reich, and the attendant controversies about its production and release.
Discussion of Dirty Harry and its reception in the polarized climate of 1970s America.
Article on Pauline Kael's "Raising Kane" essay about the production of Citizen Kane, and the response it generated in film circles.
Discussion of Lawrence of Arabia, its historical context, and the adverse reaction of T.E. Lawrence's family and friends to the movie's release.