Curriculum vitae

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Matthew James Vechinski
Associate Professor, Department of Focused Inquiry
University College, Virginia Commonwealth University

Grace E. Harris Hall, 5th Floor, Room 5131
1015 Floyd Avenue, Box 842015
Richmond, Virginia 23284-2015
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PhD, English and Textual Studies, University of Washington, 2009

Awarded departmental honors for dissertation, “Literary by Design: The Functional Aesthetics of the Twentieth-Century Novel”

MA, English, University of Washington, 2004

BA, English and French, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2002


Scholarly Monograph

Twentieth-Century American Fiction in Circulation. Routledge Studies in Twentieth Century Fiction. Routledge, 2020. ISBN 9780367424466.

Peer Reviewed Articles

“Christine Brooke-Rose and the Science of Fiction: Rethinking Conceptual Writing and Artificial Intelligence in Xorandor.” Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction [Taylor and Francis] 57.4 (2016): 448–64.

“Staging the Reception of American Ethnic Authors in Women’s Popular Magazines: Encountering Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club Stories in Seventeen and Ladies Home Journal.” Reception Study and Cultural Diversity. Special issue of Reception: Texts, Readers, Audiences, History [Penn State University Press] 7 (2015): 45-63.

“Kathy Acker as Conceptual Artist: In Memoriam to Identity and ‘Working Past Failure.’” Style [Northern Illinois University] 47.4 (Winter 2013): 525-42.

“The Design of Fiction and the Fiction of Design: Revisiting the Idea of Literature Through the Study of Design.” Textual Practice [Taylor and Francis] 27.2 (2013): 269-93.

“‘I Could Not Cling to It’: Potentiality in L’Innommable and The Unnamable, A Dual-Language Study.” Samuel Beckett Today/Aujourd’hui [Rodopi] 15 (2005): 341-53. 

Essays in Edited Collections

“Publishing Sherwood Anderson’s Group of Tales: The Textual Presentations of the Winesburg Stories and The Modernist Legacy of Winesburg, Ohio.” Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio. Ed. Precious McKenzie. Dialogue 20. Brill/Rodopi, 2016. 145-74. ISBN 9789004311008.

“Collecting, Curating, and the Magic Circle of Ownership in a Postmaterial Culture.” Contemporary Collecting: Objects, Practices, and the Fate of Things. Ed. Kevin M. Moist and David Banash. Scarecrow Press (Rowman & Littlefield), 2013. 13-30. ISBN 9780810891135.

Book Reviews

Review of Bigger than Ben-Hur: The Book, Its Adaptations, and Their Audiences, edited by Barbara Ryan and Milette Shamir.  Reception: Texts, Readers, Audiences, History [Penn State University Press] 9 (2017): 115–118.

Review of Roomscape: Women Writers in the British Museum from George Eliot to Virginia Woolf by Susan David Bernstein.  Woolf Studies Annual [PACE University Press] 22 (2016): 135–38.


Virginia Commonwealth University

Assistant Professor of Focused Inquiry, University College, Fall 2013 to present

University College 112: Focused Inquiry II (Spring 2016, Spring 2017)

University College 200: Inquiry and the Craft of Argument, conventional and service-learning designated sections (Fall 2013, Spring 2104, Summer 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2016, Spring 2016, Summer 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017)

University College 299: What’s the Big Idea? An Interdisciplinary Exploration of Collecting, courses offered to students in the VCU Summer Scholars program (Summer 2019, Summer 2020) and all VCU students (Spring 2021)

University College 391: Special Topics, service-learning, “Interdisciplinary Social Innovation: Designing Social Change” (Spring 2019, Spring 2020)

English 215: Textual Analysis “Literature as Conceptual Art” (Fall 2014), “A New Looseness: The American Linked Story Collection, 1919–1989” (Fall 2017)

University of Washington, Seattle

Senior Teaching Fellow in the Interdisciplinary Writing Program, 2009 to 2010

Teaching Associate in the Department of English, 2003 to 2009

Composition course linked to Introduction to the Study of English Language and Literature (Spring 2010, Winter 2010, Autumn 2009, Spring 2009, Autumn 2008)

Reading Literature: “Borrowed Literature: Investigating Inclusiveness and Exclusiveness in Literary Traditions” (Spring 2008)

Modern and Postmodern Literature: “Not Merely ‘Transitional’: Literature Between Modernism and Postmodernism” (Winter 2008)

Reading Fiction: “Writers of Fiction: Workmen [sic] or Artists?” (Autumn 2007)

Reading Fiction: “The Value of Fiction in British Modernism” (Spring 2007)

Reading Fiction: “Reading Metafiction” (Autumn 2006)

Composition: Social Issues, a service learning course (Spring 2007, Winter 2006, Autumn 2005)

Composition: Literature (Winter 2007, Spring 2005, Winter 2005, Autumn 2004)

Composition: Exposition (Summer 2007, Spring 2004, Winter 2004, Autumn 2003)

Other Experience

Carroll University, Waukesha, Wisconsin
Adjunct Instructor in the English Program, Fall 2011 to Spring 2013

Writing Seminar: “Accommodating Our Lives to Technology” (Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013)

Lycée Polyvalent (French National Ministry of Education), Limoux, France
Assistant High School English Teacher, September 2002 to May 2003


Service-Learning Faculty Fellow, Division of Community Engagement, 2019–2020

Grant for Researchers, Vassar College Archives and Special Collections Library, 2018–2019

Service-Learning Travel Grant, Division of Community Engagement, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2017–2018

Nominee, Joan Webber Prize for Excellence in Teaching, Department of English, University of Washington, 2009–2010 and 2008–2009

Christopher Isherwood Foundation Fellow, Huntington Library, 2008-2009

Dissertation fellowship, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin, 2008-2009

Textual Studies Program Award , University of Washington, 2008-2009

David A. Robertson Fellowship, Department of English, University of Washington, 2009


Individual Conference Papers and Presentations”

“Teaching Service-Learners to be Designers of Social Change.” Presentation at the 2018 Gulf South Summit: Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Through Higher Education.

“Commercial Aspirations, Ending in Tearsheets: The Overlapping Manuscripts of William Faulkner’s The Unvanquished.” Paper presented at the 2017 Society for Textual Scholarship Conference.

“The Short Story Writer Keeping Company With Polemical Magazines: The Reception of Mary McCarthy’s Early Autobiographical Fiction.” Paper presented at the 2015 Reception Study Society Conference.

“Edward J. O’Brien’s Yearbooks of the American Short Story: A Collector Modeling the Habits of the Discriminating Modernist Reader.” Paper presented at the 2014 Modernist Studies Association Conference.

“From Collectors to Curators: The Once Permanent and Now Guest Editors of the Best American Short Stories Series.” Paper presented at the 2014 Society for Textual Scholarship Conference.

“Popular Women’s Magazines and the New Traditionalists: The Appeal of Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club.” Paper presented at the 2013 Reception Study Society Conference.

“Reception Study and the Contemporary American Short-Story Cycle: Encountering Ethnic American Writers in Short Fiction from Popular Magazines.” Paper presented at the Reception Study Society panel at the 2012 American Literature Association Conference.

“The Novel in Stories and Republication as Transposition.” Paper presented at the 2011 Craft Critique Culture Conference, University of Iowa.

“Donald Barthelme and the Postmodern Novel in Stories.” Paper presented at the 2011 Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture Since 1900.

“From Camera to Mirror: Christopher Isherwood’s First-Person Autobiographical Fiction and Its Evolution Across Texts.” Presented at the 2009 Society for Textual Scholarship Conference.

“Retelling the Odyssey: From the Oral Tradition to Literary Parody.” Presented at the 2007 Society for Textual Scholarship Conference.

“The Welcomed Death of WYSIWYG: A Step Toward the Hypertext Literacy and Aesthetic Experience of Digital Texts.” Presented at the 2006 American Comparative Literature Association Conference.

“Seeking the Impossible: The ‘Life’ of To the Lighthouse.” Presented at the 2005 International Virginia Woolf Conference.

“Pleasure of the Text or the Desire for the Work?: Blanchot and Barthes on Reading.” Presented at the 2005 University of California-Riverside Department of English graduate student conference, “(dis)junctions: Theory Reloaded.”

“Clinging to Translation: L’Innommable and ‘The Task of the Translator.’” Presented at the 2004 Modernist Studies Association Conference.

“The Desiring Gaze and the Absent Origin: Maurice Blanchot and Jean Baudrillard Recasting Orpheus and Eurydice.” Presented at the 2004 Graduate Conference in English Language and Literature at McGill University.

Conference Panel Discussions, Posters, Seminars, and Workshops

“Service-Learning x Project-Based Learning = Twenty-First Century Skills.” Workshop facilitated with Lindsay Chudzik, Jamie Fueglein, Mark Meier, and Kirk Richardson at the 2018 Engagement for the Public Good conference at James Madison University.

“Service-Learning in the Core Curriculum.” Poster designed with Lindsay Chudzik, Jamie Fueglein, and Mark Meier and presented at the 2018 Gulf South Summit: Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Through Higher Education.

“Design Thinking in Critical Reflection.” Invited co-moderator of “Emerging Topics” round table discussion at the 2018 Gulf South Summit: Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Through Higher Education.

“Service-Learning in the Core Curriculum.” Panel discussion facilitated with Joe Cates, Lindsay Chudzik, Katie Elliott, and Mark Meier at the 2017 VA Engage Annual Meeting.

“The Dynamism of Teaching Assistants in Service-Learning Projects.” Workshop facilitated with Lindsay Chudzik, Jamie Fueglein, and undergraduate teaching assistants at the 2015 More Powerful Together National Service-Learning Conference.

“Staging Incompletion: The Modernist Inauguration of the American Short Story Sequence.” Paper circulated in advance of participating in the “Modernism’s Unfinished Business” seminar at the 2014 Modernist Studies Association Conference.

“The Text as Designed Object.” Seminar organized and facilitated for the 2013 Society for Textual Scholarship Conference.

“Translation and Intention: Reexamining the Relationships of Part to Whole and of Form to Content.” Paper circulated in advance of participating in the “Modernism in/and Translation” seminar at the 2004 Modernist Studies Association Conference.


Service to the university

Member of the REAL (Relevant and Applied Experiential Learning) Council convened by Dr. Erin Webster Garrett, Associate Vice-Provost for REAL (2018 to present)

Faculty advisor for the REAL Student Advisory Board (2020 to present)

Member of the Council’s Executive Committee (2019–2020)

Co-chair of the Curriculum Development Work Group (2019–2020)

Member of the Institute for Inclusive Excellence Planning Committee sponsored by the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence and the Division for Inclusive Excellence (2018)

As a member of the Program Evaluation subcommittee, created two program assessment tools administered to institute participants

Nominated to the university-wide Service-Learning Advisory Council founded by the Division of Community Engagement (2014 to 2016 when council was discontinued)

Member of the interdisciplinary Social Innovation Faculty Learning Community, involving ALT Lab, da Vinci Center, Honors College, and the Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs (2016)

Member of the search committee hiring a full-time term faculty member for the ASPiRE living-learning community focused on community engagement (2015)

Service to the Department of Focused Inquiry and the University College

Committee membership, Department of Focused Inquiry

Outreach and Development (2015 to present)

Edited, designed, and wrote articles for the Department of Focused Inquiry Year-End Report, 2017 to present

Reorganized and expanded department web site in 2018

Appointed Social Media Administrator for the department, 2018 to present

Committee chair or co-chair, 2017–2020

Faculty Evaluation (elected position for two terms) (2014 to 2018)

Developed guidelines for faculty peer observations

Redesigned student course evaluations

Revised guidelines for annual faculty reports and work plans

Search Committee (2017)

Reviewed 135 applications from a national research, resulting in over a dozen campus visits and multiple hires

Textbook Committee (2015–2017)

Curated online open educational resources for the department

Surveyed UNIV 200 faculty about needs for instructional materials

Faculty Learning Community Membership, Department of Focused Inquiry

Service-Learning (2013 to present)

Online Teaching and Learning (2015–2017)

Annual VCU Common Book discussion leader (2015 to present)


Digital Humanities Initiatives

Member of the interdisciplinary Digital Humanities Task Force (2008-2009) founded by the College of Arts and Sciences and coauthor of final report sent to the deans of the college outlining best practices for digital scholarship in the humanities

Co-founded the “Creating Community Through Blogging” colloquium (2006-2007): students, staff and faculty studying how blogging can create practices and texts that can produce multiple connections within the university and between the university and the wider community

Organized a one-day symposium titled “Experiencing Communities: Bloggers’ Perspectives” with invited bloggers from the Seattle area

Designed and promoted a multi-user blogging platform open to the public

Colloquia Leadership

Modernist Studies Group (2004-2009): graduate students studying modernism and modernity

Coauthor of group’s original proposal to become a Cross-Disciplinary Research Cluster supported by the UW Simpson Center for the Humanities

Organized lectures and campus visits from professors invited from other universities

Presented research and participated in peer critique of colleagues’ work in progress


Organized and moderated the “What is Service Learning?” roundtable sponsored by the Practical Pedagogy graduate student colloquium (2006)

Facilitated workshops for the Center for Instructional Development Research and Teaching Assistant Conferences (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009)

“Teaching Your Own Class,” “Facilitating Class Discussion,” “Responding to Student Writing,” “Teaching One-to-One in Office Hours and Study Centers,” and “Who We Are Matters: A Conversation with Experienced Minority TAs”

Organized and moderated the “Out in the Classroom” roundtable sponsored by the Practical Pedagogy graduate student colloquium for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender instructors and their allies (February 2005, November 2005)


Senator for the Department of English, Graduate and Professional Student Senate (2006-2008)

Served on interdisciplinary committee that revised representation scheme in constitution bylaws to account for the various department structures across campus (2008)

Active member of the English Graduate Student Organization: served as Elections Coordinator (2005-2006) and organized the Department of English Colloquia and Resource Fair (2006)


Elected to the Executive Committee of the Reception Study Society (2013-2015 term)

Organized two society-sponsored panels at the 2013 conference of the Midwest Modern Language Association

Served on the committee organizing the society’s 2015 conference invited presenters to form the panel “From Periodicals to Books: Publication Contexts and Reception”

Peer reviewer for Reception: Texts, Readers, Audiences, History, journal of the Reception Study Society published by Penn State University Press (2017 to present)

Peer reviewer for VA Engage journal, University of Richmond (2016 to present)


Institute for Inclusive Teaching, Division for Inclusive Excellence, Virginia Commonwealth University (2015)

Student support certifications earned at VCU (2013–2018): Green Zone (military students), Recovery Ally (students struggling with substance use disorders and those in recovery), Safe Zone (LGBTQ students), UndocuAlly (undocumented students)

Institute on the Public Humanities for Doctoral Students, Simpson Center for the Humanities, University of Washington (2006)


American Literature Association

Modernist Studies Association

Modern Language Association

Reception Study Society

Research Society for American Periodicals

Society for Contemporary Literature

Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP)

Society for Textual Scholarship



Reading and oral comprehension: full professional proficiency

Writing and speaking: professional working proficiency

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