Articles, Books and Other Publications

Robert Frost's Star in a Stone-Boat (1995)

Maps of Heaven, Maps of Hell: Religious Terror as Memory from the Puritans through Stephen King (1996)

Review Maps of Heaven, Maps of Hell from Book News, Inc.
Ingebretsen (English, Georgetown U.) poses an interesting question in his introduction, "Why does Milton's Satan have all the best lines?" A glance at the bestsellers list shows that king of horror Stephen King tops the charts with five books. Americans obviously love to be scared out of their wits because, the author argues, our puritanical theology demands fear to attain conversion, and the writings of Cotton Mather, Hawthorne, Frost, and King are the relics of this collective memory. Tracing themes of captivity, expiation, self-loss, and possession, the volume provides an entertaining analysis of American literature and cultural identity. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Review from the Graduate Theological Union

Lesbian and Gay Studies and the Teaching of English: Positions, Pedagogies, and Cultural Politics (National Council of Teachers of English, 2000)

At Stake: Monsters and a Rhetoric of Fear in Public Culture 304 p. (est.). 2001

Review At Stake: Monsters and the Rhetoric of Fear in Public Culture.

Anyone who reads the papers or watches the evening news is all too familiar with how variations of the word monster are used to describe unthinkable acts of violence. Jeffrey Dahmer, Timothy McVeigh, and O. J.
Simpson were all monsters if we are to believe the mass media. Even Bill Clinton was depicted with the term during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. But why is so much energy devoted in our culture to the making of
monsters? Why are Americans so transfixed by transgression? What is at stake when the exclamatory gestures of horror films pass for descriptive arguments in courtrooms, ethical speech in political commentary, or the bedrock of mainstream journalism?

In a study that is at once an analysis of popular culture, a polemic on religious and secular rhetoric, and an ethics of representation, Edward Ingebretsen searches for answers. At Stake explores the social construction of monstrousness in public discourse-tabloids, television, magazines, sermons, and popular fiction. Ingebretsen argues that the monster serves a moralizing function in our culture, demonstrating how not
to be in order to enforce prevailing standards of behavior and personal conduct. The boys who shot up Columbine High School, for instance, personify teen rebellion taken perilously too far. Susan Smith, the South
Carolinian who murdered her two children, embodies the hazards of maternal neglect. Andrew Cunanan, who killed Gianni Versace, among others, characterizes the menace of predatory sexuality. In a biblical sense,
monsters are not unlike omens from the gods. The dreadful consequences of their actions inspire fear in our hearts, and warn us by example.


"'Design of Darkness to Appall': Religious Terror in the Poetry of Robert Frost," Robert Frost Review, (1993):

"The Monster in the Home: True crime and the Traffic in Body parts," Journal of American Culture 21:1 (1998):

"'One of the Guys' or 'One of the Gals'?: Gender Confusion and the Problem of Authority in the Roman Clergy." Theology and Sexuality Journal. (March 1999)

"Even the Dogs Beneath the Table." Whosoever Online Magazine. (2001)