Professor Has Chapters Published in 2 Books

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016 - 9:15am

A Limestone College professor had chapters published in two different books earlier this year.

Dr. Brian Holcomb, an Assistant Professor of English, wrote chapters for “Tim Burton: Essays on the Films” and “Middlebrow Wodehouse.” (Click the accompanying graphic to see the full covers of both books.)

Holcomb’s chapter in the book on Tim Burton is about the adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim’s Broadway musical “Sweeney Todd” into the movie of the same name. The chapter is entitled “Attend the Tale: Burton’s Transformation of Sweeney Todd from Stage Epic to Screen Intimacy,” in which Holcomb compares and contrasts changes in the stage and film versions of the story.

The chapter in “Middlebrow Wodehouse” deals with the characters of Jeeves and Wooster from P.G. Wodehouse’s stories. The chapter is called “The Queer Domesticity of Bertie and Jeeves.” Wooster and Jeeves remain not just Wodehouse’s best characters, but two of the most beloved and complementary literary creations of the last century.

A native of Charlotte, Holcomb received his Ph.D. in English from Michigan State University, his Master’s in English from UNC-Charlotte, and his Bachelor’s in Art History and Government from the College of William & Mary.

“It can take years from beginning a project to seeing it in print, so it was somewhat strange to suddenly have chapters included in two different books,” Holcomb said. “It was a long process to submit my chapters for consideration. I knew they were both out there, and then one day I opened my mailbox and received confirmation that one of the chapters had been accepted for publication. And then two weeks later, I got word that the other chapter had also been accepted. It felt pretty amazing.”

Holcomb noted that the chapter on Wodehouse came about in response to a call for papers. The book editor put out a call asking for proposals for a book about Wodehouse. Holcomb had written about him in his doctoral dissertation, so he sent in a proposal that was accepted.  After that, he penned the chapter, which took about a year, including a series of edits and revisions based on suggestions from the editor before the final version was ready for the book.

The book on Tim Burton was edited by a colleague of Holcomb’s at Michigan State University. The editor needed a chapter on “Sweeney Todd,” and knew Holcomb was very familiar with the Broadway version of the musical, so he approached him about a submission.

“The whole process for the Tim Burton book went a lot faster since his publisher had him on a tight deadline,” Holcomb explained. “The process for the Wodehouse book took more than two years from start to finish, but the Burton book took maybe eight or nine months. It was still a long time, but not as much as the other one.”

Holcomb is now working on a forthcoming essay on the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Frameworks for Information Literacy and their application to first-year writing.