United States Air Force Academy

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Dr. Kreg Abshire

Assistant Professor of English & Fine Arts

Department of English & Fine Arts

Official photo of Dr. Kreg Abshire
Contact Information

(719) 333-2730



During the 2018-19 Academic Year, Professor Abshire will be serving as Distinguished Visiting Professor of English and Fine Arts. When not visiting, Abshire teaches English at Johnson & Wales University in Denver, where he has also served as the Chair of the College of Arts & Sciences and the director of the Honors Program.

At J&W University he teaches a range of interdisciplinary courses in American literature, film, and music as well as first-year writing courses. At the U.S. Air Force Academy he’ll teach ENG111 and ENG 211.

Abshire grew up in a small town in Southeast Texas; and like all good Texans, he’s very happy to be in Colorado where he lives with his wife, children, and dogs.


Ph.D., English (Post-1865 American Literature), University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C. (2002 )

M.A., English (American Literature), University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C. (1993)

B.A., English, University of Texas at Austin, Austin,Texas (1990)

Professional Experience

Distinguished Visiting Professor of English and Fine Arts, U.S. Air Force Academy (2018-Present)

Professor of English (on leave for the 2018-19 academic year), Johnson & Wales University, Denver, CO (2014-Present)

Chair of the Honors Program (2014-18); Chair of the College of Arts & Sciences and Associate Professor of English, Johnson & Wales University, Denver, CO (2010-2014)

Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies and Assistant Instructor, University of South Carolina (1997-98)

Additionally, Dr. Abshire has experience managing academic advising programs and teaching and administering at independent preparatory schools.

Honors & Awards

Johnson & Wales University, Denver, Faculty Research Fellowship (term-long research leave at full salary) for On Starting a Damn Country Band: Alternative Country Music and Class in America (Winter 2016-17)

University of Texas, Austin, Phi Beta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude, College Honors (1989-90)

Research and Scholarly Interests

Abshire studies American Culture of the 20th and 21st Centuries. His work brings together the study of literature, film, and music. And from his earlier work on Depression-era westerns to his current work on country music, he has maintained a consistent interest in the construction of class and the ways various cultural forms are deployed to maintain or trouble class lines. His book project is tentatively titled On Starting a Damn Country Band: Alternative Country Music and Class in America. And he’s working to get an article out this year on music in the Coen Brothers’ film, Inside Llewyn Davis.


Scholarly Publications
“Making the West Safe for Middle-Class Men: Cimarron, Union Pacific, and Stagecoach.” Columbia Journal of American Studies : 237-69 (2007)

“At Home in Hollywood: Hope of Heaven as Cultural History, Autobiography, and Fiction.” Colby Quarterly 32: 151-60 (1996)

“Henry Wheeler Shaw (Josh Billings).” Bibliography of American Fiction: 1866-1918. Ed. James Nagel and Gwen L. Nagel. New York: Facts on File, 1992. 321-22 (1992)

Creative Publications
“On Seeing,” Hobart (Dec. 19 2012).

“Notes toward a History of Late-Twentieth-Century Masculinity in a Southeast Texas Refinery Town,” Flashquake 9.3 (Spring 2010)

“Dendrology.” Lost Magazine 33. (May 2009)

“The Fall Line.” You are Here: The Journal of Creative Geography 8: 5-8. (Summer 2006)

“My Life Not in Film.” Lost Magazine 3 (Feb. 2006)

“The Movie I Wasn’t In.” P.o.V: The Journal of the Austin Film Society, (Dec. 21, 2005)

Rev. of Pop when the World Falls Apart: Music in the Shadow of Doubt, ed. Eric Weisbard. American Studies 53.2: 169-70. (2014)

Rev. of Epic in American Culture: Settlement to Reconstruction, by Christopher N. Phillips. The Journal of American Culture 36.4: 374-5 (2013)

Public Scholarship
Editor, Quarterly Horse: A Journal of [brief] American Studies (2016-Present)

Host, New Books in Popular Culture (2014-15)