Born in Libby, Montana, Mark Osteen received his BA and MA degrees from the University of Montana, before moving to Atlanta in 1982. There he received a PhD in English literature from Emory University, working with eminent James Joyce scholar Richard Ellmann. Since 1988 he has taught at Loyola University Maryland, where he is Professor of English and Director of Film Studies. Osteen has written or edited eight books, including The Economy of Ulysses (winner of the 1995 Donald Murphy Prize for best first book in Irish Studies), American Magic and Dread: Don DeLillo’s Dialogue with Culture, and essay collections on economic literary criticism and gift theory. He is currently at work on a study entitled The Big Night: Film Noir and American Dreams.
Much of his recent scholarship, however, has focused on autism and disability studies. In 2005 he organized and chaired a conference, “Representing Autism: Writing, Cognition, Disability,” at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. A collection of essays taken from that conference that he edited, Autism and Representation, was published by Routledge in 2008. Over the last several years has given lectures on autism and the humanities at numerous conferences and seminars, including the Boston University Law School, Fordham University’s Autism and Advocacy conference, and the Modern Language Association and South Atlantic Modern Language Association conventions.
A professional musician since the mid-‘70s, Osteen has been an important contributor to the Baltimore scene as a saxophonist and singer since 1994. As president of the non-profit Baltimore Jazz Alliance, he has produced two compilation CDs, Baltimore Jazzscapes and Baltimore Jazzscapes II. With his own group, Cold Spring Jazz Quartet, he has released two CDs and performs regularly in the Baltimore-Washington area. In 2010 he co-edited Music at the Crossroads: Lives and Legacies of Baltimore Jazz, along with eight of his Loyola students.
Osteen has been married since 1981 to Leslie Gilden, his indispensable partner in all aspects of life. Their son Cameron, born in 1989, is the subject of One of Us: A Family’s Life with Autism.
For further information, please visit the author’s website: http://loyola.edu/fas/mosteen.
Photo Credit: Leo Howard Lubow