Kara McCormack

Assistant Professor

E-Mail: kara.mccormack@bilkent.edu.tr
Office: G-115/B
Phone: +90 (312) 290 1727

Full CV

Kara McCormack is an American cultural studies scholar, focusing on the intersection of history, memory, identity, and popular culture, specifically within the realms of the American West and science fiction. She received her PhD in American Studies from the University of New Mexico in 2013.

Her work on the American West has been published in academic journals and online, including The Journal of Arizona History and the Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University. Her first book, Imagining Tombstone: The Town too Tough to Die, was published by the University Press of Kansas in 2016. This work looks at the ways public history, the concept of authenticity, and popular culture intermingle in the historic western town of Tombstone, Arizona, to produce a space based on notions of masculinity, nostalgia, and belonging. A chapter from Imagining Tombstone, “Historians’ Gunfight,” was reprinted in A Wyatt Earp Anthology: Long May His Story Be Told, by the University of North Texas Press in 2019.

Forever curious about the ways the American West resonates globally, her time in Turkey has resulted in the article “Searching for Wyatt Earp in Anatolia: The American West in the Turkish Imagination,” which examines how the West as a global mythic site has been transformed into a local expression of Turkish identity. This work will be published in the fall of 2022 in a special issue of the Journal of Arizona History, for which she also served as guest editor.

Her academic work also explores the ways the American West intersects with the genre of science fiction. Her article, “Home. Family. Future: Authenticity, the Frontier Myth, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” was published in ContactZone: Journal of the Italian Association for the Study of Science Fiction and Fantasy in the spring of 2022. She is also currently working on two other journal articles, one that examines the use of the frontier myth in the region known as the Colonies in Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale; the other about the intersection of race, memory, and UFO tourism in Roswell, New Mexico.

She has taught American studies courses at the University of New Mexico, Stanford University, and Tufts University. At Bilkent, she teaches Introduction to American Studies I and II, Imagining the American West, and Science Fiction in American Culture.