Meet Bernie

Hi there! I’m a teacher and cultural critic who has long been interested in the intersections of technology, culture and society.

I have a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service focusing on humanities in international affairs, and a master’s in English language and literature plus three years of Ph.D. coursework from the University of Maryland, College Park (alma mater of Jim Henson).

While at UMD, I taught Introduction to Academic Writing and Introduction to Literature courses for four years. I also published articles like “Responses to the Alien Mother in Post-Maternal Cultures: C.J. Cherryh and Orson Scott Card,” a close reading of popular science fiction and feminist psychoanalytic texts.

As I started writing my dissertation, I thought long and hard about why I wanted to go into teaching. I realized I preferred to be in the classroom full-time, working directly with teenagers, as opposed to balancing teaching and publishing.

I decided to return to school (again!) and obtained a master’s in education — this time from the University of Vermont in Burlington (alma mater of John Dewey). It was an accelerated program that involved interning for a year at Otter Valley Union High School in Brandon, Vt., an experience I’ll never forget.

Upon graduating in 2000, I joined the English department at Oak Park and River Forest High School in Oak Park, Il. I’ve taught at every grade level, but I mostly teach juniors and seniors in American Studies, American Literature, and College English.

The same year I began teaching, I worked on the development of PopPolitics.com, an online magazine founded by my spouse (Christine Cupaiuolo) that covered the intersections of politics and pop culture, and one of the original sources for cultural criticism on the web. I wrote a number of longer articles, including “Now Rolling …,” one of the first analyses of the pop culture filter through which Americans viewed the 9/11 attacks (which led to several media appearances), and “Just When Men Thought They Were Out,” a look at the modern crisis in masculinity as represented in “The Sopranos” and recent presidential campaigns.

I hope to get back to writing articles for general publications again soon, but for now my free time is spent reading, hiking, discovering new music, and caring for our two rescue mutts, Kima (named after character in “The Wire”) and Willow (named after a character in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”). Both dogs live up to their namesakes.

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