Matthew J. Costello, Ph.D. Professor of Political Science
Comparative Politics/International Relations; Cold War and 9-11 American Political
Strange things are afoot at the Circle-K, Dude.
-Ted Theodore Logan
Matthew Costello was raised in Hallowell, Maine, where he spent far too much time
reading comic books. He received a Ph.D in Political Science from the University
of North Carolina, specializing in African Politics. He has taught at the University
of North Carolina, Duke University, and has been a faculty member at Saint Xavier
University since 1991. He directs the International Studies Program and has been
involved with the Saint Xavier Honors Program since it began. His publications include
several papers on African politics, political development, and international political
economy. Since 1999, (when he came to his senses) his research and publication has
focused on Cold War culture in film and comic books.
POLSC 102 - World Politics
POLSCI 240 - Political Philosophy
POLSC 241 - American Political Thought
POLSC 262 - Politics and Film
POLSC 334 - War, Peace and Alliances
POLSC 336 - Global Money and Power
Secret Identity Crisis: Comic Books and the Unmasking of Cold War America. (New York: Continuum Press, 2009).
"Spandex Agonistes: Superhero Comics Confront the War on Terror." In Christophe
Dony (ed) Remembering 9-11: Cultural Portrayals of the Terrorist Attacks (MacFarland, 2010, forthcoming).
"The New Superpowered Conflict: Re-Imagining the Cold War in Contemporary Comic Books."
in Kathleen Starck (ed.) Cultural Representations of the Cold War (London: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2010) pp. 151-165
"Rewriting High Noon: Transformations in American Popular Political Culture 1952-1968."
in Hollywood’s Wests, edited by Peter Rollins, (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 2005) pp. 175-197
“I Didn’t Expect to Find Any Fences Around Here:” Containment and Cultural Ambiguity
in Shane. Journal of American Culture. 27(3) pp. 261-271, 2004.
"The Pilgrimage and Progress of George Bailey: Puritanism, It’s a Wonderful Life and
the Language of Community in America." American Studies, 40(3): 31-52, Fall 1999.
"Impure Public Goods, Relative Gains and International Cooperation." Policy Studies Journal, 24(4): 578-595, April 1996.
"Administration Triumphs Over Politics: The Transformation of the Tanzanian State."
African Studies Review 39(1): 123-148, April 1996.
"Market and State: Evaluating Tanzania’s State-Led Industrialization program, 1960-1990".
World Development 22(10): 1511-1520, October 1994.
Teacher-Scholar Award, College of Arts and Sciences, Saint Xavier University 2009
Saint Xavier University, Excellence in Scholarship Award, 1997
Saint Xavier University/American Association of University Professors Award for Excellence
in Teaching, 1993.
Patrick Hagan Award for Outstanding Graduate Teaching, Department of Political Science,
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, 1988.