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Coastal Alabama History Instructor, Brett Chancery, Pens Article on Brewton Native and Beetlejuice Screenwriter, Michael McDowell

Feb 1st, 2024 Featured

In his captivating Alabama Heritage Magazine article, "Familiar Nightmares: Michael McDowell’s Alabama Influences," Brett Z. Chancery delves into the intriguing connection between the dark and quirky themes of Tim Burton's films and the influence of writer Michael McDowell. Known for his prolific collaboration with Burton and a remarkable output of books, McDowell's impact on the cinematic world is profound. Chancery navigates the nuances of McDowell's work, shedding light on the author's rare return to his native Alabama and the state's enduring influence on his writing. Chancery explores how McDowell's childhood experiences in Alabama left an indelible mark on his literary career, creating a compelling narrative that ties together the seemingly disparate worlds of Southern upbringing and Burtonesque fantasy.

The author, Brett Z. Chancery, brings a unique perspective to the exploration of Michael McDowell's life and works. A proud alumnus of the University of Mobile and the University of South Alabama, Chancery has dedicated over fifteen years to serving students in Alabama. With the publication of Familiar Nightmares: Michael McDowell’s Alabama Influences, Chancery has successfully defended his dissertation exploring McDowell's life and works and has completed the requirements for his PhD in humanities from Faulkner University. Chancery's connection to McDowell's narrative becomes even more apparent as he shares his hometown of Brewton, Alabama. As a full-time history instructor at Coastal Alabama Community College, Chancery not only imparts knowledge to his students but also actively engages in the exploration of local and state history, making him a fitting scholar to unravel the layers of McDowell's Alabama influences.