Ramet, Carlos 1955-

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Ramet, Carlos 1955-


Born March 30, 1955, in London, England; naturalized U.S. citizen; son of Sebastian (a hotel chef) and Ida Maria (a graphics specialist) Ramet Moreno; married Jean Ho (an academic adviser), July 4, 1990. Ethnicity: "Spanish." Education: University of Southern California, B.A., 1977; San Francisco State University, M.A., 1980; University of Illinois at Chicago Circle, Ph.D., 1988; Harvard University, M.D.P., 2003. Hobbies and other interests: Travel, photography.


Office—Office of the President, Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, MI 48710.


Indiana University in Malaysia, Shah Alam, assistant professor of English, 1988-90; Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, MI, assistant professor, 1991-95, associate professor, 1995-2000, professor of English and creative writing, 2000—, department head, 2000-02, executive assistant to university president, 2002—, supervisor of London program, 1995. Exchange professor at University of Mysore, 1996, and Shikoku University, Michigan Endowment for the Arts, member of mini-grants committee, 1992-97; Saginaw Arts and Enrichment Commission, member, 2005—; Michigan Governor's Committee on Michigan Cities of Promise, member of Saginaw committee, 2006—.


Popular Culture Association, Society for College and University Planners, Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters, Valley Film Society (president, 1993-94), Phi Beta Kappa, Rotary International.


Ken Follett: The Transformation of a Writer, Bowling Green State University (Bowling Green, OH), 1999.

Contributor of short stories, articles, poetry, and reviews to periodicals, including Clues: Journal of Detection, Encounter, Studies in Popular Culture, Chiricú, Bilingual Review, Michigan Academician, and Critic.


Carlos Ramet once told CA: "American writers are often asked to define themselves as regional writers. Since my parents come from two different countries (Spain and Austria) and I was born in a third (England), I have never thought of my writing as rooted in a specific region. Instead, my characters tend to be between two places or two cultures, caught somewhere in that nebulous area between tradition and contemporary life, the Old World and the New.

"A fondness for literature and for film as an art form led me to study writing and film production formally. As an undergraduate, my intention was to understand literature in order to write better film scripts. After several odd jobs in the film industry, it became apparent to me that the satisfactions of writing fiction were more immediately attainable (at least for me) than were those that would come from writing screenplays. I believe, however, that what I had learned in film school was of value to me when I began to concentrate on writing short stories—the importance of visualization, movement, and plot that communicates theme.

"The films and short stories which had always appealed to me were those which stood on the border of the popular and the serious. In graduate school, I began to develop research interests in authors who had successfully combined popular and serious strains and who also wrote about international life. An early research interest was the British author, Graham Greene, and since I had lived in or visited several of the countries he wrote about and admired his blending of adventure stories with serious concerns, I undertook advanced study in popular culture theory, in early twentieth-century British literature, and in Greene as a major author.

"Greene, however, is a much-studied subject and, wishing to engage in original research, I turned to a more recent author who, in his best work, has also effectively merged serious and popular strains, vividness with reflectiveness, and who also writes of international intrigue—Ken Follett. Encouraged by the publication of a first article, I began studying various aspects of his work—plot structure, film interpretations, his revisionist historical approach, et cetera, and published a number of articles, which became the basis for a book." Ramet later added: "Follett's generous gift to my home institution, Saginaw Valley State University, of his business and personal correspondence, notes, outlines, drafts, and research materials related to his early and mid-career novels has allowed me to engage in additional primary-source research and to publish new articles on his work

"I remain interested in writing short stories that are strongly related to travel or to communities in transition, and in researching authors who express a particular awareness of international life. A joint research project investigating the work of the Indian short story writer, Khushwant Singh, was recently published. Singh deftly describes individuals whose ties are to more than one community."