Director of Undergraduate Studies
Klapper Hall, Room 601
I am interested in the relationship between literature, sovereignty, and crisis. My first book, Gothic Subjects: The Transformation of Individualism in American Fiction, 1790-1855, argued that the gothic novel enabled eighteenth-century readers to think of themselves as political subjects during a period of Revolutionary violence, mass migration, and widespread misinformation and factionalism. My new work turns to contemporary ecological crises to consider how environmental literature is invested in producing modes of subjectivity characterized by a deep ecological dismantling of the tenuous fantasy of liberal sovereignty.
I regularly teach ENGL 350 (Early American Literature); ENGL 327 (Environmental Literature); ENGL 726 (Studies in American Literature 1820-1920), and ENGL 391W (the senior seminar). I like to focus on long literary histories, moving from the early modern period to the current moment to show how culture is always updating and revising established literary forms. I particularly enjoy teaching Environmental literature in this way, exploring how patterns of thought established hundreds of years ago are implicated in contemporary ecological crises and encouraging my students to think about the complicated relationships between race, environmental justice, ecological stewardship, and colonialism. I also regularly teach genre courses on the gothic novel and the captivity narrative.
Editor, Edgar Huntly; or, Memoirs of a Sleepwalker, Broadview Press, 2017.
“Charles Brockden Brown and the Early American Novel,” forthcoming in The Oxford Companion to Charles Brockden Brown, eds. Philip Barnard and Stephen Shapiro.
Gothic Subjects: The Transformation of Individualism in American Fiction, 1790-1855. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014.
“A Transatlantic View of American Gothic Criticism.” The Transatlantic Turn of the Gothic, eds. Monika Elbert and Bridget Marshall, Ashgate Press, 2013.
“Dispossession and Cosmopolitan Sociability in Leonora Sansay’s Secret History.” Forthcoming in Early America and the Haitian Revolution: Essays on the Cultural History of Atlantic Colonialism and Modernity, eds. Elizabeth Maddock Dillon and Michael Drexler, University of Pennsylvania Press.
“Gothic Enlightenment: Co“Washington Irving and the American Mythos.” Gale Researcher on American Literature, Gale Cengage, 2018.
“Charles Brockden Brown and the Novel in Early America.” The Oxford Companion to Charles Brockden Brown, eds. Philip Barnard and Stephen Shapiro. Oxford University Press 2018, 439-54.
Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Huntly, Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2018.