Welcome to my website.
I am a College Fellow in the Department of English at Harvard University, specializing in British literature and culture of the long eighteenth century. My research and teaching focus on connections of literature, law, and ethics as well as the history of the novel, gender studies, moral and political philosophy, and Anglo-American literary and cultural relations. I received my Ph.D. in English Literature from Yale (December 2007), my J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and my M.A. in American Studies from Yale. Before coming to Harvard, I held a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Introduction to the Humanities Program at Stanford.
I am currently completing a book project entitled Public Vows: Fictions of Marriage in the English Enlightenment, which examines the ways in which early novels both respond to and participate in debates about the contractual nature of the nuptial tie. Moving from late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century controversies about consensual divorce to mid-century debates about clandestine unions to Romantic-era disputes about the value and limits of matrimony, the study argues that novelists affirm the idea of marriage as a formal, public tie even as they reconceive this tie as an affective agreement between two equal agents. My essay on nuptial law in Moll Flanders appeared in Eighteenth-Century Fiction; an earlier version of that essay received the Catharine Macaulay Prize from the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. My article on clandestine marriage in Burney’s Cecilia is forthcoming in The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation. I have also written on George Eliot’s treatment of the practice of promising (ELH) and on The Portrait of a Lady’s response to nineteenth-century American divorce debates (The Henry James Review). I am now working on two new projects. The first examines intercultural encounters in the eighteenth-century transatlantic imagination; the second explores the role of British novels in Enlightenment controversies about the moral emotions.
At Harvard, I offer a range of seminars and lecture courses. This year, I am teaching classes on the eighteenth-century novel, on gender and literature from the Restoration to Romanticism, and on the history of English crime fiction. At Stanford, I led first-year humanities seminars on topics such as “Freedom, Equality, Difference” and “A Life of Contemplation or Action? Debates in Western Literature and Philosophy.” I also maintain an active interest in pedagogy and have led workshops on teaching strategies for beginning and advanced instructors in the humanities and social sciences.
To learn more about my research and my teaching experience, please click on the links in the menu above.
Welcome to my website.