I am currently a doctoral candidate in English at Harvard University, where I teach and write about the English Renaissance. My research interests include early modern literature and culture, rhetoric and poetics, literature and philosophy, intellectual history, queer theory, and sound studies.
My dissertation -- tentatively titled Milton on Causation: Theodicy & Noise -- relates Milton’s career-long preoccupation with origins to early modern rationalist accounts of causation in the domains of historiography, theology, and metaphysics. Anticipating the skeptical challenge of Hume, I argue, Milton’s representation of causation in Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained, and Samson Agonistes reveals causal thinking to be inessential, if not at times counterproductive, to the pursuit of knowledge. But Milton also seeks to redeem causal thinking as making possible human creation (poïesis), even as it underwrites social convention – the principal antagonist in the poet's wartime pamphlets. My chapters place Milton in conversation with various thinkers in the early modern rationalist tradition from Richard Hooker, Hugo Grotius, and Lancelot Andrewes to the later philosophies of Conway and Leibniz.
Other work in progress includes an article on book II of Spenser’s Faerie Queene and Renaissance philosophies of time and an article on the retributive ethics of rhythm and repetition in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.
I’m originally from Los Angeles, CA and hold a B.A. in English and Rhetoric (Highest Honors) from the University of California, Berkeley.