I am a PhD candidate in the Department of English at Harvard University. My teaching and research focus on early modern literature, especially the drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries.
My dissertation examines ethical puzzles in early modern comedy. In “Ethics and Renaissance Comedy,” I ask why we condemn certain actions in real life but tolerate and celebrate them in the context of comedy. I address this question by examining comic conventions in plays by Beaumont, Chapman, Dekker, Fletcher, Greene, Heywood, Jonson, Lyly, Marston, Middleton, Shakespeare, and others. I argue that we can address ethical puzzles in literature by examining the generic conventions we assume when we encounter that literature. This work draws heavily on classical, early modern, and contemporary ethics and forms part of my larger scholarly project of exploring the relationship between literature and philosophy. My second project will address questions of epistemology in tragedy, tragicomedy, and romance.
My other areas of interest include early modern poetry, especially the work of Edmund Spenser; comedy, from the classical period through the twenty-first century; genre studies; rhetoric and its application to contemporary pedagogy; and the digital humanities. I am currently working with Stephen Greenblatt and other colleagues to create a HarvardX online course entitled “Shakespeare’s World.”
At Harvard, I served for two years as the co-coordinator of the Harvard Renaissance Colloquium. Between 2013 and 2015, our invited speakers included Sanford Budick, Bradin Cormack, Mary Crane, Julia Lupton, Leah Marcus, David Marno, Richard McCabe, Joe Moshenska, and Joseph Roach. I also coordinated the Harvard Graduate Symposium “Evidence” in 2014, for which Jonathan Culler served as keynote speaker and respondent.
I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BA in English and Mathematics in 2011.