I received my PhD in 2017 from the Department of English at Harvard University. My teaching and research focus on early modern literature, especially the comedies of Shakespeare and his contemporaries.
I am currently writing a book based on my dissertation, which examined 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 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 series of HarvardX online courses on Shakespeare. I am also a producer for the podcast Ministry of Ideas, an initiviative of the Religious Literarcy Project at Harvard Divinity School.
I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BA in English and Mathematics in 2011.