Adjunct Assistant Professor of British Literature
His research and teaching interests include eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British literature and culture, poetry and poetics, the history of the novel, aesthetics, historiography and historicism, theories of emotion and affect, transatlanticism, as well as rhetoric and composition.
He has published on the role of poetry in Walter Scott's historical novel, Waverley. Currently he is completing articles that explore Adam Smith's sympathy for the dead as well as the fractured temporality of emotion in John Keats's poetry. His book project, tentatively titled British Romanticism at the Degree Zero of Emotion, locates the minor emotions that attend Romanticism's desire for an evocative past.
Convince. Debate. Respond. Foster consensus. Reason. Move your reader. Find a voice. Inspire action. This writing-intensive course develops the powers of persuasive writing and effective oral communication. Starting from the premise that writing well means engaging in conversation with others, students enter into dialogue with their peers about the self-selected topics that matter most to them. The semester builds toward a final in-class debate that dramatizes the give-and-take of academic arguments. Toward this end, we study essays by well-regarded writers and develop a shared vocabulary for analyzing the elements of an essay. Subsequent class meetings address the communication skills that are necessary for college-level work, including comparing and contrasting alternative viewpoints, experimenting with different ways to respond, assembling a critical conversation, seeing the other side's point of view, assessing an argument's effectiveness, and speaking with authority, credibility, and confidence.
This course examines the persistence of gothic fiction throughout the history of the novel. How does the gothic provide a mode or genre for exploring alternatives to the modern, self-governing individual, we ask? Moreover, why do eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British writers invariably put gothic tropes to work in novels that lay claim to realism? The seminar pursues a cultural-historical answer to these questions by considering the forms of subjectivity that the gothic both authorizes and renders phobic. The course concludes by investigating our ongoing fascination with the gothic as evident in contemporary reinterpretations of zombies, vampires, viruses, and other forms of mass life. Readings may include texts by Walpole, Radcliffe, Shelley, Eliot, Rossetti, Stevenson, Stoker, Collins, Conan Doyle, and Ishiguro.
This course asks students to examine the role of bodily sensation, feeling, and emotion in literary efforts to assess the credibility of historical representation. Is it possible to feel the past, we ask? What prompts such responses? How do writers adjudicate between their desire for a virtual experience of history and uncertainty about its adequacy or legitimacy? An initial unit investigates British Romantic literature and its emerging thirst for a visceral sense of history. To understand the legacy of Romanticism's demand to bring the past back to life, we subsequently consider several notable films, including Hitchcock's Vertigo, Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense, and Allen's Midnight in Paris. Students conclude the course by researching some of the more dubious elements of contemporary historical culture: among them, the "period rush" of civil war reenactment, the affect of Antiques Roadshow, and retro style. Key readings include texts by Wordsworth, Austen, Scott, and Keats. Prerequiste: one literature course.