I study economies of knowledge in American literature and culture from the nineteenth century to the present. Topics of particular interest to me include history of science, gender, childhood, media studies, and digital humanities. My current book project, “Experimental: American Literature and the Aesthetics of Knowledge, 1880-1950,” argues that we must understand the concept of “experiment”—taken from the sciences—historically in order to speak rigorously about what makes literature experimental. Examining the places where notions of experiment are most under stress, I read works by Stephen Crane, Gertrude Stein, Marianne Moore, and William Carlos Williams in relation to epistemological limina like popular science (e.g. the overwhelmingly female Audubon Societies), the natural history museum, and “scientific” public spectacles like the magic lantern show, in addition to the biological and social sciences. Literary experimentalism, I argue, is not a hermetic formalism, but rather a historically specific aesthetics of knowledge that thrives best where the boundaries of epistemic authority are contested, often by the performance of gender, sexuality, race, and “popular” modes.
“Marianne Moore’s Precision.” Arizona Quarterly 67.4 (Winter 2011): 83-110.
“Sentimental Spaces: On Mei-mei Berssenbrugge’s Nest.” Jacket2 (23 May 2011).
“Introduction: Theory and the Virtues of Digital Humanities.” Journal of Digital Humanities 1.1 (April 2012).
COURSES: Readings in American Literature; Modernism and Childhood