Ph.D. Princeton University, 2010
M.A. Princeton University, 2005,
B.A. University of Puget Sound, 2001
I write about American and African American literature, political protest, popular culture, religion, education, and film. I am a Fellow at Ezra Stiles College and the Faculty Fellow at the University Church in Yale, and I teach in the Warrior-Scholar Project and the Freshman Scholars at Yale program.
“On Spinsters,” Los Angeles Review of Books, July 12, 2015
“The Man Who Recorded Walter Scott’s Death Deserves to Be Paid,” New Republic, April 23, 2015 (with Vesla Weaver)
“White Christmas and Black December.” Los Angeles Review of Books. December 23, 2014.
“What Veterans Have Taught Me About Teaching.” Huffington Post. November 11, 2014.
“White People Problems: A Time for Burning After Ferguson.” Killing the Buddha. September 17, 2014. (cited in The Village Voice and The New Inquiry)
“Young Adult Cancer Story.” Los Angeles Review of Books. July 16, 2014. (the most-read LARB article of 2014; named one of “the week’s best arts and culture reads” by the BBC; John Green called it “the best essay about The Fault In Our Stars I’ve read”)
“The Great Calvinist Reawakening.” Religion & Politics. June 17, 2014.
“Dear Flannery” (with Ashley Makar). Killing the Buddha. December 24, 2013.
“Should Working-Class People Get B.A.’s and Ph.D.’s?” (with Johanna Hopper). Chronicle of Higher Education. March 29, 2012. Reprinted in Money Changes Everything. Bedford/St Martin’s, 2013.
“Sandy Hook Sermon.” Preached at the University Church in Yale. Published in Killing the Buddha and the Huffington Post. December 16, 2012.
“Fundamentalism,” Critical Terms for Southern Studies, ed. Jennifer Greeson and Scott Romine, University of Georgia Press, forthcoming
“‘Over and Over and Over Again’: James Baldwin, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and the Afterlife of an American Story,” James Baldwin: America and Beyond, ed. Cora Kaplan and Bill Schwarz, Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 2011
“The City that Déjà Vu Forgot: Memory, Mapping, and the Americanization of New Orleans,” American Cinema and the Southern Imaginary, ed. Deborah Barker and Kathryn McKee, Athens, Georgia: University of Georgia Press, 2011
“The Bondage of Race and the Freedom of Transcendence in Frederick Douglass’s My Bondage and My Freedom,” Postgraduate English 4 (September 2001)
English 114: Writing Seminars (Friendship; American Documentary Film; Religion in America); English 120: Reading and Writing the Modern Essay