Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1995
M.A. Johns Hopkins University, 1992
B.A. Cornell University, 1989
My research and teaching is in eighteenth century literature and philosophy, philosophical approaches to literature, and cognitive science and the arts. My first book—Making the English Canon: Print Capitalism and the Cultural Past, 1700-1770 (Cambridge, 1999)—examined the role of criticism and aesthetic theory in the creation of a national literary tradition. My second—Actions and Objects from Hobbes to Richardson (Stanford, 2010)—considered representations of mind and material objects along with theories of action during the long eighteenth century. Building on this study, my current book project asks what distinctive knowledge the literary disciplines and literary form can contribute to discussions of such topics as perceptual consciousness, created and natural environments, and skilled engagement with the world. Portions have appeared in Critical Inquiry and elsewhere.
“Form and Explanation,” (with Anahid Nersessian), Critical Inquiry, forthcoming, Spring 2017
“An Aesthetics and Ecology of Presence.” European Romantic Review, 2015.
“Literary Studies and Science, a Reply to my Critics.” Critical Inquiry, 2012.
“Living with Lucretius.” in Vital Matters: Eighteenth-Century Views of Conception, Life, and Death (Toronto, 2012).
“Against Literary Darwinism.” Critical Inquiry, 2011.
“Recent Studies in the Restoration and Eighteenth Century.” SEL, 2010.
Actions and Objects from Hobbes to Richardson (Stanford, 2010)
“Empiricism, Cognitive Science, and the Novel.” The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, 2007.
“Literary Criticism Among the Disciplines.” Eighteenth-Century Studies, 2002
Making the English Canon: Print Capitalism and the Cultural Past 1700-1770 (Cambridge, 1999).
Politics, Philosophy, and Ecology in Eighteenth-Century English Literature.
Literature and Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century.