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. I am the author of three books. My new book, Paper Minds: Literature and the Ecology of Consciousness (Chicago, 2018), asks what distinctive knowledge the literary disciplines and literary form can contribute to discussions of perceptual consciousness, created and natural environments, and skilled engagement with the world. Portions have appeared in Critical Inquiry, Representations, and elsewhere. Before that, 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. And before that, 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 current research is on the aesthetics of designed environments, including the garden, the park, and the house. Finally, I’m director of the Lewis Walpole Library and the editor (with Steven Pincus) of the Lewis Walpole Series in Eighteenth-Century Culture and History for Yale University Press.
- “The Interdisciplinary Fallacy,” Representations, forthcoming Fall 2017.
- “Form and Explanation” (with Anahid Nersessian), Critical Inquiry, 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; English 126