PhD University of Chicago, 2011
MA University of Chicago, 2005
BA Reed College, 2004
My research and teaching focuses on the novel form and the theories connected to it, combining a formalist investigation of textual mechanics with an interest in studies of gender, sexuality, race, and world literature. I focus primarily on British and Irish literature of the long 18th century, but with a comparative and transnational approach that invariably delves into other traditions as well. Before I came to Ithaca college, I taught at the English Department at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois, for 5 years, and at the Program of Cultures, Civilizations, and Ideas at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey, for 3 years.
My book, Estranging the Novel: Poland, Ireland, and Theories of World Literature (published by Johns Hopkins University Press in August 2021) offers a new way of thinking about the development of the novel as a genre. I argue against the standard narrative of the novel's rise on two fronts, arguing that the focus on Anglo-French fiction, on the one hand, and realism, on the other, gives us an overly narrow sense of the novel's potential, and skews our readings of fiction from "other" parts of the world. I use close readings of pairs of books from Poland and Ireland, spanning the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries, to demonstrate how mainstream theories of the novel fail to engage their most innovative features, because they do not conform to emerging conventions of realist fiction. Examining the features of these works that have been seen as deviations from the novel's teleology, such as satire, interlaced tales, or the use of the supernatural, I present them as efforts to theorize the potential of the form; investigations of the novel's world-building powers.
I am jointly appointed in both Literatures in English and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and teach introductory courses in both departments, as well as courses in eighteenth-century literature, and feminist fiction and theory. In my copious free time, I also do some translation, from Polish to English. I have translated several texts by Zygmunt Bauman, including Sketches in the Theory of Culture (Polity 2018), Of God and Man (Polity 2015), and Culture and Art (2021). I am currently completing a translation of a book about Bauman's work by Dariusz Brzeziński.
Estranging the Novel: Poland, Ireland, and World Literature Studies (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2021)
"Two Paths for the Big Book: Olga Tokarczuk's Shifting Voice", Genre 54.1 (Spring 2021)
"Constructing a Case: Reflections on Comparative Studies, World Literature, and Theories of the Novel's Emergence," Comparative Literature, 69:3 (September 2017)
"From Fantastic to Familiar: Jan Potocki's Manuscript Found in Saragossa," Nineteenth-Century Contexts 37:4 (2015)
"Sincerely Ironic: Romance at the Edges of Europe," in Where Motley is Worn: Transnational Irish Literature, edited by Moira Casey and Amanda Tucker. Cork University Press: 2014.
Recent digital publications, book reviews, and public writing:
Gothic and Detective Fiction
The Matter of Black Lives in the Long 18th Century
Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies
Jane Austen and Her Contemporaries
Approaches to Literary Study