My area of specialization is transatlantic literature of the 18th and 19th centuries. My primary approach to literature is from a reconstructive perspective, meaning I conduct a vast amount of research using contemporary newspapers, magazines, essays, and miscellaneous texts to help reconstruct the socio-historical milieu from which each literary work emerged. I believe strongly in the intersections between culture and literature and strive to solidify these connections through the additional methods of close reading and biographical research. Although I study numerous authors, I have focused recently on Edgar A. Poe and Kate Chopin.
I have a further interest in the challenges of genealogical research related to African American lines, including the process of passing, or navigating the color line, during the early twentieth century.
One of my favorite aspects about researching is sharing my knowledge with my students. When possible, I enjoy working with students on their own research, whether it is conducted for one of my classes, as an undergraduate honors thesis, or as a practicum.
I have been fortunate to have great mentors in my life, and I hope to serve as an effective mentor as well.
18th- and 19th-Century British and American Literature
British and American Romanticism
Phi Beta Kappa Society
Modern Language Association