The courses I teach cover a broad swath of early British literature, while my research focuses more narrowly on early modern English literature and culture. I am particularly interested in exploring connections between literary studies, the history of education, book history, and the history of science and technology. My current manuscript-in-progress, Learned Professions: Representing Erudition in Early Modern England, examines the material and linguistic resources with which early modern individuals sought to fashion and contest claims to learnedness. My research focus on education and book history cannot help but inform my pedagogy. In classes such as “Shakespeare—Early Modern Contexts” and “Angels & Devils: Donne, Milton, and a Century of Crises,” I pair comedies with commonplace books, epics with engravings of anatomical dissections, and satires with sumptuary statutes; in so doing, I strive not only to train my students to unpack the ways in which literature is always enmeshed with social concerns about status, race, and gender, but also to show them how such techniques of literary interpretation can change the way we read the world around us. When I am not teaching, reading, or writing, I enjoy table-top strategy and role-playing games, making and printing linocuts, and biking. Whenever possible, I return to the hilltop farm in western Maine where I grew up; there, I love to help my children learn the seasonal activities—sapping, gardening, haying, cider-pressing, and more—that define and enrich each passing year.
B.A., Yale University; M.S.Ed. Fordham University; M.A., Ph.D., Boston University