Director, Center for Interdisciplinary Studies
Ph.D., Harvard University
A.B. Princeton University
Fields: African American Literature; 19th and 20th Century American Literature; American Civil War Studies; Film and Television
Office Phone: 508-793-2563
Office: Fenwick 227A
PO Box: 20A
Office Hours: M 11-12, T 12:30-1:30, Thu 1-2
My scholarship stems from my interest in how wars (the Civil War; a science-fiction robot apocalypse; the "war on drugs"; the war against "aliens" breaching national security) shape American narratives about both the victors and the oppressed. My work explores not just historical memory, but also the ethics of rewriting and remembering war as pleasurable or beautiful; the exploitation of black and brown bodies; and how multicultural futures have been imagined. These are all vital questions that drive our current discourse about American citizenship, equality, and national history. I strive to forge new connections between genres and to place popular contemporary texts into deeper relationships with historical diaries, memoirs, and other archival holdings.
In the classroom, my goals are for students to gain an understanding of the historical context surrounding a text; to improve their ability to perform close readings; and to construct an original argument--verbal as well as written--for their interpretation of a text. Most of my elective courses include poetry, drama, fiction, and film or television so that students can see how each genre raises new questions about the relationships between form, content, and expression.
I currently live in Worcester but am a proud Baltimore native. I'm an avid sports fan, film and television viewer, and traveler. I always welcome new recommendations of what to see or where to go.
- Intro to Literary Studies
- Touchstones 2A: American Literature
- African American Literature
- Contemporary African American Literature
- Toni Morrison
- The Black Urban Experience
- Contemporary African American Drama
- English Honors Colloquium (2016-2017)
- Travel, Migration, and Fitting In
- Human and Posthuman Encounters
- "Miss T'rese's System: At Fault and Antebellum Nostalgia" in The New View from Cane River: Critical Essays on Kate Chopin's At Fault, ed. Heather Ostman (2022)
- "Can You Kill?: Vietnam, Black Power, and Militancy in Black Feminist Literature" in Black Cultural Production After Civil Rights, ed. Robert J. Patterson (2019).
- "'It's a New Day': The Wire, The Intuitionist, and the Promise of Urban Renewal." Quinsigamond Community College Sankofa Lecture Series. March 24, 2016. Worcester, MA.
- "'A Vast Holiday Frolic': The Touristic Potential of Sherman's March to the Sea." College Literature 43.1 (Winter 2016): 172-195.
- "XAYMACA." Co-authored with Shalisha Francis.