Ph.D., University of Delaware
M.A., University of Delaware
B.A., SUNY Geneseo
What was the lived experience of readers and writers during the 19th century? This question informs much of my teaching and research interests, in which I take a cultural studies approach to Victorian and Romantic literature. For instance, how can learning a 19th-century social dance help us to understand one of Jane Austen's ballroom encounters? What does data about publishing practices and book circulation in the 1820s and 1830s reveal about how we interact with literature today?
From 2011-17, we will be marking the 200th anniversaries of Jane Austen's novels, and I am currently undertaking a book project that examines critical and popular responses to her work during the Victorian period. I am also the author of Fashioning the Silver Fork Novel (Pickering & Chatto, 2012) and Literature and Dance in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Cambridge UP, 2009) and editor of Byron: Heritage and Legacy, (Palgrave, 2008) and Michael Field and Their World (with Margaret D. Stetz, Rivendale, 2007).
In addition to focusing on the 19th century, I also write about and teach courses in women's literature, chick lit and young adult literature. Working in these areas raises questions about literary value—what "counts" as good literature or important literature and why should we be reading and talking about it? In studying these texts, we apply a range of critical and theoretical perspectives to questions about publication and popularity.
Recently, I've become interested in the study of higher education and had the opportunity to collaborate with College of Arts and Sciences Dean Laura Bryan on Shaping Work-Life Culture in Higher Education: A Guide for Academic Leaders (Routledge, 2014). I look forward to continued collaborations with my colleagues and explorations in this field.
When I'm not reading, writing or teaching, I'm often traveling. I enjoy following the footsteps of my favorite writers around England or in British archives, and recent trips have also included Japan, Turkey, Denmark, Norway and Italy.