Areas of expertise

Nineteenth-century American literature;

Gender and women's studies;

Law and literature;

Ethnic literatures of the U.S.

My book project, Romancing the Law: Marriage and Property in Antebellum America, considers the influence of married women's property reform on domestic novels.  Portions of this project have appeared in The New England Quarterly and in African American Review, and another is forthcoming in a collection of essays on E.D.E.N. Southworth.  In addition, I specialize in the works of Elizabeth Stoddard, and a selected of her letters that I edited, with Jennifer Putzi, is forthcoming from the University of Iowa Press.

At Southwestern, I teach a range of courses in early American literature, from "beginnings" through approximately 1865, as well as First-Year Seminar and the American literature survey course.  In Spring 2011, I had the exciting opportunity to team-teach a community-based learning course, called Slavery in Texas, with my colleague, Carina Evans.  I am also a faculty participant in the Paideia Program.


Ph.D., University of North Carolina
M.A., University of Chicago

Teaching Philosophy

I believe that literary analysis and argument-based writing are rooted in skills that can be practiced and honed. I structure class time so that it is heavily focused on active student learning and participation, but I also incorporate lectures that give students a broader context of the culture of a particular text. I am an advocate of new instructional technologies that can further enliven and extend the intellectual community of the classroom.

Previous Courses

The Literature of Texas Slavery; Literary Analysis and Methods; Capstone: The History of the Book; Early American Women Writers; Law and Literature in Nineteenth-Century America; Sex and Sin in Early America; Literature of the Noir; American Literature Survey; First-Year Seminar


Honors & Awards

Mellon Integrated Scholarly Community Grant, 2010.