Professor of English
Massachusetts Hall - 206
Examines examples of overwhelming love in eighteenth and nineteenth century novels from England, France, and Germany. Through close reading and intensive writing, considers the intersection of love with the difficulties created by class and gender difference; the power of desire to challenge social convention and the terms of ordinary reality; the confrontations between love, egotism, and seduction; and the implications of love’s attempt to dare all, even at the risk of death. Discusses the political overtones of these narratives of love and their place within the construction of gender, sexuality and subjectivity in Western culture. Authors may include Prevost, Goethe, Laclos, Hays, Austen, Bronte, and Flaubert.
Examines the rise of and reactions to the literature of radical sensibility in the wake of the French Revolution. Focuses upon such topics as apocalyptic lyricism, anarchism, non-violent revolution, and the critique of marriage, family, male privilege, and patriarchal religious belief, as well as the defense of tradition, attacks on radical thinking, and the depiction of revolution as monstrosity. Discusses poetic experimentation, innovations in the English novel, and the intersections between political writing and the Gothic. Authors may include Burke, Paine, Blake, Wollstonecraft, Godwin, Opie, Percy Shelley, and Mary Shelley.
Ph. D., University of California, Riverside, 1987
English romanticism and British literature, 1780-1835; literary and cultural theory; English literature and social power; gay and lesbian studies; disaster; antirealist and/or uncanny literature.
English romanticism; the Gothic; secularization; the cultural consequences of anticipating climate change; queer theory; Lacanian cultural theory; the critique of economics.
Disastrous Subjectivities: Romanticism, Catastrophe, and the Real.
Stolen Future, Broken Present: The Human Significance of Climate Change. Open Humanities Press and University of Michigan Library, 2014.
Radio Ecoshock interview by Alex Smith
Monstrous Society: Reciprocity, Discipline, and the Political Uncanny, c. 1780-1848. Bucknell University Press, 2009.
Wordsworthian Errancies: The Poetics of Cultural Dismemberment. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994.
"The Force of Indirection: 'Tintern Abbey' in the History of Mood." In British Romanticism: Criticism and Debates, edited by Mark Canuel, Routledge, 2015, 409-417
"Emotion Without Content: Primary Affect and Pure Potentiality in Wordsworth," in Romanticism and the Emotions, edited by Joel Faflak and Richard Sha, Cambridge University Press, 2014, 171-191.
Romanticism and Disaster. Co-edited with Jacques Khalip. Special issue of Romantic Circles Praxis, 2012.
After the Covenant: Romanticism, Secularization, and Disastrous Transcendence. European Romantic Review 21 (2010): 345-61.
The Discipline of Death: Knowledge and Power in An Essay on the Principle of Population. European Romantic Review 18 (2007): 223-230.
"The Romance of the Impossible: William Godwin in the Empty Place of Reason".
ELH: English Literary History 70 (2003): 847-874.
"On the Modest Tone of Recent Work in Romantic Studies." College Literature 28 (2001): 207-214.
"The Harsh Delights of Political Duty: Thelwall, Coleridge, Wordsworth, 1795-1799." Romantic Wars: Studies in Conflict and Culture, 1793-1822. Edited by Philip Shaw. Pages 57-79. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000.