Teaching

My teaching interests include American literature (especially C19-20), poetry and poetics, gender and feminist theory, history and philosophy of science, history and theory of childhood, realism and naturalism, and modernism, among other things. For some reason I also particularly love teaching Hawthorne. I’ve taught a good deal of composition, and my courses usually engage the craft of writing explicitly. I also seek to make explicit the ways that the technical skills proper to the discipline of literary studies (close reading, nuanced understanding of grammar and etymology, scansion, bibliography) connect with deep theoretical questions about literature and with interdisciplinary questions.

Students who wish to ask me for a letter of recommendation should consult this page.

I believe that writing realizes itself as a public form, not simply as a “product” (to be “consumed” by an audience) but also as it develops. If one is to write, one needs a number of skills that are rarely if ever taught: giving feedback, receiving and working with feedback, praising. In the spring of 2010 I wrote a short series of posts on some of these topics (with a more recent follow-up):

  1. Lofgeornost (on giving praise)
  2. How to respond to others’ writing
  3. Receiving feedback on writing, part I
  4. Receiving feedback on writing, part II
  5. If wishes were hobbyhorses (on receiving wacky suggestions)
  6. You can’t appreciate my genius (on feeling misunderstood)
  7. On bibliography-dumping (November 2011—on a kind of feedback that feels more helpful than it is)

While in grad school, I also wrote a short handout with tips for giving constructive feedback on writing, available here.

Spring 2017 (Sussex)

  • American Literature since 1890, part II (American Studies, Year 2, x2)
  • The Novel (English, Year 2, x2)
  • Lecture: William Shakespeare’s Tempest, for Texts in Time 2, Week 3
  • Lecture: Literature in the Age of Big Science: Three Myths, Two Whales, and an Argument, for Modern and Contemporary Symposium, Week 6
  • Lecture: Novel Theory, for The Novel, Week 6
  • Lecture: Neoliberalism and Feminism, for Critical Approaches 2, Week 10

Autumn 2016 (Sussex)

  • American Literature since 1890, part I (American Studies, Year 2, x2)
  • Modernism and Childhood (English and American Studies, Year 2, x2)
  • Lecture: Jean Toomer’s Cane, for Texts in Time 1, Week 6 [slides]

Spring 2016 (Sussex)

  • American Literature since 1890, part II (American Studies, Year 2, x2)
  • An American in Paris (English, American Studies, and History, Year 3/4, with Katharina Rietzler)

Autumn 2015 (Sussex)

  • Modernism and Childhood (English, Year 2, x2)
  • American Literature since 1890, part I (American Studies, Year 2, x2)
  • American Identities (American Studies, Year 1, x2)

Spring 2015 (Sussex)

Autumn 2014 (Sussex)

  • Lit 1860-1945 (Year 2 – Year 3, x3)
  • International Modernisms (MA)

Spring 2014 (Yale)

  • American Literary Realisms since 1880 (junior seminar; Yale)

Autumn 2013 (Yale)

  • Readings in American Literature (intro)
  • Modernism and Childhood (junior seminar)

Spring 2013 (Yale)

  • Modernism and Childhood (junior seminar)

Autumn 2012 (Yale)

  • Readings in American Literature (intro, x2)
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