20th Century and Contemporary Literature; Queer Studies; Aesthetics; History of Literary Theory; Systems Theory
I study contemporary American literature and culture, aesthetics, and theories of gender and sexuality. At the University of Chicago, my research is supported in part by a residential fellowship in the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality. Before starting graduate studies, I held a post-baccalaureate fellowship in the Humanities Digital Workshop at Washington University in St. Louis, and I maintain secondary research interests in computational approaches to textual analysis.
My dissertation, "Style as Action: Novel Adaptations of the Contemporary," argues that styles coordinate aesthetic form and social content in ways that show how people move on intimately and politically in their changing worlds. On the one hand, the dissertation is a work of cultural history, tracking how different kinds of style emerge in the past 30 years, especially in fiction. On the other hand, it is a work of social theory, describing how people adapt to emerging racial, sexual, and environmental conditions and develop habits of inhabiting and surviving the present. Peer-reviewed publications in the orbit of the dissertation are forthcoming in NOVEL and Social Text.
Like my research, my teaching at the University of Chicago is interdisciplinary and much of it, such as my self-designed course, "Theories of Sexual Violence in American Culture," has been sponsored by the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality. Outside the classroom, I also regularly participate in the Gender and Sexuality Studies Workshop and the 20th and 21st Century Workshop, which I co-founded.