2017-20 Roop Distinguished Professor of English

Office Hours:
T/TH 12:30-2:00 PM

Courses Fall 2018: 
ENG 334: Contemporary Drama
ENG 410: Advanced Studies in Author: Poe and Adaptation (Double Section Team Teach with Hefner)

Nineteenth-Century American Literature, American Novel, Theater History, Performance Theory, History of Science, Medical Humanities

Ph.D., English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University, 2004
M.Phil., English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University, 2001
School of Criticism and Theory, Cornell University, Summer 1998
M.A., English and Comparative Literature, University of Virginia, 1998
B.A., English (Honors), University of Chicago, 1997

Research and Publications:

Minding the Body: The Animate Body in Antebellum American Literature, manuscript, ~90,000 words, advance contract from Oxford University Press, in progress

Watchword: The Time Signatures of Antebellum American Narrative, manuscript, in progress 

Pioneer Performances: Staging the Frontier. New York: Oxford University Press, 2012 (paperback 2014). 

Reviewed in:
  • Modern Language Review 110:2 (April 2015): 532-533.
  • American Literary History Online Review, Series I (January 2015)
  • American Quarterly 66:2 (June 2014): 453-463.
  • American Literature 86:2 (June 2014): 409-411.
  • Theatre Journal 66:1 (March 2014): 170-172.
  • Modern Drama 56:3 (Fall 2013): 413-415.
  • Journal of American Studies 47:1 (February 2013): 273-275.
  • Great Plains Quarterly 33:1 (Winter 2013): 63-64.
  • Comparative Drama 46:4 (Winter 2012): 560-562.


“Billy’s Fist: Neuroscience and Corporeal Reading in Melville’s Billy Budd,” Nineteenth-Century Literature (revise and resubmit)

“Ontological Drift: Medical Discourse and Racial Embodiment in Robert Montgomery Bird’s Sheppard Lee,” ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance 61:2 (2015): 262-96.

“Minding the Body: Benito Cereno and Melville’s Embodied Reading Practice.” Studies in the Novel 41:2 (Summer 2009): 157-177.

“Thomas Dartmouth Rice.” In American Countercultures: An Encyclopedia of Nonconformists, Alternative Lifestyles, and Radical Ideas in U.S. History. Ed. Gina Misiroglu. New York: M.E. Sharpe, 2008.

“What Is It?: The Frontier, Melodrama, and Boucicault’s Amalgamated Drama.” The Journal of American Drama and Theatre 19:3 (Fall 2007): 5-33.

“Edwin Forrest’s Redding Up: Elocution, Drama, and Performing the Frontier.” Comparative Drama 40:4 (Winter 2006-7): 455-81.

“Flaying Dutchman: Masochism, Minstrelsy, and the Gender Politics in Amiri Baraka’s Dutchman.” Callaloo 26:3 (Summer 2003): 796-812.

“’Incest is Best (When It’s Kept in the Family)’: Staging a Re-conceptualization of the Oedipal Family Matrix in Paula Vogel’s How I Learned to Drive.” Queen: A Journal of Rhetoric and Power 1:1 (2000).


Karl M. Kippola, Acts of Manhood: The Performance of Masculinity on the American Stage, 1825-1865 (Palgrave Macmillan 2012) in Nineteenth-Century Theatre and Film 40:2 (Winter 2013): 139-141.

Martin Puchner, Poetry of the Revolution: Marx, Manifestos, and the Avant-Gardes (Princeton UP 2005) in Modern Drama 50:3 (Fall 2007): 465-467.

National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend, 2016

College of Arts and Letters Summer Research Fellowship, James Madison University, 2015

National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend Finalist, 2014, 2009, 2008

Development Grant (for marketing campaign for MA program in English), The Graduate School, James Madison University

Visiting Scholar, American Antiquarian Society, 2013-14

College of Arts and Letters Summer Research Fellowship, James Madison University, 2012

Edna T. Shaeffer Humanist Award, James Madison University, 2013

International Development Grant, Office of International Programs, James Madison University, 2012

Center for Instructional Technologies Institute for Online Course Development Grant, James Madison University

Faculty Sabbatical, College of Arts and Letters, James Madison University, 2008-9

Stanley J. Kahrl Fellowship in Theatre History, Harvard University, 2007-8 Edna T. Shaeffer Summer Research Award, James Madison University, 2008

Andrew W. Mellon Dissertation Fellowship, 2003-4

Andrew W. Mellon Summer Research Grant at the Huntington Library, 2003

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Columbia University, Teaching Honorarium, 2003

Andrew W. Mellon Initiative Grant (conference on academic “citizenship”), 2002

Bradley Fund Grant, 2001

School of Theory and Criticism Summer Grant (awarded by Johns Hopkins and Cornell Universities), 1999

Jacob K. Javits Fellowship, 1997-2001

Recent Presentations and Lectures:
“Elongation, or the Present Tense Perfected,” International Society for the Study of Narrative, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2016

“Hawthorne’s Present Tense Perfected: The Time Signature of The House of the Seven Gables,” C19, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA, 2016

“Unsettled Bodies, Fraught Environments: Subjectivity and Science in 19th-Century American Culture,” Chair, C19, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA, 2016

“The Stakes of Digital Scholarship of Theater and Performance,” Co-Chair, American Society for Theatre Research, Portland, OR, 2015

“Medicine in Hand: The Haptic Therapeutics of Whitman and Alcott’s Civil War Writings,” Invited Lecture, University of Pittsburgh Humanities Center, 2015

“Muscle Memory: Theater History and Forrest’s Laboring Body,” Modern Language Association (ATDS-sponsored panel), Vancouver, BC, 2015

“Body of Thought: Forrest’s Laboring Body,” Invited Lecture, University of Toronto, 2015

“Melville’s Untimely Pleasures: The Temporality of Reading in Typee,” American Studies Association (SHARP-sponsored panel), Los Angeles, CA, 2014

“Hawthorne’s Untimely: The Dialectic of Time in The House of the Seven Gables,” Hawthorne in the Berkshires, Nathaniel Hawthorne Society, North Adams, MA, 2014

“Ontological Drift: Medical Discourse and Racial Embodiment in Sheppard Lee,” American Literature Association, Washington, DC, 2014

“Stomaching Literature: The Proto-Cognitive Turn in American Letters,” C19, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, 2014

“Billy’s Fist: Neural Science, Embodiment, and Melville’s Late Style,” American Literature Association, Boston, MA, 2013

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