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Office: Keezell 212

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.


“The Unfinished Drama of the American Civil War.”  In The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of the American Civil War and Reconstruction.  Eds. Kathleen Diffley and Coleman Hutchinson.  Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press (forthcoming 2022).

“Coagulating Consciousness: Neural Historicism and the Onto-Possibilities of Edgar Huntly,” Early American Literature 56.2 (Summer 2021): 441-469.

Editor, Forum on “Nineteenth-Century American Theater and Performance, J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists (forthcoming 2018)

“Introduction: ‘Nineteenth-Century’ ‘American’ ‘Theater’ and ‘Performance,’” J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists (forthcoming 2018)

“Billy’s Fist: Neuroscience and Corporeal Reading in Melville’s Billy Budd,”  Nineteenth-Century Literature 72:2 (September 2017): 218-44.

“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).


Michelle Granshaw, Irish on the Move: Performing Mobility in American Variety Theatre (University of Iowa Press, 2019) in Theatre Journal 73.2 (June 2021): 256-257.

Lindsay Tuggle, The Afterlives of Specimens: Science, Mourning, and Whitman’s Civil Wa (University of Iowa Press, 2017) in American Literary History Online Review, Series XVI (2018).

John Funchion, Novel Nostalgias: The Aesthetics of Antagonism in Nineteenth-Century U.S.  Literature (Ohio State UP, 2015) in Studies in the Novel 50:2 (Summer 2018): 303-305.

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.


Cinquegrana Presidential Chair of Faculty Teaching Excellence and Research Finalist, James Madison University, 2019

Goodman Faculty Fellowship Endowment for Excellence in Teaching, James Madison University, 2017

Edna T. Shaeffer Humanist Award, James Madison University, 2017

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

Conference Presentations:

“Hawthorne’s Future Perfect,” Chair, C19, University of Miami, Miami, FL, 2020

“Melodrama at Present: The Octoroon, An Octoroon, and Melodrama After Brecht,” C19, University of Miami, Miami, FL, 2020

“American Literature without Authors,” (Presidential Theme Panel), Chair, Modern Language Association, Chicago, IL, 2019

“Compression, or, the Time Signature of Melvlle’s Typee,” C19, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, 2018

“Time to Panic: Making it Personal in a Climate of Unrest,” C19, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, 2018

“Poisoned and Possessed: Neuroscience and the Animate Body in Hawthorne and Poe,” American Literature Association, San Francisco, CA, 2018

“The Ontology of the Squeeze: Will Power, Embodiment, and Schopenhauer in Moby-Dick,” Melville in London Conference, London, UK, 2017

“Bird Brains and Forrest Bodies,” Modern Language Association, Philadelphia, PA, 2017

“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

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

Invited Lectures:

“A Neural Literary History of the United States,” Hyman Center for the Humanities, Columbia University, NY, 2019

“Henry Box Brown’s Double Consciousness,” University of California, Santa Barbara’s Literature and the Mind Center & American Cultures and Global Context Center, Santa Barbara, CA, 2018

“A Short, Dangerous History of the Frontier Theater,” Frontier Culture Museum, Staunton, VA, 2018

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

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

“Forrest’s Muscles,” University of Maryland, MD, 2010


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