University of Western Ontario, PhD
McMaster University, MA

Before coming to the University of British Columbia in 2002, I received my PhD from the University of Western Ontario in 1999, held a SSHRCC Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Toronto, and taught at Northern Michigan University. Until recently, my primary area of research was literature and economics: Palgrave Macmillan published my first book, Romanticism and the Gold Standard: Money, Literature, and Economic Debate in Britain 1780-1830, in 2013. I have also published essays and collections on the intersections between language, writing, and speech, Romantic drama, genres of mourning, eighteenth-century media theory, and contemporary theories of the university. I am now pursuing a new SSHRCC-funded research project entitled “Scottish Agriculture and the Literature of Improvement in the Long Eighteenth-Century” and working on an edition of Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s last play Pizarro (1799) for Broadview Press (forthcoming). In 2013-14, I held Research Fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and at the Centre for the History of the Book, both at the University of Edinburgh.

I teach a wide range of course from first-year to post-grad. My main area of teaching is British Romanticism and I have recently taught courses on global travel in the Romantic period, Romantic historicism, and Romantic aesthetics. My current graduate seminars read British Romanticism alongside mew materialist philosophy, Speculative Realism, and Object-Oriented Ontology. I also regularly teach the introductory seminar for honours students on critical theory and practice. I welcome graduate students working on any aspect of eighteenth-century and Romantic period writing as well as on literature and economics, theory, ecology, or philosophy.

Recent Publications:


  • Romanticism and the Gold Standard: Money, Literature, and Economic Debate in Britain 1790-1830. Houndsmills: Palgrave, 2013.
  • Spheres of Action: Speech and Performance in Romantic Culture. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009. 353 pages. Co-edited with Angela Esterhammer.
  • Practice in the Eighteenth Century: Writing Between Philosophy and Literature. London: Pickering and Chatto, 2008.  313 pages. Co-edited with Christina Lupton.

Selected Recent Articles and Chapters

  • “‘A good deal of Trash’: Reading Societies, Religious Controversy, and Networks of Improvement in Eighteenth-Century Scotland.” Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies 38 (2015): 585-598.
  • “Frye, Derrida, and the University (to come)” in Educating the Imagination: A Centenary Edition in Honour of Northrop Frye Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2015.
  • “On Lecturing and Being Beautiful: Zadie Smith, Elaine Scarry, and the Liberal Aesthetic” (co-authored with Christina Lupton) English Studies in Canada 39 (2013): 115-137.
  • “British Romanticism and Paper Money” Literature Compass 10 (2013): 696-704.
  • “Scott and Political Economy” in The Edinburgh Companion to Walter Scott Fiona Robertson. Edinburgh UP, 2012. 118-129.
  • “Walter Scott and the Financial Crash of 1825: Fiction, Speculation, and the Standard of Value” in Ian Haywood, ed. Romanticism, Forgery and the Credit Crunch. Romantic Circles Praxis Series, 2012.

My current SSHRCC-funded project examines the literature of agriculture and ‘improvement’ during the Scottish Enlightenment and Romantic periods. After the collapse of the 1745 rebellion, Scotland experienced a profound and dramatic transformation as landowners, farmers, politicians, doctors, scientists, and philosophers reinvented their agricultural landscape on a modern and scientific footing. My project examines the ecological and cultural implications of this transformation through a close analysis of the literatures that developed in its wake, including geology and chemistry, intellectual journalism, antiquarianism, poetry, fiction, cheap periodicals, religious controversy, and illustrated books.

Research Networks:

  • Edinburgh Environmental Humanities Institute
  • Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies
  • University of Edinburgh Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities