University of Western Ontario, PhD
McMaster University, MA

Before coming to the University of British Columbia in 2002, I taught at Northern Michigan University and held a SSHRCC Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Toronto, My first book, Romanticism and the Gold Standard: Money, Literature, and Economic Debate in Britain 1790-1830 was published by Palgrave in 2013. Although I continue to work in the field of literature and economics, I have recently expanded his research interests to include environmental humanities, agricultural improvement, and the history of science, especially in Scotland. My new work examines ideas and debates about land possession, soil chemistry, statistical surveying, rural labour, and agricultural technology circulated in Scottish literature and print culture in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries and especially how these debates affected changing concepts of nationalism, education, religious belief, and social class. I am now developing this research into two book projects: “The Highland Clearances in British Romanticism” and “Reading, Religion, and the Working Class in Scotland’s Age of Improvement.” 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 have also published articles on a variety of other topics including speculative realism, theory and education, the television program Justified, and Romantic period drama. I recently published with Selena Couture (University of Alberta) a new edition of Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s last play, Pizarro. I teach courses on British Romanticism and Eighteenth-Century Literature and on Critical Theory and Practice, especially post-humanism and speculative realism. I welcome supervisions on any aspect of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature as well as in critical theory and intellectual culture.

Curriculum Vitae


Recent Publications:


  • Pizarro by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Broadview Press, 2017. Edited with Selena Couture (University of Alberta).
  • 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

  • “Objects Taken for Wonders in Equiano’s Interesting Narrative” in Romanticism and Speculative Realism Ed. Anne C. McCarthy and Chris WashingtonForthcoming from Bloomsbury Academic, 2018.
  • “‘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 research 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. During the last few years, I have been examining 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. Over the next months, I will be developing this research into two book projects, applying for new funding, and compiling original data.