I grew up in New Zealand, where I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Canterbury. My Ph.D is from Cornell University. My first monograph, Be It Ever So Humble: Poverty, Fiction, and the Invention of the Middle-Class Home (U of Virginia Press, 2013) won the Walker Cowen Prize for a study on an eighteenth-century topic. The book argues that fiction and discourse about poverty in Britain in the later eighteenth century collaborate to invent modern private domesticity and the first occupants of home — at least conceptually — are the poor rather than the middle-classes, who rapidly appropriate home for themselves. I have published articles on Economic themes in fiction and drama in Eighteenth-Century Fiction, ELH, and Eighteenth-Century Studies as well as articles in PMLA, Studies in Romanticism, and most recently work on animal voices in James Hogg’s pastorals in European Romantic Review.
I teach classes on British literature of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and the Romantic period. I specialize in the history of the novel, gothic fiction, studies in poverty, Scottish literature, and and the emergent sciences of perceptual physiology. I also work in critical theory, with a particular interest in animal studies, post-humanism, economic theory, and aesthetics.
- Be It Ever So Humble: Poverty, Fiction, and the Invention of the Middle-Class Home, University of Virginia Press, 2013.
- “Pastoral against Pastoral Modernity: Voices of Shepherds and Sheep in James Hogg’s Scotland,” European Romantic Review 26:5 (2015).
- “Sexual Arithmetic: Appetite and Consumer Desire in The Way of the World,” Eighteenth Century Studies 47:3 (Spring 2014).
- “Forward from MacFlecknoe: British Literature, 1660–the Present,” essay in Approaches to Teaching John Dryden, ed. Jayne Lewis and Lisa Zunshine. New York: Modern Language Association, 2013.
- “‘Stock the Parish with Beauties’: Henry Fielding’s Parochial Vision,” PMLA: Publications of the Modern Language Association 125:2 (May 2010).
- “An Englishwoman’s Workhouse is Her Castle: Poor Management and Gothic Fiction in the 1790s,” ELH (English Literary History) 74:3 (Fall 2007).
- “Breeches of Decorum: Addison, Montaigne, and the Figure of a Barbarian,” South Central Review 23:3 (Summer 2006).
- “Homunculus Economicus: Laurence Sterne’s Labor Theory of Literary Value,” Eighteenth-Century Fiction 18:1 (October 2005).
- “Confessions of a Gentrified Sinner: Secrets in Scott and Hogg,” Studies in Romanticism 41:1 (Spring 2002).
- “Ann Radcliffe’s Gothic Narrative and the Readers at Home,” Studies in the Novel 31:4 (Winter 1999).