Thematic Research Area
Period/Nation Research Area
MA, McMaster University
PhD, University of Western Ontario
I work and teach in the fields of Eighteenth-Century and Romantic British Literatures, Scottish Literature, and the environmental humanities. My first book Romanticism and the Gold Standard: Money, Literature, and Economic Debate in Britain 1790-1830 was published by Palgrave in 2013. I also co-edited two collections of essays, Theory and Practice in the Eighteenth Century: Writing Between Philosophy and Literature (with Christina Lupton, Pickering, 2008) and Spheres of Action: Speech and Performance in Romantic Culture (with Angela Esterhammer, Toronto, 2009). In 2018, with Selena Couture (University of Alberta), I published an edition of Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s last play, Pizarro for Broadview Press.
My current research is in Scottish Literature with a focus on ecology, colonialism, and the intersections between Anglo-Scottish and Gaelic cultures. I am working on two monographs. The first, “Clearances: Improvement and Dispossession in Scottish Romanticism” examines the complex ways that 18th and 19th century poetry, fiction, and journalism about the Highlands both participated in the ongoing assimilation of Gaelic-speaking peoples into British culture and provided venues for Celtic reaction and resurgence—that sometimes led, in turn, to more nuanced and often nefarious iterations of British imperialism. The second, funded by a SSHRCC Insight Grant and entitled “Imagining the Hebrides: Coastal Poetics in Eighteenth-Century Scotland” puts into dialogue the Anglo-Scottish and Gaelic archives of poetry, tourism, science, and politics surrounding attempts to establish a fishing industry in Na h-Eilean an-Staigh and Na-h Innse Gall (the Inner and Outer Hebrides) between 1650 and 1815. I am also currently editing two special issues on “Eighteenth-Century Coasts” (with Eric Gidal, U of Iowa) for Eighteenth-Century Studies and on the Highland Clearances for Studies in Scottish Literature and thinking about the ways that these subjects might inform historical and literary studies in British Columbia. I occasionally find time to tinker with a (very different!) project on mathematics, space, and eighteenth-century women writers (Cavendish, Lennox, Radcliffe, Austen) tentatively titled “Narrative Speculations.”
- 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
- “Highland Emigration and the Poetics of Whiteness” forthcoming in Questione Romantica (2022)
- “Bliadhna nan Caorach/The Year of the Sheep: Reading Highland Protest in the 1790s” Studies in Scottish Literature 46 (2020): 25-33.
- “Blackwood’s Pastoralism and the Highland Clearances” in Romantic Periodicals in the Twenty-First Century: Eleven Case Studies from Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, Ed. Tom Mole and Nicholas Mason, Edinburgh University Press, 2020. 137-158.
- “Objects Taken for Wonders in Equiano’s Interesting Narrative” in Romanticism and Speculative Realism. Ed. Anne McCarthy and Chris Washington, Bloosmbury Academic, 2019. 237-256.
- “‘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.