Thematic Research Area
Period/Nation Research Area
PhD, Harvard University
MFA, University of Texas
I study postmodern and contemporary U.S. literature and culture, and I have published criticism on David Foster Wallace, Thomas Pynchon, John Edgar Wideman, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and others. I co-edited (with Christopher Leise) Pynchon’s Against the Day: A Corrupted Pilgrim’s Guide (University of Delaware Press, 2011), and my monograph, David Foster Wallace’s Balancing Books: Fictions of Value, was published by Columbia University Press in 2017. My articles, on subjects ranging from Barack Obama and Philip Roth to Breaking Bad, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Jonathan Lethem, have been published in Critique, Modern Fiction Studies, Twentieth-Century Literature, Textual Practice, MELUS, Studies in American Fiction, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Studies in Musical Theatre, and several edited collections, including The Cambridge Companion to David Foster Wallace, Pynchon in Context, Scale in Literature and Culture, and Literature and the Encounter with Immanence. See my publications list or personal website for full details.
I received my B.A. from Swarthmore College, my M.F.A. from the University of Texas-Austin’s Michener Center for Writers, and my Ph.D. from Harvard University. In 2008-09, I was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Texas-Austin. I have also taught at Wake Forest University and Deep Springs College. In 2009, I joined the faculty at UBC. I have received grants and fellowships from the Andrew Mellow Foundation, the Harry Ransom Center, Washington University Special Collections, and UBC’s Hampton Fund. In 2019 I was awarded a multi-year Insight Grant from Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for my current book project, “Postmodernism As They Found It: Contingent Transformations in U.S. Fiction, 1970-1976.”
David Foster Wallace’s Balancing Books: Fictions of Value. New York: Columbia University Press, 2017.
(Reviewed in American Literary History, Times Literary Supplement, Journal of American Studies, The Year’s Work in English Studies, and Orbit: A Journal of American Literature.)
Co-edited with Christopher Leise. Pynchon’s Against the Day: A Corrupted Pilgrim’s Guide. Newark, DE: University of Delaware Press, 2011.
“Memories of the Limbaugh Administration: 1990s Politics, Conservative Media, and Infinite Jest as a Novel of Radio.” English Literature 8 (December 2021): 71-89.
“David and DFW: A Brief Interview With Andrew Parker.” The Journal of David Foster Wallace Studies 1, no. 3 (Fall 2020): 177-187.
“‘Listen’: Wallace’s Short Story Endings and the Art of Falling Silent.” The Journal of David Foster Wallace Studies 1, no. 2 (December 2019): 167-189. Special issue on the short fiction, edited by Alice Bennett and Peter Sloane.
“‘Where all the paperwork’s done’: Pynchon’s Critique of Contracts.” Textual Practice 33, no. 3 (April 2019): 361-382. Special issue on “Pynchonomics,” edited by Douglas Haynes and Joanna Freer.
“‘Is it like a beat without a melody?’: Rap and Revolution in Hamilton,” Studies in Musical Theatre (Special Issue on Hamilton, ed. Peter Kunze) 12, no. 2 (2018): 141-152.
“‘A City of the Future’: Gravity’s Rainbow and the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair.” Twentieth-Century Literature 62, no. 2 (June 2016): 145-169.
“Collision, Illinois: David Foster Wallace and the Value of Insurance.” Modern Fiction Studies 62, no. 1 (Spring 2016): 136-156.
“‘Playing father son and holocaust’: The Imagination of Totalitarian Oppression in the Works of John Edgar Wideman.” MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States 41, no. 1 (Spring 2016): 72-92.
“‘Blank as the faces on coins’: Currency and Embodied Value(s) in David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King.” Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction 57, no. 1 (2016): 52-66.
“David Foster Wallace, James Wood, and a Source for ‘Irrelevant’ Chris Fogle.” The Explicator 73, no. 2 (2015): 129-132.
“‘Say yes’: Consent, Marriage, and History in the Drama and Fiction of Suzan-Lori Parks.” The Review of Contemporary Fiction 33, no. 3 (Fall 2014): 178-194. Special issue: “Novel-Writing Playwrights and Playwriting Novelists,” ed. Daniel Jernigan.
“In Fascism’s Footprint: The History of ‘Creeping’ and Vineland’s Poetics of Betrayal.” Pynchon Notes 56-57 (Spring-Fall 2009): 212-228.
“‘Get your map of America’: Tempering Dystopia and Learning Topography in The Plot Against America.” Studies in American Fiction 35, no. 2 (Autumn 2007): 221-239.
“The Untold Story Behind The Executioner’s Song: A Conversation with Lawrence Schiller.” The Mailer Review 1, no. 1 (Fall 2007): 81-117.
CHAPTERS IN COLLECTIONS
“Stages, Socrates, and the Performer Stripped Bare: David Foster Wallace as Philosopher-Dramatist.” In Between Philosophy and Literature: New Perspectives on the Work of David Foster Wallace. Eds. Allard den Dulk, Adriano Ardovino, and Pia Masiero. Manchester University Press. Forthcoming in 2022.
“Very Old Land: David Foster Wallace and the Myths and Systems of Agriculture.” In David Foster Wallace in Context. Ed. Clare Hayes-Brady. Cambridge University Press, 2022. 314-324.
“Bold New Forms: Genre and the Generic.” In Don DeLillo in Context, ed. Jesse Kavadlo. Cambridge University Press, 2022. 165-171.
“The Cold War Encyclopedic Novel.” In The Bloomsbury Handbook to Cold War Literary Cultures, ed. Greg Barnhisel. Bloomsbury, 2022. 35-45.
“David Foster Wallace.” In The Encyclopedia of American Fiction 1980-2020, eds. Patrick O’Donnell, Stephen J. Burn, and Lesley Larkin. Wiley-Blackwell, 2022. 1388-1393.
“Wallace as Major Author: Teaching the Oeuvre.” In Stephen J. Burn and Mary K. Holland, eds., Approaches to Teaching the Works of David Foster Wallace. New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 2019. 85-93.
“Class and Capitalism.” In Thomas Pynchon in Context, ed. Inger Dalsgaard. Cambridge University Press, 2019. 195-202.
“‘Homer is my role model’: Father-Schlemiels, Sentimental Families, and Pynchon’s Affinities with The Simpsons.” In Pynchon, Sex, and Gender, Ali Chetwynd, Joanna Freer, and Georgios Maragos, eds. University of Georgia Press, 2018. 194-208.
“Wallace’s Nonfiction.” In The Cambridge Companion to David Foster Wallace, ed. Ralph Clare. Cambridge University Press, 2018. 111-125.
“David Foster Wallace.” In Critical Survey of American Literature, ed. Steven G. Kellman. Salem Press and Grey House Publishing, 2017. 3117-3123.
“Cutting Consciousness Down To Size: David Foster Wallace, Exformation, and the Scale of Encyclopedic Fiction.” In Scale in Literature and Culture, David Wittenberg and Michael Tavel Clarke, eds. Palgrave Macmillan, 2017. 281-303.
“‘We’ve been inside what we wanted all along’: David Foster Wallace’s Immanent Structures.” In Brynnar Swenson, ed., Literature and the Encounter with Immanence. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill Press, 2017. 8-29.
“‘A terrible inertia’: Thomas Pynchon’s Cold War History of 9/11 and the War on Terror in Bleeding Edge.” In Victoria M. Bryan and Heather Pope, eds., Reflecting 9/11: New Narratives in Literature, Film, Television and Theatre. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016. 77-95.
“On the red couch: Breaking Bad and the Refusal of Therapy.” In Matthew Wanat and Leonard Engel, eds., Breaking Down Breaking Bad: Critical Perspectives. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2016. 49-60.
“Memorializing Post-9/11 New York in Jonathan Lethem’s Chronic City.” In Paul Petrovic, ed., Representing 9/11: Trauma, Ideology, and Nationalism in Literature, Film, and Television. Rowman & Littlefield, 2015. 17-27.
“Obama’s Voices: Politics and Performance on the Dreams from My Father Audiobook.” In Matthew Rubery, ed., Audiobooks, Literature, and Sound Studies. New York: Routledge, 2011. 159-177.
“‘The abstractions she was instructed to embody’: Women, Capitalism, and Artistic Representation in Against the Day.” In Jeffrey Severs and Christopher Leise, eds., Pynchon’s Against the Day: A Corrupted Pilgrim’s Guide. Newark, DE: University of Delaware Press, 2011. 215-238.