About Me

Rollins CollegeI am a visiting assistant professor of English at Rollins College, where I teach courses in British literature, including surveys for majors and seminars on Victorian literature, Romanticism, children’s literature, and the history of the novel. I also teach themed seminars introducing students to literature: past examples have included “literature and science” and “school stories.” I take a historical approach to literature, but in a modern context: my students blog, write Wikipedia entries, create ersatz Facebook profiles for literary characters, and test their scansion skills with For Better for Verse. In 2014-15 I was awarded a Faculty Instructional Technology Integration grant, which I will be using to develop my first-year composition course about Wikipedia (about which I’ve written quite a bit on this blog).

My research focuses on Romantic and Victorian literature. My book manuscript about childhood reading and the Victorian novel is currently under review, and my current book project explores how nineteenth-century writers connected educational policy to scientific discoveries about the mind, and how these connections were revealed in literary works. I’m also working on a series of articles about the Walt Disney Company’s adaptations of Victorian texts.

I received my Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 2012, and in a past life I was an amateur competitive ballroom dancer. Some of my performances are on YouTube (here and here), and I was featured in the short film Ballroom Boys, part of the Virginia Film Festival’s Adrenaline Film Project. I also participated in the 2011 Critter Ball, which raised over $100,000 for the Charlottesville SPCA. I received my B.A. from Pomona College, in California, where I double-majored in English and mathematics, and was on the swim team (my name is still in the Pomona record books). Though I don’t swim or dance much these days, I keep busy by playing disc golf and pick-up ultimate frisbee. My non-athletic hobbies include cooking and playing board games (I’m especially fond of Scrabble — my wife and I have been playing continuously almost since we started dating).