Ph.D., English and Comparative Literature (Columbia University)
My research focuses on the ways in which the modernist literatures of the British Isles and the British Empire envision history and construct identity. I am especially interested in the role played in both processes by different kinds of geographical space. My current book project, The Sea Has Many Voices: British Modernism and the Maritime Historical Imagination, brings together modernist studies, postcolonial studies, oceanic studies, and the environmental humanities to argue that the ocean's multifaceted meanings in British culture between the 1890s and the 1950s profoundly shaped how British modernist literary works conceive of and represent history. I show how this multifarious cultural significance of the sea enabled a range of modernist writers from Britain and its empire, including Rudyard Kipling, Joseph Conrad, Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, and Derek Walcott, to use the sea as an especially rich means of exploring and questioning the course, nature, and meaning of British imperial history and human history more broadly. My second project will examine the portrayal of internal frontiers between the nations of the British Isles in 20th-century British and Irish literature, concentrating on the way in which the depiction of such frontier spaces channels the longstanding processes of contact, conquest, and exchange that created and continue to shape the British state.
Research interests: 19th- and 20th-century British, Irish, and global Anglophone literature; colonial and postcolonial literatures; nationalism and national identity; British history and historiography; temporality and philosophy of history; spatial and geographical approaches to literary study; maritime literature; medievalismPublications
Articles and Book Chapters:
"Oceans and Empire," in The Oxford Handbook of Virginia Woolf, ed. Anne Fernald (forthcoming)
"Herman Melville and C. L. R. James: Oceanic Fears, Maritime Hopes." Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal (forthcoming)