Teaching Areas

My teaching areas include American literature since 1865; twentieth-century English-language poetry; the history and theory of the lyric; critical and literary theory; and gender and sexuality studies, with an emphasis on queer theory. I also have experience teaching with archives and directing student research on primary materials.

Teaching Philosophy

In both the literature and the composition classroom, my goal is to help students develop confidence and competency as critical readers, researchers, and writers. I have found the most effective way of achieving this goal is to design courses and assignments that encourage students to see themselves as developing authentic expertise in their chosen fields of study and to see their work as genuine, original contributions to extant scholarship.

As such, my courses tend to be built around a central assignment sequence rooted in independent study, in which students can take ownership of a topic, object, or question of their own choosing and become an expert on that subject over the course of the semester. These sequences culminate in a work of rigorously researched and, ideally, public-facing scholarship. Having worked hard to master a subject they have selected for themselves, students also develop a strong set of transferable skills that can be applied to a range of other projects and pursuits, regardless of their major or future career plans.

Courses Taught

ENG 101. Expository Writing: Engaging Television

A first-year composition course taking television as an object of study and occasion for writing. In addition to studying and responding to a range of TV criticism and theory, students work in groups to develop an online handbook to a series of their choosing.

ENG 181. Introduction to Writing About Literature: Imagining the City

This literature-focused freshman composition course explores representations of the city across a range of different texts and genres. From the 19th-century flâneur and the hardboiled detective to the urbanism of Jane Jacobs, students encounter and respond to diverse engagements with city spaces. As a capstone project, each student intensively researches a representation of the city of their own choosing and prepares a research paper as well as a conference presentation for the class.

ENG 205. Introduction to Poetry: Cruising the Difficult

The most common protest against poetry is that it is too difficult: “I just don’t get it!” This introduction to reading and writing about poetry addresses this concern head on, anatomizing the various kinds of difficulty poetry can present, and furnishing students with skills, tactics, and techniques for working through the different stumbling blocks poems can throw in their path. Throughout the semester, students will also engage with a contemporary poetry collection selected from the class library, completing a series of assignments unpacking the volume and locating it within a broader critical and literary historical context.

ENG 389. The Dream Machine: The Beat Generation and the Counterculture, 1940–1975

Designed to run alongside the exhibition of the same name at Emory’s Schatten Gallery, this class is an intensive introduction to Beat writing and its place within the broader postwar counterculture. In addition to becoming familiar with a range of postwar writers, artists, intellectuals, and social movement, students will work together to curate a student-led digital exhibition of primary materials drawn from Emory’s Rose Library. In this exhibition, students will translate their independent research into public scholarship, which will be promoted alongside the physical exhibition.