I research and teach early American literature, colonial through the late nineteenth century. I am fascinated by the role literature played in shaping American cultural identities, and as such, my approach to literature is highly interdisciplinary. My research has focused largely on colonial and early national representations of Native Americans, and especially of whites captive to Native Americans. I am also very interested in the rise of the novel, and the “translation” of the British novel to the American context of the late 18th century.
I also have teaching and research interests in:
- African-American and Native-American literature, particularly in the role of literature in defining the ‘voice’ of marginalized communities;
- Critical theory, especially narrative theory, New Historicism, and poststructuralism;
- History of sexuality in Western culture, from the pre-modern to contemporary;
- Popular culture and film studies, particularly feminist film theory, science fiction, and fantasy.