My primary field is comparative modernism. Studying the English, Irish, American, and Russian literary traditions, I explore the complex interrelation between literary innovation and history in the turbulent opening decades of the twentieth century. I enjoy teaching a broad range of courses in British and Irish literature, the Western literary tradition, and twentieth-century literature.
I am currently working on a book manuscript entitled “Modernism's Homer: The Odysseys of H.D., James Joyce, Osip Mandelstam, and Ezra Pound” that tracks the presence of the Homeric epic in the sociopolitical and literary projects of international modernist writing. I argue that modernist writers did not adapt the ancient Greek epic to flee from their eras into an idealized classical past; rather, these writers appropriated the Homeric epics to address some of their era’s most pressing concerns, from global warfare and empire to racial hatred, tyranny, and censorship. In responding to these urgent issues, they produced some of the century’s most astonishing art.
My research interests reflect the passion I bring to the classroom for helping students to draw connections between literary texts and sociocultural contexts as we begin to see the literary tradition handed down over the centuries as a living, evolving, contested, and fascinating conversation in which students are invited to participate.