GanzMarquette Hall 226
(414) 288-3480

Assistant Professor

I specialize in eighteenth-century British literature and culture, with particular interests in law and literature, gender studies, transatlantic studies, and the history of the novel. My research and teaching examine the ways in which imaginative writers engaged questions of justice and rights that were of broad public concern in the Enlightenment. My approach to these questions draws from my interdisciplinary background; I received a Ph.D. in English Literature and an M.A. in American Studies from Yale and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Before coming to Marquette, I held postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard and Stanford.


My book manuscript, Public Vows: Fictions of Marriage in the English Enlightenment, examines the ways in which novelists responded to and participated in debates about the contractual nature of the nuptial tie. Like many legal and social thinkers of their day, the book argues, writers including Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson, Frances Burney, and Mary Wollstonecraft imagine marriage as a public institution subject to regulation by church and state rather than a private agreement between two free individuals. Even as novelists shore up the state's control over marriage, however, they offer subtle critiques of the forms that its regulations take. In uncovering writers' complex engagements with the marriage controversies of the Enlightenment, Public Vows reveals the centrality of nuptial law to early fiction, while challenging accounts of a division between public and private life. My essays examine related questions concerning freedom, agency, and obligation. I have written on George Eliot's treatment of promising in the light of changing legal and philosophical ideas about consensual obligations, for example, and am currently completing essays that consider problems of criminal responsibility in Frankenstein and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. New projects include a book on feeling and ethics in eighteenth-century fiction, and a study of gender and violence in the transatlantic Enlightenment.

I teach a range of courses, from introductory surveys to special topics in eighteenth-century British and transatlantic literature, law and literature, and the history of the novel. Recent offerings include "Legal Fictions of the Enlightenment," "Literature and Politics in the Age of Revolution," and "Imagining the Criminal." I also maintain an active interest in pedagogy and have led workshops on teaching strategies for beginning and advanced instructors in the humanities and social sciences.


Teaching Fields


Office Hours

Fall 2014


Teaching Schedule


Fall 2014

Research Interests


Selected Publications




English Department

Marquette University, Marquette Hall 115 (campus map)
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881
(414) 288-7179
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