My primary fields of research include eighteenth-century British literature, disability and queer studies, deaf studies, and sound studies. My research examines the literary histories of deafness and disability from the eighteenth century forward. I also have a secondary interest in queer literature and poetry leading up to and following the Stonewall Riots (1969). I enjoy teaching a range of classes in eighteenth-century literature, gothic fiction and film, and disability and LGBTQ+ studies. My courses routinely challenge students to think transhistorically about intersections of disability, sexuality, gender, and race in the literature and theory we read together. I prioritize accessibility in my classrooms and I also seek to build communities of care and foster collaborative intellectual endeavor.
My book, Novel Bodies: Disability and Sexuality in Eighteenth-Century British Literature (Bucknell University Press–Transits Series, 2019), examines how fictional representations of physical disability, deafness, and chronic illness inform the emergence of modern regimes of gender and sexuality. I argue that various authors represent queer and disabled characters in their fiction to reconfigure the political and social landscapes of eighteenth-century Britain. My writing on this and other topics has appeared or is forthcoming in Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, Eighteenth-Century Fiction, Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies, The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, Romantic Circles, The Rambling, and in various edited collections. My research has been supported by the Newberry Library, the Harry Ransom Center, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Helen Way Klingler Foundation, and the Mary Wagenschein Foundation.
Currently, I am working on two book projects. The first of these, Deaf Resonances: Deafness, Sound, and Multimodal Communication in Eighteenth-Century British Literature, examines how literary depictions of deafness, sound, nonverbal communication, multisensory perception, and resonance–a key auditory concept concerning vibration and relationality–helped to define the culture of sensibility. I argue that the emergence of deaf education in eighteenth-century Britain (and also in France) is a pivotal historical development whose archival details offer valuable insights into the social relations depicted in the fiction of this period.
The other project is a creative biography that narrates the life of my deceased uncle, Joe LeSueur, a queer author who was the lover, friend, and roommate of the celebrated New York School poet, Frank O’Hara. This project details my quest to learn about my uncle (whom I only met once as a child) from the various forms of writing he published–including a pulp novel, a book of concrete poetry, theater reviews, soap operas, and memoirs. An excerpt from this project appears in The Rambling.
Due in part to my deafness, I have learned firsthand about the importance of accessibility. I am involved in various collaborative efforts to enhance accessibility for disabled faculty and students, including in my recent appointments as a member of Marquette’s ADVANCE team and MLA’s Committee for Disability Issues. I write in public forums about accessibility at conferences and in classrooms with the goal of establishing more inclusive communities.
- Eighteenth-Century British Literature
- Gothic Fiction and Film
- Disability and Literature
- LGBTQ+ Narratives: Literature, Film, and Theory
- Introduction to Literary Studies
- First-Year Honors Seminar (“Reimagining Disability”)
- Disability Theory
- Literary Studies
- Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Studies
- Disability Studies
- Queer Studies
- Health Humanities
- Sound Studies
- “Disability,” Daniel Defoe in Context, eds. George Justice and Al Rivero, Cambridge University Press (forthcoming).
- “Improvisational Accessibility and Romanticism,” Romantic Circles special issue, “Wellbeing in the Classroom,” eds. B Pladek and Emily B. Stanback (forthcoming).
- “Feeling for Deaf Resonance in the Eighteenth Century and Beyond,” Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies 17.1 (2023).
- “Disability as Metaphor and Lived Experience in Samuel Richardson's Pamela and Sarah Scott's Millenium Hall,” Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture. Vol 50 (2021): 309-12
- “The Queer Kinship of Our Literary Lives: A Tribute to My Uncle Joe LeSueur (and Frank O’Hara),” The Rambling. Issue 5, 2019.
- Novel Bodies: Disability and Sexuality in Eighteenth-Century British Literature, Bucknell University Press (Transits Series: Literature, Thought & Culture, 1650-1850) 2019.
- “Crip Gothic: Affiliations of Disability and Queerness in Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto (1764),” in The Routledge Companion to Literature and Disability, 2020.
- “My Novel Body,” Bucknell UP Blog, American University Presses Blog Tour, Read. Think. Act, 2019.
- “Toward a More Accessible Conference Presentation,” co-authored with Dr. Travis Chi Wing Lau, Profession, Spring Issue, 2019.
- “Colonizing Gestures: Crusoe, the Signing Sovereign,” Eighteenth-Century Fiction. 29.4 (2017): 537-562.
- “Libertine Sexuality and Queer-Crip Embodiment in Eighteenth-Century Britain,” in “New Queer Readings.” Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies. 16.4 (2016): 96-118.
- “Homosexuality,” Encyclopedia of British Literature: 1660-1789, eds. Gary Day and Jack Lynch (Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell): 601-604, 2015.
- “Sharp Minds/Twisted Bodies: Intellect, Disability, and Female Education in Burney’s Camilla (1796),” The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation. 55.1 (2014): 1-17.
- “Attractive Deformity: Enabling the ‘Shocking Monster’ from Sarah Scott’s Agreeable Ugliness,” in The Idea of Disability in the Eighteenth Century (Bucknell UP): 181-201, 2014.
- Review of Born Yesterday: Inexperience and the Early Realist Novel by Stephanie Insley Hershinow, The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation. 62.1 (2022): 107-110.
- Review of Victorian Bestseller by Karen Bourrier, Victorian Studies. 63.3 (2021): 463-65.
- Review of Queer Friendship: Male Intimacy in the English Literary Tradition by George Haggerty, Eighteenth-Century Fiction. 32.2 (2019): 355-357.
- 3762/101 TuTh 12:30-1:45 Lalumiere Hall 296
- Disability and Literature
- 6931/101 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Lalumiere Hall 296
- Topics in English: Queer Disability, Then and Now