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Associate Professor and Chair
Office: Merrifield 100A
Phone: (701) 777-6988
- Ph.D., American Literature, minor in Literary Theory, Indiana University, 1997
- A.B. with distinction, History and Economics, Stanford University, 1984.
I was born in New Jersey and grew up in a variety of places across the United States: New York, Delaware, Missouri, Ohio, California, Washington, and Iowa. Returning to California for college, I double-majored in History and Economics at Stanford University and then worked in corporate finance for a year in San Francisco. When I decided to return to graduate school, I chose to pursue an English degree because I realized that the elements of my History major that I enjoyed most were textual analysis and interpretation. I earned my Ph.D. from Indiana University in American Literature, with a minor in Literary Theory, and taught in Mississippi and South Carolina before coming to UND. I have continued to make use of my interest and background in history, and most of my publications—and many of my courses—focus on interpreting literature in cultural and historical context. I like to think about literature as performing complex kinds of cultural "work" in specific situations.
- American Literature and Culture (especially from the beginnings through the nineteenth century)
- Cultural Studies
- Literary Theory (including deconstruction and psychoanalysis)
- Political and Democratic Theory
- Law and Literature
- "Charles Chesnutt's 'The Dumb Witness' and the Culture of Segregation." (co-authored with Lori Robison). African American Review, 42.1 (Spring 2008): 61-73. Reprinted in Representing Segregation: Toward an Aesthetics of Living Jim Crow, and Other Forms of Racial Divison. Albany: SUNY P, 2010. 57-72.
- "Mourning, Melancholia, and Rhetorical Sovereignty in William Apess's Eulogy on King Philip." Studies in American Indian Literatures 20.4 (Winter 2008): 1-23.
- "Writing on Boundaries: A Cultural Studies Approach to Literature and Writing Instruction." (With Lori Robison.) Integrating Literature and Writing Instruction: First Year English, Humanities Core Courses, Seminars. Ed. Judith A. Anderson and Christine R. Farris. New York: Modern Language Association Press, 2007.
- "Ventriloquizing Nation: Voice, Identity, and Radical Democracy in Charles Brockden Brown's Wieland." American Literature 78.3 (2006): 431-57.
- "Breaking the Silence: Sexual Preference in the Composition Classroom." (With Allison Berg, Jean Kowaleski, Caroline LeGuin, and Ellen Weinauer.) Feminist Teacher 4.2-3 (1989): 29-32. Rpt. in Tilting the Tower: Lesbians/Teaching/Queer Subjects. Ed. Linda Garber. New York: Routledge, 1994. 108-16. Rpt. in The Feminist Teacher Anthology: Pedagogies and Classroom Strategies. Ed. Gail Cohee et. al. New York: Teachers College Press, 1998. 168-76.
Courses Recently Taught
- English 272: Introduction to Literary Criticism
- English 303: Survey of American Literature I
- English 365: Black American Writers
- English 367: American Indian Literatures
- English 372: Literary Theory: "Psychoanalysis and Film"
- English 415: Seminar in Literature: "Early American Fiction"
- English 415: Seminar in Literature: "The Novels of Charles Brockden Brown"
- English 500: Introduction to Graduate Studies
- English 510: History of Literary Criticism
- English 521: Studies in American Literature: "Race and National Identity"
- English 521: Studies in American Literature: "Melville and Cultural Studies"
- English 598: Portfolio Workshop
- English 599: Academic Writing Workshop
I am married to Lori Robison, another faculty member in the English Department, and we have two children: a daughter in college and a son in high school. I try to stay active and enjoy running, biking, basketball, softball, and golf; I have also coached youth soccer, basketball, and baseball. I enjoy music of all kinds—classical, jazz, bluegrass, alt-country, and more—though my daughter's love of musical theater means I listen to much more Broadway than I would have predicted 16 years ago. And despite my childhood (and collegiate) love of San Francisco Bay Area sports teams, my son's inexplicable interest in Pittsburgh sports means the Pirates are now the team I follow most closely.