I am a scholar, writer, editor, and teacher.

My research focuses on nineteenth-century American literature and visual culture; theories of inner life; & race, gender, and popular culture. My book The Portrait's Subject: Inventing Inner Life in Nineteenth-Century America is forthcoming from University of North Carolina Press in Fall 2019.

I’ve written cultural criticism for The New Yorker, The New Republic, Slate, The Hairpin, Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere. I write a lot about motherhood and classic literature. I’m currently noodling around on various trade projects, and am represented by Sarah Smith at David Black Agency in those endeavors.

With Sarah Mesle, I co-founded and co-edit the web magazine Avidly. We are now acquiring and editing manuscripts for a series of short books--Avidly Reads--to be published by NYU Press.

I'm Associate Professor of English at Pace University in downtown Manhattan. I earned my PhD in American Literature from Northwestern University in 2009.


John Singer Sargent. Mrs. Hugh Hammersley (detail), 1892. Oil on canvas; 81 x 45 1/2 in. (205.7 x 115.6 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York,