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, Slate, The Hairpin, and Los Angeles Review of Books. 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,