Associate Professor of English
I was born in New York City, majored in English at Yale as an undergrad, and completed my doctorate in English at Duke University. I have taught at Haverford since 1997; I have also been a visiting professor in the graduate program in Performance Studies at NYU. In addition to 19th-century American literature have abiding interests in queer theory, critical race theory, performance theory, historicisms new and old, sound studies, and cultural studies. I am also currently Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Popular Music Studies, published by Wiley-Blackwell.
B.A., Yale University
Ph.D., Duke University
I published Troubling Minds: The Cultural Politics of Genius in the US, 1840-1890 (Minneapolis: U of Minn Press) in 2006. The book examines the ways that several crucial authors and intellectuals (including Emerson, Douglass, Jenny Lind, William Wells Brown, Louisa May Alcott, and Henry James) theorized, represented, and performed the figure of genius during these embattled and transformative decades in U. S. history
More recently I have been studying sound recording from a historical and cultural perspective. I have edited the March, 2010 issue of Social Text (102), a special edition on "The Politics of Recorded Sound." The volume contains my introduction and an essay on rumored recordings of lynchings of African Americans from the 1890s, the first decade of the phonograph's commercial viability. I am currently working on a project examining Andy Warhol's relationship to sound and writing.