I am a postdoctoral fellow in the Society of Fellows at the University of Southern California, affiliated with the English department. I received my Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania.
My research focuses on twentieth- and twenty-first century literature, primarily American. My dissertation describes rise of the legal procedural in the context of mid-twentieth-century American criminal rights law. You could also think of it as a genealogy of Law and Order. Basically, I argue that the legal procedural is more than just an off-shoot of the police procedural -- it's a genre that developed over the course of a couple decades in response to anxieties about region, race, individual rights, and a rapidly changing criminal justice system. Some of the texts I look at include Richard Wright's Native Son, Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, Sidney Lumet's film Twelve Angry Men, Netflix's Making a Murderer, HBO's The Wire, and NPR's podcast Serial.
In addition to this project, I have done a significant amount of research on museum culture and its intersections with political violence. I wrote my master's dissertation in history about the use of art vandalism as a militant tactic by the British women's suffrage movement. Across these topics, I use a methodology that combines historicism with formal analysis and genre theory. Both projects study how justice and violence are differentiated across axes of race, class, and gender.
Recent courses taught
“The Vigilante in American Literature” (upper-level literature seminar)
“Narrative Studies Capstone Workshop” (critical/creative senior thesis workshop)
“Incarceration in Popular Culture” (general education course for first-years)
“How A Story Works: The Art of Fiction” (graduate-level creative writing workshop)
“Detective Fiction” (literature seminar)
“Literature and Criminal Justice in the Twentieth Century” (upper-level literature seminar)
Research and teaching interests
Law and literature
Criminal rights law
Cinema and TV studies
Race and class
War, violence, and trauma
A complete academic CV is available on request.