Teaching Awards

Martin Sampson Teaching Award, Department of English, Cornell University, 2010

Dean’s Prize for Distinguished Teaching, Cornell University, College of Arts and Sciences, 2010

Courses Taught:

University of Toronto, Mississauga

Undergraduate Courses

American Literature (2015-16; 2016-17)

A year-long survey of American literatures from accounts of early European encounters with the “New World” through the present.

Early American Literature (Fall 2016; Fall 2018)

A semester-long survey of literature and culture of the Americas through the end of the eighteenth century.

Nineteenth-Century American Literature (2015-16; 2017-18)

A year-long survey of nineteenth-century American literature with a focus on sensation and sentiment across genres.

Work: Literary Labor (Special Topic in American Literature) (Fall 2017)

A semester-long course that explores representations of work and intersecting issues of race and gender, with a focus on nineteenth-century literature.

African American Literature Before the Harlem Renaissance (Winter 2019)

A semester-long course exploring writers from Jupiter Hammon and Phillis Wheatley to Pauline Hopkins.

Sea Stories (Research Seminar) (Fall 2018)

A research seminar focused on American oceanic studies.

University of Toronto, St. George

Graduate Courses

American Literature: Temporality Studies (Spring 2017)

An exploration of the “temporal turn” as it manifests itself in the study of the nineteenth century in particular.

Settler Colonialism and U.S. Literary Studies (Summer 2019)

An introduction to recent conversations about settler colonialism in U.S. literary contexts.

Rice University

Undergraduate Courses

Introduction to American Literature

A survey course providing an introduction to American literatures from accounts of early European encounters with the “New World” through the early twentieth century.

American Literature Before 1860

A course on American literature from indigenous oral traditions through Melville.  Themes included visions of community, gender and print, and relationships between the local and the global.  Texts included novels (Foster, Brockden Brown, Child, Lippard), sermons and narratives (Winthrop, Rowlandson, Douglass, Jacobs), poems (Bradstreet, Wheatley, Dickinson), and short stories (Poe).  Also adapted the course for M.A. students in English Education.


American Literature: 1860-1910                                                                                                             

A course introducing students to major literary movements associated with this period, including realism, naturalism, and regionalism and designed around broad themes of vision, the visual, spectacle, and art in literature.  Primary texts included novels by Hawthorne, Twain, James, Crane, Dreiser, Wharton, and Cather, shorter works by Bierce, Alcott, Chesnutt, and Zitkala-Ša, and poems by Melville and Whitman.

Over the course of the semester the class also developed a brief experimental digital edition of Hawthorne’s The Marble Faun, working with a Library & Information Studies graduate class at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  This project encouraged students to think about relationships between various types of visual, print, and media technologies in the nineteenth century and today.

The Bizarre, Strange, and Uncanny in Nineteenth-Century American Literature                                                                               

A course on nineteenth-century American literature through the lens of the Gothic.  Themes included travel, the Gothic and sensation fiction, gender and the Gothic, as well as the history of critical approaches to American Gothic.  Texts included novels (Brockden Brown, Poe, Howe, Lippard, Twain, James) short stories (Poe, Spofford, Phelps, Melville), and a slave narrative (Jacobs).

Sea Stories

A course introducing students to recent developments in “Oceanic American studies.”  Readings range from sailors’ narratives and tales of piracy and captivity to fiction set at sea and fiction about global travel.  The question animating the course is: what happens to our ideas about American literature if we shift our focus from land to the oceans?

Melville’s Americas (capstone course)                                                                                                     

A course introducing students to Melville’s writings in their literary, historical, and political contexts, and to critical conversations about Melville.  The course also taught students to write a 20-page research paper.  Primary texts included novels (Typee, Moby-Dick, The Confidence-Man), short stories, and poems.

Graduate Courses

Sea and Land: Unsettling Narratives of Travel and Settlement                                                               

A course exploring emerging paradigms that reorient approaches to American literatures, including oceanic studies and postcolonial settlement studies.  Themes included temporality, property, race, and history through a terraqueous approach to nineteenth-century American literature.  Primary texts included works by Brockden Brown, Sansay, Poe, Melville, Spofford, Black Hawk, Kirkland, and Thoreau.  Critical and theoretical readings included work by Gilroy, Foucault, and Casarino, among others.


Cornell University

Time Travels in American Literature

A writing-intensive seminar on “time travel” in American literature and culture.  Themes included critiques of notions of progress, utopias and dystopias, and issues of narrative temporality.  Texts included novels (Bellamy, Twain, Silko), short stories (Irving, Melville, Bierce), essays (O’Sullivan, Turner), poems (Whitman, Dickinson), visual materials (Cole, Inness, Durand) and film (Nolan).

American Literature and Culture: Horrific Journeys

A writing-intensive seminar on intersections between the American Gothic and travel narratives.  Texts included novels (Brockden Brown, Poe, Glancy, McCarthy), a graphic novel (Drooker), short stories (Poe, Melville), historical materials (Columbus, Navajo oral traditions) and poems (Tapahonso).


Building a Better Britain?: Literature from Australia and New Zealand

A writing-intensive seminar about colonialism and postcolonialism in Australasia.  Texts included novels (Mulgan, Grace, Malouf), films (Campion, Noyce), short stories (L. Jones, Murnane, Lawson, Mansfield), historical materials (J. Banks, Tench, Te Rangi Hiroa), and critical/theoretical material (Dening, M.L. Pratt).


The Mystery in the Story

A writing-intensive seminar on the mystery genre.  Texts included novels (Hammett, Jackson, Highsmith), short stories (Poe, Doyle, Melville), and films (Polanski, Minghella).



Writing 7100: Teaching Writing – co-facilitated with Katherine Gottschalk

John S. Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines, Cornell University

Co-facilitated a seminar that prepares graduate instructors at Cornell to teach writing seminars.  Focus was on designing syllabi, developing assignments, and effective pedagogical practices.