Eastern State Penitentiary

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 Americas through the present.

Introduction to American Literature (Fall 2020; Fall 2022) – A semester-long survey of American literature.  In Fall 2020 and Fall 2022 the course focused on “Repositioning American Protest” in texts from the late eighteenth century to the present.

Early American Literature (Fall 2016; Fall 2018; Fall 2019; Winter 2023) – 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 (and Colson Whitehead, who is admittedly not writing before the Harlem Renaissance but who draws on many earlier writers).

The Nineteenth-Century American Novel (Fall 2019; Winter 2021; Winter 2023) – A semester-long introduction to the genre through texts by Charles Brockden Brown, Fanny Fern, Charles Chesnutt, and Edith Wharton, among others.

American Literature from the Revolution to 1900 (Winter 2021) Topic: Reading the Mind, Body, and Self in the Nineteenth Century – A semester-long exploration of discourses of the mind and body (in relation to various scientific and spiritualist practices) in writings by Emily Dickinson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Robert Montgomery Bird, Charles Chesnutt, Henry James, and Pauline Hopkins.

Sea Stories (Research Seminar) (Fall 2018) – A semester-long research seminar focused on American oceanic studies.

University of Toronto, St. George

Graduate Courses

American Literature: Temporality Studies (Winter 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.

Archipelagic American Studies (Fall 2020) – An introduction to recent conversations about the archipelagic through criticism and primary texts from the eighteenth century through the present.

Critical Topographies: Theory and Practice of Contemporary Literary Studies in English (co-taught with Thom Dancer, Fall 2022) – An introduction to contemporary literary studies required for incoming MA students.

Rice University

Undergraduate Courses

Introduction to American Literature (Spring 2012; Fall 2013)A survey course providing an introduction to American literatures from accounts of early European encounters with the Americas through the early twentieth century.

American Literature Before 1860 (Fall 2011; Fall 2012; Fall 2013) – A course on American literature from indigenous oral traditions through Melville.  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 (Spring 2013; Spring 2014; Fall 2014) – 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 one particular 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 (Fall 2011; Spring 2013; Spring 2014)A course on nineteenth-century American literature through the lens of the Gothic.  Texts included novels (Brockden Brown, Poe, Howe, Lippard, Twain, James) short stories (Poe, Spofford, Phelps, Melville), and a slave narrative (Jacobs).

Sea Stories (Fall 2014) – 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 was: what happens to our ideas about American literature if we shift our focus from land to the oceans?

Melville’s Americas (capstone course; Fall 2012)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 Course

Sea and Land: Unsettling Narratives of Travel and Settlement (Spring 2012) – 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 (as graduate student instructor responsible for course design and all aspects of teaching)

Time Travels in American Literature (Fall 2010, 2 classes) – 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 (Fall 2009; Spring 2010)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 (Fall 2007) – 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 (Fall 2006; Spring 2007; Spring 2008) – 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.

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