I study American literature of the long nineteenth century (1776-1914), focusing in particular on the philosophical and politico-ideological roots of the literature of the early national and antebellum periods. I am the author of the forthcoming book American Romanticism and the Materiality of Transcendence: Five Hegelian Variations, which looks at how American Romantics like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Margaret Fuller, and Walt Whitman engaged German Idealist thought in order to articulate the contours of a philosophy I call "transcendental materialism"—a philosophy according to which the transcendental is generated out of the material (rather than philosophy's typical positing of the vice versa). I am also the editor of the book Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Literature but Were Afraid to Ask Žižek, a collection of essays on Slovenian philosopher and psychoanalyst Slavoj Žižek and literary criticism and theory, as well as co-editor (with Žižek) of the forthcoming book Subject Lessons: Hegel, Lacan, and the Future of Materialism.
- Ph.D., University of Rochester
- M.A., University at Buffalo
- B.A., Canisius College
- American Romanticism and the Materiality of Transcendence: Five Hegelian Variations. Under contract with Northwestern University Press.
- Editor (with Slavoj Žižek), Subject Lessons: Hegel, Lacan, and the Future of Materialism. Under Contract with Northwestern University Press.
- Editor, Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Literature but Were Afraid to Ask Žižek. Durham: Duke University Press, 2017.
Journal Articles and Book Chapters
- “Specters of Marxism in Frank J. Webb’s The Garies and Their Friends: Class, Race, and the Critique of Ideology.” ESQ: A Journal of Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture. Forthcoming.
- "Becoming-Phallus; or, Ahab's Leg: A Lacanian Materialist Reading of Moby-Dick," in Rethinking Ahab: Melville and the Materialist Turn, ed. Meredith Farmer and Jonathan Schroeder (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press). Forthcoming.
- "Object-Disoriented Ontology; or, the Subject of What Is Sex?" Continental Thought and Theory 2, no. 2 (2018): 35-57.
- "The Trouble with the Gothic: Poe, Lippard, and the Poetics of Critique," in The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of the American Renaissance, ed. Christopher N. Phillips (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018), 38–51.
- "Feeling Right, Doing Wrong: Poe, Perversity, and the Cunning of Unreason." Poe Studies 46 (2013): 4–31.
- "Revision and Identification: Emerson and the Ethics of Skepticism and Sympathy." Arizona Quarterly 66, no. 2 (2010): 1–33.