I’m an English literature Ph.D. student at Rutgers University, poet, and fiction writer. Previously, I've worked as a research assistant at the Early Novels Database and as the coordinator of an undergraduate digital scholarship fellowship program at the Penn Libraries.
My work deals with novel theory and narratology, with emphasis on 20th century postcolonial and global Anglophone texts and occasional forays into the 19th century. I'm particularly interested in theories of realism, character complexity, and omniscience, and in the long history of computational, quantitative, and sociological methods in literary study.
You can contact me via email or Twitter. I also maintain @queerstreet, a bot that explores the queerness of people, animals, and objects in Victorian literature.
I presented this piece at the Novel Theory conference at Cornell, as part of a keyword seminar on genre and scale. In this very brief talk, I will revisit the coining of the term “distant reading” by Franco Moretti in his 2000 essay, “Conjectures on World Literature.” I go to this text not because I’m some sort of Moretti originalist, but because I think it points toward an interesting path not taken in the history of literary studies’ thinking about scale. Since its publication, “Conjectures” has often been cited as a foundational text for at least two academic disciplines. One... Read more
Midway through The Political Unconscious, Fredric Jameson writes that the novel cannot be seen as a “finished object whose ‘structure’ one might model and contemplate.” Rather, it is “something that happens to its primary materials,” an “interminable set of operations and programming procedures” performed on the genres, forms, and other materials the novel has historically incorporated into itself (138). Proponents of surface reading and post-critique tend to treat The Political Unconscious as the poster child for a model of literature as mystifying surface cloaking hidden ideological depths. And yet, as I read the book in its entirety for the first... Read more