GanzMarquette Hall 226
(414) 288-3480

Assistant Professor

I work on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British literature and culture, with a particular focus on the relation of literature, law, and ethics. I also have broad interests in gender studies, transatlantic studies, and the history of the novel. I hold a Ph.D. in English Literature from Yale, an M.A. in American Studies from Yale, and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Before coming to Marquette, I taught at Harvard and Stanford.

My book manuscript, Public Vows: Fictions of Marriage in the English Enlightenment, examines the ways in which novelists responded to and participated in debates about the contractual nature of the nuptial tie. Like many legal and social thinkers of their day, the book argues, writers including Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson, Frances Burney, and Amelia Opie imagine marriage as a public institution subject to regulation by church and state rather than a private agreement between two free individuals. Even as novelists attempt to shore up the state's growing control over marriage, however, they offer subtle critiques of the forms that these regulations take. Parts of this project have appeared in Eighteenth-Century Fiction, The Eighteenth-Century: Theory and Interpretation, and Impassioned Jurisprudence: Law, Literature, and Emotion, 1760-1848. I have also written on Robert Louis Stevenson and the insanity defense, on George Eliot and the practice of promising, and on Henry James and the specter of divorce, among other topics. My new work includes a study of eighteenth-century literature and criminality, and a series of essays on British fiction and moral philosophy.

In my teaching, as in my research, I emphasize the interplay between literary form and historical change. I teach a range of classes, from introductory surveys to special topics in eighteenth-century British literature, law and literature, and the history of the novel. Recent undergraduate offerings include "Legal Fictions of the Enlightenment," “Crime and Punishment in English Fiction,” and “Protest and Rebellion in the British Tradition.” At the graduate level, my courses include "Literature and the Passions in the Age of Reason" and "Literature and Politics in the Age of Revolution." I also maintain an active interest in pedagogy and have led workshops on teaching strategies for beginning and advanced instructors in the humanities and social sciences.

I enjoy fostering and participating in interdisciplinary exchanges. I currently serve on the Executive Committee of the MLA Forum on Law and the Humanities. Here at Marquette, I co-convene the Humanities Research Colloquium and serve as a faculty advisor to the Undergraduate Humanities Conference.

Teaching Fields


Office Hours

Spring 2018


Teaching Schedule


Spring 2018

Research Interests


Selected Publications




English Department

Marquette University, Marquette Hall 115 (campus map)
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881
(414) 288-7179
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