My primary field is twentieth-century American literature, with an emphasis on the pre-WWII period. My research focuses on revisionist and recuperative approaches to modern American literary history. I am particularly interested in examining disciplinary discourses about literature as well as the resistant potential literary texts may pose for dominant ideologies and institutional knowledges. My current book manuscript Other Americas explores how ethnic and racial minority writers in the early twentieth-century United States imagined fictional alternatives to hegemonic notions of cultural and economic assimilation. This literary historical study focuses on “second-generation” ethnic writers such as Michael Gold, James T. Farrell, Zora Neale Hurston, and Tillie Olsen, whose fictional works critiqued the homogenizing pressures of national ideology (e.g. racial uplift, upward mobility, the melting pot, the Americanization movement).
I have taught courses on the problem of poverty in the American cultural imagination, modern and contemporary American prose fiction, and, more generally, surveys of American literature from the Civil War to the present. My special topics classes are framed by the methods of cultural studies and employ texts from different media (literature, film, and TV serials) to explore questions of social class, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality.
Regular Research Grant, Marquette University, 2012
Summer Faculty Fellowship, Marquette University, 2012