My teaching and my research share a heart. In both, I focus on the process by which we make sense of the new, a process that begins with observing, then correlating, and finally, theorizing. In my research, I write about how poetry engages with this process, known in philosophy as induction. In my teaching, I see inductive reasoning in action as my students make sense of poems, plays, novels, and essays through close reading. Whether encountering a new post-war era or a new literary text, we must and do rely upon induction. But, as I teach students, larger cultural forces always shape inductive reasoning, guiding even our preliminary observations.

Courses (taught as primary instructor)

West Virginia University

  • American Women Writers
  • American Literature Survey, 1865 – Present
  • Modern American Poetics
  • Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson
  • American Poetry
  • Foundations of Literary Studies
  • Thinking Through the Modern American Lyric (Graduate Seminar)


Emory University

  • Empathy and Modernist Literature


College of the Holy Cross

  • American Exiles
  • Critical Reading and Writing: Multigenre
  • Critical Reading and Writing: Poetry
  • Masterpieces of British Literature
  • Modern British Poetry
  • Modern British Novels
  • Postmodern British Novels
  • Readings in 20th Century British Literature


University of Chicago

  • Joyce’s Ulysses
  • Moore, Bishop, Lowell, Plath