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EDUCATION: Ph.D., English and American Literature, Johns Hopkins University, 1999 M.A. Poetry, The Writing Seminars, Johns Hopkins University, 1993 B.A./M.A., Political Science and Humanities, with Honors in the Humanities, 1992
INTERESTS: twentieth- and twenty-first-century American literature, contemporary fiction, history of criticism and theory, religion and literature, literature of genocide, history of the book, the publishing industry
My research and teaching focuses on American literature, especially the period since 1945. I study how literature helps form the cultural imagination around subjects such as genocide, religion, social networking, and the status of the book in the internet age. In various editorial roles (for Yale Studies in English, the new Post•45 series at Stanford University Press, and Contemporary Literature), and as a founder of Post•45 (a professional association for scholars working in post-45 literary and cultural studies) I help bring the work of other scholars to larger audiences. I have reached out beyond the academy with recent work on American Public Media’s radio digest “Weekend America,” ongoing blog posts for The Huffington Post, a free online course, “The American Novel Since 1945” (available on Open Yale Courses and Academic Universe), and book reviewing for The Yale Review and DoubleX.com. Books in progress: The Cambridge Introduction to the American Novel Since 1945 and This Is McSweeney’s, a book about the social justice and literary projects of Dave Eggers and his McSweeney’s publishing house.
- Postmodern Belief: American Literature and Religion Since 1960 (Princeton University Press, forthcoming spring 2010)
- The Holocaust of Texts: Genocide, Literature, and Personification ( Chicago, 2003)
- “Religion and the Twentieth-Century American Novel,” in The Cambridge History of the American Novel, ed. Leonard Caputo, Clare Ebby and Benjamin Reiss (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2010)
- “Don DeLillo’s Latin Mass,” Contemporary Literature 47.3 (Fall, 2006)
- “Postmodern Supernaturalism: Ginsberg and the Search for a Supernatural Language,” in “Contercultural Capital,” edited by Sean McCann and Michael Szalay, a special issue of The Yale Journal of Criticism 18.2 (Fall, 2005): 269-98
- “Memorizing Memory,” in the “Interpretation and the Holocaust,” a special issue of The Yale Journal of Criticism 14.1 (Spring, 2001): 67-92
- “Surviving Rego Park: Holocaust Theory from Art Spiegelman to Berel Lang,” in The Americanization of the Holocaust, ed. Hilene Flanzbaum (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999), 102-24
- Recent book reviews of Colson Whitehead’s Sag Harbor, Denis Johnson’s Tree of Smoke, and Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood have appeared in The Yale Review and DoubleX.com.
UNDERGRADUATE COURSES: Literature Now; Four American Writers Since 1940; American Literature Since 1945 (lecture course); Introduction to the Study of American Literature; Holocaust and Literature, 1950 to the Present; Introduction to Literary Study; What Haunts America?
GRADUATE COURSES: Postmodern Fiction, Postmodern Theory; Post-1945 American Fiction, The Teaching of English