I am an Assistant Professor in the department of English and the Co-Director of the Stanford Literary Lab. My work focuses on the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries in England and Germany and seeks to combine literary criticism with digital and quantitative analyses of literary texts. In particular, I’m interested in the history of aesthetic theory and the development and transmission of aesthetic and philosophic concepts during the Enlightenment and Romantic periods. I am also interested in the relationship between aesthetic theory and the poetry of the long eighteenth century.
At the Literary Lab, I lead projects on suspense literature, the relationship between titles and texts in the long eighteenth century, and gender performance in the dialogue of novels written during the Romantic period. I am also a collaborator on the Canon/Archive project, Micromegas, the Transhistorical Poetry project, Modeling Dramatic Networks, and a project on the Supreme Court and Environmental Law.
Outside of Stanford, I am a partner in the ongoing NovelTM partnership grant and I am an associate principal investigator of the Stanford branch of the Global Currents Digging into Data project. Building on this work, I have ongoing collaborations with Andrew Piper at the .txt lab at McGill University in Montreal, and with the North American Concept Lab, based at New York University. I am also a member of the executive board of 18thConnect and am on the visualization advisory committee of the Digital Mitford project.
Ph.D. 2008 New York University, Department of English
The Afterlife of the Sublime: Toward a New History of Aesthetics in the Long Eighteenth Century.
Advisors: Clifford Siskin (chair), Mary Poovey, David Hoover and Gabrielle Starr.
My dissertation seeks to reconstruct a new history of the sublime by combining quantitative with critical analysis. In this project, I track the discourse of the sublime through the long eighteenth century and into the Romantic Period by identifying and mapping the recurrence of clusters of words associated with the word “sublime.” These clusters remain coherent even while the sublime itself leaves the lexicon of critical discourse in the nineteenth century. Analyzing the appearance of these patterns across a variety of genres through the use of new quantitative techniques, I show how the sublime played a key role in the emergence of Literature as a unified category of writing.
M.A. 2001 University of Western Ontario, Department of English
Advisors: Tilottama Rajan and Angela Esterhammer
MA Thesis: “Romancing Aesthetics: Literary Theory in Hegel’s Philosophy and the Jena Fragments.”
B.A. 2000 Mount Allison University, NB, Canada
Major: Romantic Literature and Theory; Minor: Computer Science
2014 – Present
Assistant Professor of Digital Humanities, Department of English, Stanford University
2012 – 2014
Associate Director of the Stanford Literary Lab and Research Associate, Department of English, Stanford University, Stanford.
2009 – 2012
Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Social Sciences and Humanities, McGill University, Montreal.
2010 – 2011
External Research Consultant (Digital Humanities), Research Project on Authorship as Performance, Ghent University, Belgium.
2008 – 2009
Instructor, Department of English, Rutgers University, New Brunswick.
Adjunct Instructor, Department of English, Rutgers University, Newark.
Research and Teaching Interests
Digital Humanities; British and Continental Poetry of the Long Eighteenth Century; Quantitative Analysis; Visual Information Design; Enlightenment and the Romantic Period; science and aesthetics; Romantic poetics; critical methods.
Digital Humanities Proficiencies
Programming Languages, Scripting Languages and Markup Languages:
R, SAS, SPSS
Nominated for Dean’s Outstanding Dissertation Award, New York University, 2008
Nominated for New York University Outstanding Teaching Award, 2003-2004
Prize for Best Graduate Student Paper at Conference, North American Society for the Study of Romanticism 2002 Conference: Romanticism and History, London, Ontario, 2002