Research interests: U.S. reform movements and the shaping of racial and national identities; the history of authorship; and American periodicals.
I've recently begun a new project titled "The Moral Economies of American Authorship, 1830-1870."
Teaching interests: Early American and Nineteenth-Century American literature, esp. the literatures of slavery and the history of literary taste.
The Grammar of Good Intentions: Race and the Antebellum Culture of Benevolence (Cornell University Press, 2003). "Rediscoving Literature in a World of Texts." Review of Myra Jehlen, Readings at the Edge of Literature (Chicago, 2002). American Quarterly 55 (Sept. 2003): 507-513. "Charity Begins at Home: Stowe's Antislavery Novels and the Forms of Benevolent Citizenship." American Literature 72 (2000): 751-83. "Misgivings: Melville, Race, and the Ambiguities of Benevolence." American Literary History 12 (2000): 685-712. "Acquiring Minds: Commodified Knowledge and the Positioning of the Reader in McClure's Magazine, 1893-1903." Prospects: An Annual Journal of American Cultural Studies 22 (1997): 211-38. "'Rough Ways and Rough Work': Jacob Riis, Social Reform, and the Rhetoric of Benevolent Violence." ATQ: Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture 11 (1997): 191-212. Special issue: "Philanthropy in Nineteenth-Century America." "Errand into Africa: Colonization and Nation Building in Sarah J. Hale's Liberia." New England Quarterly 68 (1995): 558-83.