- transnational modernism and global anglophone literature
- disability studies, animal studies, bioethics
- modern and contemporary lit.
This 2023 monograph centers on pests and parasites in the modernist period, with a focus on bioethics. I analyze literal parasites (such as mosquitoes, hookworms, lice, and so forth) as well as so-called social parasites. The modernist period is particularly noteworthy in the context of parasitism, as parasitology burgeoned as a distinct field of study during this era, and many organizations and governments used “parasite” as a derogatory way of describing certain minority groups (e.g., the Nazi use of “Die Parasiten” to refer to so-called parasitic races, as well as the Soviet Anti-Social Parasite Laws).
See my CV for more information on essays published and conference presentations.
Vernacular Creatures: Children’s Literature and Environmentalism in Modernist Cultures
- See my two articles on this topic, one in Woolf Studies Annual and the other in the Eugene O’Neill Review
In this project, I explore “low-brow” or vernacular narratives and language, such as children’s literature, op-eds, letters, personal notes, and other ephemera. I argue that many modernists used “vernacular genres” to explore foundational issues in environmentalism and animal ethics, and my research aims to expose a strain of modernist writing that has often been overlooked. Even today, such “low-brow” media have a massive impact on our ethical and political understanding of nonhuman life, despite the fact that many literary critics marginalize these genres. Children’s stories, for example, are known to have a lifelong impact on identity formation–a fact that many modernist writers were well aware of.
In this sense, this project shows that the morals and politics these modernists overtly portray in their “vernacular” writings reflect deeper ideologies and anxieties. That so many wrote about animal ethics and environmentalism in particular indicates that they borrowed heavily from Classical and Victorian tropes (e.g., animal characters in children’s stories or fables) as well as gained a greater concern for nonhuman life and sustainability. Subjects in this study include children’s stories by Virginia Woolf, H. D., Aldous Huxley, T. S. Eliot, and Gertrude Stein as well as personal notes and ephemera by Eugene O’Neill.