My primary teaching and research interests include 18th and 19th-century British literature and culture, histories of British empire and slavery, posthumanism, and Black studies. Within 18th century literature and Victorian studies, my work focuses on animal-human relationships, liberalism, empire, and the cultural histories of slavery. I am particularly interested in formulations of animal subjectivity, the politics of pet keeping, and the racialization of animal-human relationships alongside the construction of racialized animality.
My first book, The Political Lives of Victorian Animals: Liberal Creatures in Literature and Culture (Cambridge University Press 2019), examines how the shifting politics of the Victorian era affected representations of animals and animal subjectivity, and seeks to understand how these representations critiqued Victorian liberalism. Through readings of animal welfare discourses and novels by Charles Dickens, Lewis Carroll, Thomas Hardy, and Oliver Schriener, I argue that conceptions of animal subjectivity provide new ways of understanding the contradictions within Victorian liberalism and demands for democracy throughout the period.
My current book project, Afterlives of Animality: Race, Slavery, and Human-Animal Relationships in the British Empire, examines intersections between race and animality, and the racialization of animal-human relationships, in the cultural histories of British slavery and empire. This project examines how the materiality of our relationships with animals - eating animals, using animal products as both currency and rebellion, keeping animals as pets, and protecting animals, for example - worked as part of a larger racializing assemblage to delineate racial categories. This project not only nuances practices of dehumanization, but also takes seriously the production of whiteness in relationship to Blackness and animality. This project is wide-ranging, and examines texts such as travel narratives, novels, periodicals, and memoirs, among others, from the 17th century through the late-Victorian era. You can find a chapter from this project in issue 29.2 of Qui Parle.
For an example of the kind of classes I teach, check out my graduate-level syllabus on the Undisciplining the Victorian Classroom website.
- The Political Lives of Victorian Animals: Liberal Creatures in Literature and Culture. Cambridge University Press, 2019
- Childhood and Pethood in Literature and Culture: New Perspectives in Childhood Studies and Animal Studies. Co-edited with Dr. Carmen Nolte-Odhiambo. Routledge. 2017.
Articles and Book Chapters
- "Victorian: Politics and Racialization," in The Cambridge Companion to Animals in Literature, edited by Derek Ryan, forthcoming
- "'South Africa is the land of pet animals': or, The Racializing Assemblages of Colonial Pet-Keeping." Qui Parle, vol. 29, no. 2, December 2020, pp. 309-339.
- "The History of Mary Prince and the Racial Formation of Rape Culture." Nineteenth Century Gender Studies, vol. 16, no. 2, summer 2020. Special issue on Teaching Victorian Literature in the Age of #MeToo.
- "Alice in Wonderland’s Animal Pedagogy: Governmentality and Alternative Subjectivity in Mid-Victorian Liberal Education.” Victorian Review. Fall 2018.
- "Seeing Animals on Egdon Heath: The Democratic Impulse of Thomas Hardy’s The Return of the Native." 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century (Spring 2018). Special issue on “Ecology.”
- “Pet Keeping on the Internet: The Cultural Politics of Cat Internet Videos and the CatVidFest.”Journal for Critical Animal Studies, vol. 15, no. 2 (April 2018)
- “‘The cats are outside hanging’: Settler Colonialism, Racialized Animality, and Queer Kinship in Lois-Ann Yamanaka’s Blu’s Hanging.” Childhood and Pethood in Literature and Culture: New Perspectives in Childhood Studies and Animal Studies. Co-written with Dr. Carmen Nolte-Odhiambo. Routledge, 2017.
- “The Realism of Animal Life: The Seashore, Adam Bede, and George Eliot’s Animal Alterity.” Victorians Institute Journal 44 (2016): 29-55.
- “Falling in Love with Sea Weeds: The Seaside Environments of George Eliot and G.H. Lewes.” Victorian Writers on the Environment: Ecocritical Perspectives. Eds. Larry Mazzeno and Ronald Morrison. Routledge. 2016.
- “‘I promise to protect Dumb creatures’: Pastoral Power and the Limits of Victorian Animal Protection.” Society and Animals 23.2 (2015): 148-165.
- “Chicken Embryos, Headless Frogs, and the Victorian Human-Animal Divide: Samuel Butler’s Animal Epistemology.” Journal of Victorian Culture 19.2 (2014): 198-215.
- “What does Power Smell Like?: Canine Epistemology and the Politics of the Pet in Flush.” The Virginia Woolf Miscellany (Fall 2013).
- "Race, Trans-Atlantic Slavery, and the British Empire." Undisciplining the Victorian Classroom, 2021.
Areas of Interest
- 18th and 19th -Century British Literature and Culture
- Victorian Studies
- British Slavery and Empire
- Black Studies
- Animal Studies and Posthumanism
2020 Presidential Citation for Meritorious Teaching
- PhD in English, Michigan State University
- BA in English, University of Washington
- BA in French, University of Washington
Fall Semester 2023
- ENG-333: 19th-Century British Literature
Summer Semester 2023
- ENG-440: Single Author (Jane Austen)
Spring Semester 2023
- ENG-495: Internship
Fall Semester 2022
- ENG-320: Introduction to English Studies
- ENG-730X: Literature & History: British Slavery and its Afterlives
Spring Semester 2022
- ENG-335: British Literature After 1900
- ENG-433: Studies: 19th Century Literature: Abolition and Racial Justice