Publications

Peer-Reviewed Articles

  • “Sentimentalism and Secularism in Pierre.” Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies (Johns Hopkins UP) 19.3, 2017. 59-78.

This essay argues that in its revisions of the sentimental genre, Herman Melville’s Pierre frames religious domesticity as dangerous for antebellum families. Whereas heroines of sentimental fiction model moral perfection, Pierre Glendinning teaches readers through a negative example of piety. Though Pierre appears to make a great sacrifice on behalf of another when he feigns marriage to his would-be sister Isabel Banford, his Christian belief is actually self-centered. Pierre holds his singular interpretations of biblical morality above the moral lessons of mothers, ministers, and literature, places where sentimental characters would typically seek guidance. Ultimately, Pierre’s inflexible faith and rigid moral compass destroy the novel’s domesticity. Christian belief, rather than serving as the foundation for a stable home life, tears the Glendinnings apart, and the whole family dies by the novel’s ending. However, I argue that Melville’s attention to reading practices throughout the novel helps us to reevaluate its seemingly-apocalyptic ending. Through a fresh look at the significance of Plotinus Plinlimmon’s pamphlet, I locate the possibility for a new future, one which would center on secular domesticity.

Review Articles

  • Review, “Naomi Greyser, On Sympathetic Grounds: Race, Gender, and Affective Geographies in Nineteenth-Century North America and Kyla Schuller, The Biopolitics of Feeling: Race, Sex, and Science in the Nineteenth Century.” Forthcoming, Journal of American Studies.
  • “Year in Conferences—2018.” Co-authored with Rachel Linnea Brown, Ryan Charlton, Amy Huang, and Joshua Tuttle. Proposal Accepted. ESQ: A Journal of Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture.

The “Year in Conferences” (YiC) “accelerates the circulation of ideas between and among scholars by covering the field’s major conferences. Graduate students from across the country collaboratively author an article that appears annually in ESQ‘s first issue” (ESQ).

I contributed to the forthcoming report on the C19 Biennial Conference, and I also advised the C19 team of reporters. Advising includes significant editing of the document and guidance of the reporting team.

  • “Year in Conferences—2017.” Co-authored with Jada Ach, Marlee Fuhrmann, Patrick Thomas Morgan, and Christofer Rodelo. ESQ: A Journal of Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture, 64.1, 2018. 133-197.

I contributed to the report on MLA.