UBC Department of English
Degrees: B.A. in Linguistics (Brown) and
Ph.D. in American Literature (Duke)
Office: BuTo 503
Telephone Office: 604-822-4087
Teaching and Research Interests
- nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature, media, and poetics
- science and technology studies
- theories and histories of affect and feeling
- Transferential Poetics, from Poe to Warhol (Fordham University Press, forthcoming). A recently completed book manuscript that explores the poetics elaborated from the 1840s to the 1980s by four American writers, thinkers, and artists: Edgar Allan Poe, Henry James, Gertrude Stein, and Andy Warhol. I have discerned in the work of these artists an acutely reflexive attention to the ways that feeling moves across, or transfers back-and-forth between, text and reader, or composition and audience. To help me describe and understand these movements, I turn to several theories of affect that have entered literary criticism and the theoretical humanities in the last two decades, especially Silvan Tomkins's affect theory and the object relations theory of Melanie Klein and Wilfred Bion. These theories permit me to unfold the crucial roles for affect dynamics in fundamental experiences of composition, expression, group phenomena, thinking and learning, and self-care.
- A Silvan Tomkins Handbook (University of Minnessota Press, under contract). I am writing, with Elizabeth Wilson (Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Emory University), an introductory text to the work of Silvan Tomkins. Our goal is to develop a portable and accessible teaching and research resource.
- Radio Free Stein. A large-scale critical sound project that renders selected plays by Gertrude Stein into musical and dramatic form. I have received a Hampton Foundation Grant, along with Dorothy Chang (School of Music, UBC), to create the pilot for this project, an audio recording of Stein's "For the Country Entirely: A Play in Letters" (1917).
- "Loose Coordinations: Theater and Thinking in Gertrude Stein." Science in Context 25.3 (September 2012).
- With Elizabeth A. Wilson, “Like-minded: A Response to Ruth Leys’ ‘The Turn to Affect: A Critique’.” Critical Inquiry 38.4 (June 2012).
- "Loose Coordinations: Theater and Thinking in Gertrude Stein." Science in Context. IN PRESS.
- "Gertrude Stein et la Question du Theatre." In Eric Giraud, ed., Contemporeanités de Gertrude Stein, Paris: Editions des archives contemporaines, 2011.
- “Some Affective Bases for Guilt.” English Studies in Canada 32.1(June 2007).
- “Medium Poe.” Criticism 48.2 (Spring 2006).
- “Valdemar’s Tongue, Poe’s Telegraphy.” ELH 72.3 (Fall 2005). [won the James W. Gargano Award for the outstanding scholarly essay on Edgar Allan Poe for 2005]
- Co-edited with Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Shame and Its Sisters: A Silvan Tomkins Reader. Durham: Duke University Press, 1995.
- Overpass! A Melodrama (Alien8 Recordings, 2007). An audiodrama recording (on CD) in collaboration with composer Sam Shalabi. A meditation on belated modernization in Vancouver's urban space. This project was supported by a grant from the Hampton Foundation at the University of British Columbia.
- Some Mad Scientists. A second audiodrama collaboration with Sam Shalabi, also supported by an award from the Hampton Foundation. An audio adaptation of Letters 10-17 of the Hippocratic Corpus, an ancient Greek text that depicts the laughter of mad science for the first time (www.somemadscientists.org).