assistant professor of English
Southern Methodist University
Dallas Hall, room 26
Language played an important role at the turn of the nineteenth century as a marker of identity. During this time of revolution and globalization, language served as a way to categorize people within a world that appeared more diverse than ever. Linguistic differences — especially among English-speakers — seemed to validate the emerging national, racial, local, and regional identity categories that were taking shape.
Focusing on six eccentric characters — from the woman known as “Princess Caraboo” to lexicographer Noah Webster — Figures of Speech shows how perceptions about who spoke what language — and how they spoke it — helped English-speakers make sense of their rapidly globalizing world.
early American literature and culture; the history of reading, texts, and text technologies; eighteenth-century British and American literature
“‘A Dictionary Which We Do Not Want’: Defining America Against Noah Webster, 1783–1810.” William and Mary Quarterly 71:2 (2014).
“Seeing the Rebel: Or, How to Do Things with Dictionaries in Nineteenth-Century America.” J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists 2:1 (2014).
“Historians Who Look Too Much.” Avidly, a Los Angeles Review of Books Channel. 9 Sept. 2014.
“Writing Like an Asian Princess in Nineteenth-Century America.” Society of Early Americanists. Tulsa, Okla., March 2–4, 2017.
“The Job Market as a Disease.” Modern Language Association. Austin, Tex., January 7–10, 2016.
“At Home in the Dictionary.” Symposium on Bureaucracy and the Organization of Knowledge. University of North Texas, Denton, Tex., April 3, 2015.
“The Indian Voices of Troubled White Youth.” Modern Language Association. Vancouver, B.C., January 9, 2015.