18th C British, Digital Humanities, Early American, Restoration

My written work has focused on the relationship between literary and other social forms in the long eighteenth century in Britain. In my book Harlequin Britain, I explore the relationship between pantomime entertainments--the most popular form of theatrical performance in the period--and the public sphere. My second book, Literature Incorporated, focuses on the relationship between literature and economics in Britain and American in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, in particular on the emergence of the corporation as an economic and imagined entity, and the ramifications of that in imaginative genres like insurance and money. I am currently at work on a book tentatively called Dark Matter, about the poetry that was published in newspapers and other periodicals in the eighteenth century.

I teach classes in eighteenth-century drama and the novel, as well as courses in the transatlantic eighteenth century and the literature of the seventeen-nineties. With collaborators in the University of Virginia Library and Marymount University, I have been working on a digital anthology of literature in English, Literature in Context, designed to use the full resources of digitization richly to contextualize literary works. 


Ph.D. University of Chicago, 1995
M.A. University of Chicago, 1990
B.A. Williams College, 1984

Awards and Honors

  • Lewis Gottschalk Prize for Outstanding Book in Eighteenth-Century Studies for Literature Incorporated: The Cultural Unconscious of the Business Corporation 1650-1850, 2017
  • NEH Daniels Family Distinguished Teaching Professor, 2014-17
  • American Council of Learned Societies Fellow, 2000-2001
  • University of Virginia Sesquicentennial Fellow, 2000-2001
  • University of Virginia Teaching Fellow, 1999-2000
  • Fletcher Jones Fellow, The Huntington Library, Summer 1997
  • American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies Course Construction Award, 1996-1997
  • Fellow, Interdisciplinary Group for Humanities Studies, Texas A & M University, 1996-1998
  • Mellon Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, 1994-1995
  • Maclean Instructorship, The University of Chicago, Winter 1994