I work on British literature and culture of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with a focus on sexual discourses in poetry and in nonfiction prose. I recently published two long-form projects. The first is a two-volume critical edition of Erasmus Darwin's epic poem about natural history, The Botanic Garden (with Allison Dushane; Routledge, 2017). The second is a monograph, Sexual Privatism in British Romantic Writing: A Public of One (Routledge, 2019); here I suggest that the "public" eroticism typically ascribed to the Romantic movement was often predicated on an exclusion of otherness. I include readings of imaginative literature (by Beckford, Blake, Hays, Percy Shelley, Wollstonecraft), works of political economy (Cobbett, Godwin, Hazlitt, Malthus), legal treatises (on rape, sodomy, adultery), satirical scandal-sheets, and popular journalism. In a new project, I am exploring how attitudes toward Jewishness have helped to shape literary theory, particularly where Romantic texts are at issue, since the late 20th century.
I teach undergraduate surveys in Romanticism and later British literature with regularity, and recently designed an experimental Honors course called "Fakes and Forgeries." At the graduate level, some of my recent offerings include "Studies in the Sublime," "William Blake," "Romantic Law and Literature," and "Studies in the Public Sphere: Theories of Civil Society." From 2013 to 2019, I served as MA/PhD Program Supervisor in the Department of English.