Researcher biography

I am a Lecturer in American Studies in the School of Communication and Arts, specializing in literature and modernist studies. I am the author of The Regional Development of the American Bildungsroman, 1900–1960 (Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming 2022), and the co-editor of the modernist studies journal Affirmations: of the Modern (Open Humanities Press), which is the organ journal of the Australasian Modernist Studies Network. My research has appeared or is forthcoming in PMLA (Cambridge UP), Modernism/Modernity (Johns Hopkins UP), American Literature (Duke UP), The Mississippi Quarterly (Johns Hopkins UP), and Australian Feminist Studies (Routledge). I've also contributed to The Edinburgh Companion to Literature and Sound StudiesBlack Lives Matter: Lessons From the Harlem Renaissance (Clemson UP); The Routledge Companion to Literature of the U.S. South; and recent collections on American authors including E. L. Doctorow and Carson McCullers.

I have taught at the University of Adelaide, the University of New South Wales, and the Australian Catholic University. I received my doctorate in English Literature from UNSW, after completing my undergraduate degree there with First Class Honours; I also have a Master's of Teaching (Secondary), specialising in teaching English.

I am currently writing two books: one, on the history of the racial imaginary, white-collar labor, and the Black typewriter in American literature; and a second on how American writers and composers responded to the instrumentalization of classical music as a monolithic racial signifier in 19th/20thC U.S. cultural and political discourse. My other current research projects examine the radical history of the Black typewriter, an African American literary figure that was brought into representation to unsettle the processes whereby racist and heterosexist criteria regarding who could perform different classes of labor were reified anew through the bureaucratization of white-collar office work, c. 1886–1940; investigate the technologies of musical reproduction, i.e. scores, radio, and phonography, guided modernist literary innovation; and trace the poetics of silent resistance that arose in African American women’s protest poetry in the early 1920s. I am generally interested in the history, theory, and politics of modern literature, technology, and sound.

My previous research attended to studies of prose fiction, critical regionalism, and the politics of U.S. literary geography. My monograph, The Regional Development of the American Bildungsroman, is the first scholarly work to probe the relationship between the aesthetics of regional fragmentation and the genre of the novel of development. As the first book to extensively scope the development of the American Bildungsroman, this work challenges and reorients current understandings of where the Bildungsroman fits into nineteenth and twentieth century American literary history and New Modernist Studies, by engaging in analyses of novels in regional clusters, including the Northeast, the South, the Midwest, and the West, featuring extensive commentary on the novels of African American and Native American writers, such as Wallace Thurman, Jessie Redmon Fauset, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, and John Joseph Mathews; as well as other American authors, including Theodore Dreiser, Upton Sinclair, James Farrell, Carson McCullers, Flannery O’Connor, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, and Willa Cather. It historicizes how the American Bildungsroman evolved during the period associated with modernism (c. 1900–1960), in ways that challenge the perception of American modernist innovation as antiregionalist, and regionalism as an antimodernist enterprise.

I welcome Honours and HDR proposals on any topics adjacent to modern literature, especially those that intersect with the fields of American and African American studies; modernist studies; musico-literary and sound studies; or critical race studies, postcolonialism, and cultural studies of the Black Atlantic and Global South.

Research Interests

  • Literary Studies
  • American Studies
  • Modernism
  • American Literature
  • African American Literature
  • Musico-Literary Studies

Qualifications

  • Master of Teaching (Secondary), University of New South Wales
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours), University of New South Wales
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of New South Wales

Supervision

  • The Sound of the Real: scriptedness, ekphrasis and the novel

    Master Philosophy