I conduct research in Early American and nineteenth-century literature and culture, African-American literature, and the Black Atlantic, with particular attention to book history and print culture, cultural geography, and digital spatial humanities.

View full CV  (current 12/2014)


Current dissertation/book project:

“At the Bookstore: Literary and Cultural Experience in Antebellum New York City”

My dissertation project, “At the Bookstore: Literary and Cultural Experience in Antebellum New York City,” offers the first extended study of the history and social life of the bookstore in nineteenth-century America.  Located between producers and consumers of books, the bookstore was a crucial site in the cultural geography of print and literacy in nineteenth-century urban America. Where were the bookstores?  How did booksellers position their stores in the larger print marketplace? How were bookstores perceived and used by their customers?  The bookstore—as building, business, and social space—negotiated questions of access, textual and generic value, as well as promoted models of literary and market engagement.  To explore these and related issues, this dissertation pursues literary history from the perspective of the physical and cultural space of the bookstore. Developing original methods for analyzing print and literary culture, this project uses the bookstore as the foundation for insights into three related areas: the commercial geography of print in nineteenth-century New York; the social history of literature, taste, and values; and the intellectual history of information technology.

Full project description.

See the home page posts for more information on recent presentations on this project.


Other publications include:

“The Things They Collected.” Review of “In Pursuit of a Vision: Two Centuries of Collecting at the American Antiquarian Society,” an exhibition at the Grolier Club, September 12-November 17, 2012. Common-Place, 13:2.5 (March 2013).

Review of Joan Shelley Rubin, Songs of Ourselves: The Uses of Poetry in America in SHARP News, Vol. 19, No. 1. (2010), p4.

“Gotham: The Other New York” in Lost New York: 1609-2009, an essay volume accompanying an exhibition and conference at New York University (2010).