Assistant Professor, Limited Term Appointment, English
Research and Teaching Interests
My dissertation examined the contribution of dramatic form to sixteenth and seventeenth century dialogical representations of difference and, more broadly, how the early modern stage entered philosophical debates about toleration in the period. More recently, I have been researching the ways in which early modern conceptions of travel as performance intersect with debates about the affective and transformative powers of the stage. In underscoring the correspondences between the cultural practices of travel and the theater, I have been considering the implications, for a concept of national character and personal identity, of viewing travelers as actors and, thus, literally as hypocrites. Contemporary guides coached the traveler to perform a repertoire of roles abroad, so that, while sheltered from some of the perceived pernicious influences of exposure to foreign influence, the traveler became vulnerable to attacks commonly directed at the stage actor in the many anti-theatrical tracts. Further, travel writing in an age of exploration and colonization fed an expanding appetite for mental adventure (that was sometimes touted as the safe alternative to the perils of actual travel) that the theater both aroused and palliated.
In addition to undergraduate teaching across the early modern period and its major genres, at Concordia I have also taught graduate seminars dedicated to the period, including courses on the representation of the Irish, cross-cultural encounters on the stage, emerging concepts of travel, literature of the Age of Discovery, and archiving and collecting from Burton to Browne.
Ph.D. Queen's University
Dissertation: Early Modern Drama and the Question of Toleration