I am a scholar of contemporary literature, queer theory and culture, literary theory,
affect studies, and film. Currently, I am an Assistant Professor of English at the State University of New York (SUNY), Cortland. I received my Ph.D. in English from Rutgers University, where I was a Jacob K. Javits Fellow. I have attended the School of Criticism and Theory at Cornell University and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Haverford College.
My first book, Queer Experimental Literature: The Affective Politics of Bad Reading, was published in the Palgrave Studies in Affect Theory and Literary Criticism series, edited by Adam Frank and Joel Faflak. Queer Experimental Literature argues that postwar writers queer the affective relations of reading through experiments with literary form. I conceptualize “bad reading” as an affective politics that stimulates queer relations of erotic and political belonging in the event of reading. These incipiently social relations press back against legal, economic, and discursive forces that reduce queerness into a mode of individuality. Each chapter traces the affective politics of bad reading against moments when queer relationality is prohibited, obstructed, or destroyed—from the pre-Stonewall literary obscenity debates, through the AIDS crisis, to the emergence of neoliberal homonormativity and the gentrification of the queer avant-garde. I contest the common narrative that experimental writing is too formalist to engender a mode of social imagination. Instead, I illuminate how queer experimental literature uses form to redraw the affective and social relations that structure the heteronormative public sphere. Through close readings informed by affect theory, Queer Experimental Literature offers new perspectives on writers such as William S. Burroughs, Samuel R. Delany, Kathy Acker, Jeanette Winterson, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Alison Bechdel, and Chuck Palahniuk. Queer Experimental Literature ultimately reveals that the recent turn to affective reading in literary studies is underwritten by a para-academic history of bad reading that offers new idioms for understanding the affective agencies of queer aesthetics.
This project has been supported by grants from the Mellon Foundation, the Jacob K. Javits Foundation, Haverford College, the Cortland College Foundation, and the SUNY Cortland Dean of Arts and Sciences. Excerpts from the manuscript have been published in GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies and Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature.
I am also co-editor, with E.L. McCallum, of After Queer Studies: Literary Theory and Critical Interpretation (under contract, Cambridge UP), an anthology devoted to the intersecting legacies of queer theory and literary studies. This volume maps the influences that made queer theory’s academic emergence possible and charts the trajectories that shape its continued evolution.
I am co-founder and co-director, with Heather Bartlett, of the Distinguished Voices in Literature speaker series. The series brings literary scholars, poets, fiction writers, and essayists to SUNY Cortland for lectures, readings, and workshops. Featuring both established and emerging writers and academics, the series showcases cutting-edge perspectives in and on contemporary literature.
In addition to my research, I regularly offer courses on contemporary literature, multicultural literatures, sexuality and representation, literary theory, postmodernism, and cinema. For a list of my recent courses, click on Courses.
For a list of my upcoming and past public talks and events, click on News.