About

I grew up in Pennsylvania, in and around Philadelphia. 
I was an undergraduate at Temple University, did my Master’s
Degree at The University of Pennsylvania, and my doctorate
in English Literature at Louisiana State University. I am
currently a postdoctoral teaching fellow at Tulane University
in the great city of New Orleans.

My expertise in contemporary American literature and its
comparative ethnic perspectives has come from an array of
diverse professional experiences that enrich my teaching,
give me a broad cultural perspective, and positively influence
my students.

My forthcoming book, Vigilante Women in Contemporary American
Fiction, focuses on female characters who refuse to accept
injustice. This project intervenes in the critical understanding
of how American law and culture infringe upon the rights of
American citizens, even in the current age. I argue that twentieth
and twenty-first century accounts of female vigilantes amend
male models of vigilantism because they are concerned not with
abstract notions of honor and legacy, but with changing the lives
of women. The female vigilante allows readers to reconceptualize
the identities of modern women by providing an arena to analyze
the gap between legally acceptable behavior and morally redeemable
behavior in the United States.

Women’s vigilante literature especially foregrounds the
gendered bias and racialized images endemic to American society,
including sexual stereotypes, impossible standards of beauty,
and cultural mandates that situate women squarely in the domestic
realm. I address all of these topics in my blog.

Vigilante heroines act to remedy violence that women experience on
a daily basis: domestic violence, restrictive laws, and lack of
political recourse, for example. Moreover, the authors upon whom
I focus (Zora Neale Hurston, Alice Walker, Maxine Hong Kingston,
and Susan Glaspell, among others) address the concerns of women
who face the inflexible attitudes of the American justice system.
The heroines created by these authors challenge ingrained social
expectations, creating a positive and more inclusive space for
law, morality, and civility to flourish. Further, the vigilante
characters of these novels model how acts of illegal resistance
are representative of the larger movement toward equal rights in
American culture, which makes the texts upon which I focus
especially relevant and compelling.

I have constructed and taught courses for the English department
at LSU since 2003, including Major American Authors, Introduction
to Fiction, Images of Women, and six sections of college writing.
I have earned several teaching awards, including  the Caffey prize
for teaching composition (LSU 2004). the LSU English Department’s
Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award (2008), and the LSU Alumni
Association Teaching Award (2008).

My essays have appeared in various publications including:
The Southern Quarterly, The Journal of Florida Literature,
and In-between: Essays & Studies in Literary Criticism.