I came to Princeton in 2014, where I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English. My dissertation, Form and Matter: Anglophone Landscapes and Colonial History, offers a wholesale reevaluation of landscape aesthetics. It situates landscape within aesthetic and colonial histories, describing its effects in the history of science and the global emergence of capitalism to shed new light on the way aesthetic forms have shaped our contemporary reality.
At Princeton, I have taught courses on a wide range of topics, from the nineteenth century novel to the historical importance of children’s literature. Whether thinking about Where the Wild Things Are or Jane Austen, my goal is to lead my students to think critically about how cultural objects relate to the â€œreal world.â€ In doing so, I not only introduce them to high-level concepts in literary criticism, historiography, and philosophy, but also help them build a number of interrelated skills that are deeply important to broader academic success: the critical reading, thinking, and writing proficiency that helps young scholars succeed within and beyond the disciplines of the humanities. My strong belief is that these learning fundamentals are vital to students at all age levels and with a diverse set of academic goalsâ€”even those for whom college-level work is a long way off.
Originally from Southern California, I now live with my wife, a school psychologist, in the Philadelphia area. When weâ€™re not at a concert, travelling the world, or playing with our two cats, I spend my free time learning woodworking and furniture-making. In high school, I sang in a decorated a capella choir that competed nationally and played major roles in many musical productions. I also played travel baseball and competitive golf before I gave up both to captain my varsity academic team and earn entry to the California Speech and Debate tournament.