My research focuses on the collective cultural rhetorics that inform our understanding of powerful public women. I argue that public discourse, at its most pervasive and superficial, works to minimize their accomplishments and pathologize their ambition.
This commitment to exploring how public rhetoric minimizes the contribution of minoritized and marginalized artists informs much of my work, from my monograph Amy Lowell, Diva Poet (Ashgate 2011), winner of the 2011 MLA Book Prize for Independent Scholars, to a Camera Obscura article on the arrogation of Janis Joplin’s life and career in The Rose, to a piece on FX’s Feud: Bette and Joan in the LA Review of Books.
My current book project, Collectible Women: Literary Celebrity and the Rhetorics of Remembering traces contemporary understandings of women poets back to the images, objects, and ephemera that often stand in for their work in a culture more interested in poetic reputations than in poetry itself. I consider the ideological implications of a range of commercial representations of poets, from postage stamps to paper dolls, arguing that the rhetorical work these extra-literary materials do has been critical in creating and sustaining an eclectic and limited pool of reliably profitable, gendered literary figures, shaping what we think we know about them.
I am also working on a critical edition of Amy Lowell’s letters both in print and as an open-access digital archive supported by an NEH-Mellon Foundation Fellowship for Digital Publication. Lowell corresponded with virtually all the most prominent writers and publishers of her time, but no representative collection of her letters exists. The letters I’ve chosen for my edition dramatize the centrality of her role in the development and dissemination of a controversial experimental poetics, offering a narrative of the battles, both public and private, surrounding modern poetry. They reveal the labor behind the poetry we take for granted as we encounter it in volumes and periodicals, the seemingly endless chain of queries, submissions, rejections, revisions, and financial transactions that bridge artistic creation and public consumption.
Amy Lowell, Diva Poet (Ashgate, 2011) Winner of the 2011 MLA Book Prize for Independent Scholars
this need to dance / this need to kneel”: Denise Levertov and the Poetics of Faith, with Michael P. Murphy. Wipf and Stock, 2019.
Amy Lowell, American Modern: Critical Essays, with Adrienne Munich. Rutgers University Press, March 2004.
Selected Poems of Amy Lowell, with Adrienne Munich. Rutgers University Press, November 2002.
articles and book chapters
“Fantasies of Belonging, Fears of Precarity.” Women Making Modernism. Ed. Erica Delsandro. University Press of Florida, 2020, 157-173.
“Wheelpolitik: The Moral and Aesthetic Project of Edith Sitwell’s Wheels, 1916-1921.” Women, Periodicals, and Print Culture in Britain, 1890s-1920s: the Modernist Period. Ed. Faith Binckes and Carey Snyder. Edinburgh University Press, 2019, 329-341.
“The Apotheosis of Edith”: Artifice and Noblesse Oblige in Cecil Beaton’s Portraits of the Sitwell Siblings.” The Many Facades of Edith Sitwell. Ed. Allan Pero and Gyllian Phillips. University Press of Florida, 2017, 54-74.
“Lady Macbeth Goes to Hollywood: Edith Sitwell’s 1950-1951 American Tour.” Modernism/modernity, Volume 23, No. 1, (January 2016), 23-27.
“Edna St. Vincent Millay.” A Companion to Modernist Poetry. Ed. Gail McDonald and David E. Chinitz. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2014, 474-484.
“Performing Greenwich Village Bohemianism,” Cambridge Companion to the Literature of New York, ed. Cyrus R.K. Patell and Bryan Waterman. New York: Cambridge University Press, May 2010, 146-159.
“Devouring the Diva: Martyrdom as Feminist Backlash in The Rose.” Camera Obscura, 67, Volume 23, No. 1 (Spring 2008), 69-87. “Remembering Amy Lowell: Embodiment, Obesity, and the Construction of a Persona,” Amy Lowell, American Modern: Critical Essays. Rutgers University Press. March, 2004, 167-185.
Introduction (with Adrienne Munich). Amy Lowell, American Modern: Critical Essays. Rutgers University Press. March, 2004, XI-XXVI.
“‘Let us shout it lustily’: Amy Lowell’s Career in Context.” Introduction to Selected Poems of Amy Lowell. Rutgers University Press. November 2002, XV-XXVI.
“Outselling the Modernisms of Men: Amy Lowell and the Art of Self-Commodification,” Victorian Poetry, Volume 38, No. 1 (Spring 2000), 141-169.
Opinion Contributor, “The Misogyny of FX’s Feud: Bette and Joan, LA Review of Books (May 7, 2017), https://blog.lareviewofbooks.org/essays/misogyny-fxs-feud-bette-joan/
Opinion Contributor, “We Don’t Need Another Diva,” Ms. Magazine Blog (February 6, 2017), http://msmagazine.com/blog/2017/02/06/dont-need-another-diva/
“Large Projects, Large Teams: Benefits, Drawbacks, and Strategies for Project Management and Collaboration,”Digital Humanities Initiative Spring Workshop, University of Illinois Chicago, April 2021
“The Amy Lowell Letters Project: Digitizing a Career in Poetry.” Center for Textual Studies and Digital Humanities, Loyola University Chicago, March 11, 2020.
“Myths and Mysteries of Louisa May Alcott.” Edgewater Village Speaker Series, Edgewater Library, Chicago, IL, September 7, 2018.
“Gertrude Stein’s Plastic Afterlife.” Newberry Colloquium Series, Newberry Library, Chicago, IL, August 22, 2018; International Lawrence Durrell Society Conference, Chicago, IL, July 6, 2018.
“The Poet as Postage Stamp.” The Future of English Studies Symposium, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, May 7, 2018.
“Carl Sandburg’s Chicago Poems, 100 Years Later,” Loyola University Libraries, Loyola University Chicago, April 7, 2016.
“Tradition and the Belligerent Talent, or Sisters are Doing it for Themselves,” plenary talk at Virginia Woolf and Her Female Contemporaries: Twenty-fifth Annual International Virginia Woolf Conference, Bloomsburg, PA, June 4-7, 2015.