• Venable Professor of English

    Morton Hall, 025
    (434) 223-6254



Ph.D. English with a minor in film studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1993
M.A. English, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1988
B.A. English and History, Williams College, 1987, Magna Cum Laude, Honors in English

Teaching Interests

Contemporary fiction
Women's literature
American Literature
Literary Theory

Most Recent Publications

“Feminism, Film, and the Fantastic: An ‘Unnaturalizing’ Reading of Ali Smith’s The Accidental.” Storyworlds: A Journal of Narrative Studies, Winter 2016.

“Detection, Colonialism, Postcolonialism: The Sense of an Ending in Julian Barnes's Arthur & George.Journal of Narrative Theory, Summer 2015.

"Inventing, Revising, and Reinventing Women: Feminism and the Fantastic in the Novellas of Steven Millhauser."  Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, 2015.

"(Mis)Reading Natalie:  The Viewer's Cognitive Processes and the Unreadable in Christopher Nolan's Memento." Storyworlds: A Journal of Narrative Inquiry, Summer 2015.

"'Tu no eres nada de dominicano': Unnatural Narration and De-Naturalizing Gender Constructs in Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao." Journal of Men's Studies, Winter/Spring 2014. 

"The Eyes in the Trees: Magical Realism and Transculturation in Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible." Chapter from Feminist Narrative and the Supernatural (Weese 2008) reprinted in Contemporary Literary Criticism. Gale. Vol. 346, 2014.

Work in Progress
Article on Kate Atkinson’s Life after Life.

Book chapter on Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being

Book-length study of contemporary women writers’ ‘unnatural’ novels

Institutional Involvement

Academic Affairs Committee, 2021-present
Director of Rhetoric Program, July 2015-June 2020 and Jan 2001-June 2004
Committee on Professional Development 2014-2020 and 2008-2011 (Chair 2010-2011)
Honors Council 1996-2000; Director of Honors 2005-2008
Assessment Committee, 2005-2008, 2011-2014
Chair, Department of English, 2007-2010
Faculty advisor to English honorary society, Sigma Tau Delta, 2021-2023, 2012-2015 and 1995-2006.

Honors & Awards

Venable Professorship, 2018-present
Elliott Professorship, Hampden-Sydney College, 2003-2018
Thomas Edward Crawley Award for Service to the College, May 2007 

Professional Affiliations

Modern Language Association
International Society for the Study of Narrative 
Contemporary Women's Writing Association
International Society for Fiction and Fictionality Studies

Research Interests and potential topics for students

Research interests: Contemporary British and American Fiction; Narrative theory, especially feminist narrative theory and unnatural narrative theory; Fictions of the fantastic
Potential topics for students: Projects related to contemporary fiction or film studies projects.