• 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

"Detection, Colonialism, Postcolonialism: The Sense of an Ending in Julian Barnes's Arthur & George."  Forthcoming in Journal of Narrative Theory (Fall 2015)

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

"(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 reprinted in Contemporary Literary Criticism. Gale. Vol. 346, 2014.

Feminist Narrative and the Supernatural: The Function of Fantastic Devices in Seven Recent Novels. Monograph. 2008.

"The Invisible Woman: Narrative Strategies in Carol Shields's The Stone Diaries." Journal of Narrative Theory, Winter 2006.

"Family Stories: Gender and Discourse in Atom Egoyan's The Sweet Hereafter." Narrative, January 2002.

"Feminist Uses of the Fantastic in Iris Murdoch's The Sea, The Sea." Modern Fiction Studies, Fall 2001. [Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism, Vol. 171, 2006.]

Normalizing Freakery: Katherine Dunn's Geek Love and the Female Grotesque. Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction, Summer 2000.

Work in Progress

Article on the intersections of theories of the fantastic, magic realism and unnatural narrative theory.

Article on Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad.

Article on feminism and unnatural narrative theory in Ali Smith's The Accidental

Institutional Involvement

Director of Rhetoric Program, July 2015-June 2018 and Jan 2001-June 2004
Committee on Professional Development 2014-2017 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
Gender Issues Committee, 2000-2003
Lectures & Programs Committee 1996-1999
faculty advisor to English honorary society, Sigma Tau Delta, 2012-2015 and 1995-2006
Health Science Advisory Committee 1994-1999

Honors & Awards

Elliott Professorship, Hampden-Sydney College, 2003-present
Thomas Edward Crawley Award for Service to the College, May 2007 
Teaching Fellow Award, UW-Madison College of Letters and Sciences, 1993
Teaching Assistant Mentor Award for excellence in teaching and leadership, UW-Madison Department of English, 1992
Dissertation Fellowship, UW-Madison Graduate School, 1992

Professional Affiliations

Modern Language Association
International Society for the Study of Narrative 
Contemporary Women's Writing Association

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.