Research and teaching interests:
My research and teaching interests range from the 18th century to the present, with particular emphasis on the late 19th/early 20th century, and include American Studies, African American and multi-ethnic U.S. literatures, material culture, popular culture, children’s literature, environmental humanities, popular romance, work and leisure.
My first book, The Leisure Ethic: Work and Play in American Literature, 1840-1940, a study of the rise of the recreation reform movement and theories of leisure in nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century American culture, was published in 1999 by Stanford University Press.
My second book, Sites Unseen: Architecture, Race, and American Literature was published in August 2011 by New York University Press as part of their America and the Long 19th Century series. In September 2012 it was named one of three runners-up for the John Hope Franklin publication prize for the best book in American Studies by the American Studies Association. You can read an excerpt in The Journal of Transamerican Studies (2012).
My third book, The Pocket Instructor: Literature, co-edited with my colleague Diana Fuss, was released in November 2015 by Princeton University Press. Featuring 101 teaching exercises divided into 11 sections, with multiple cross-references for lesson planning, this is the first comprehensive collection of hands-on, active learning exercises for the college literature clasroom.
My fourth book, Keywords for Environmental Studies, co-edited with Joni Adamson and David N. Pellow, was published in February 2016 by New York University Press. Its concise essays present a state-of-the-field account of 60 key terms in the environmental humanities, environmental social sciences, sustainability sciences, and the sciences of nature. For sample essays, teaching tips, and a blog, visit keywords.nyupress.org/environmental-studies/.
During the Fall 2014 semester I served as co-convener (with Bruno Carvalho) of the Princeton-Mellon Forum for Research on the Urban Environment. The semester's research theme was "American Places." I am also a research collaborator with Humanities for the Environment (North American Observatory).
My next co-edited volume should be out soon: