I am an assistant professor of English at Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham, Alabama where I specialize in the literature and culture of late medieval England. I have a particular interest in women's and gender studies, as well as medieval and classical theories of ethics, aesthetics, and emotions. My current book project, Forms of Suffering: Chaucer, Aesthetics, and the Invention of Pity, examines the development and transformation of the language of pity in medieval English literature and culture through a study of the poetry of Geoffrey Chaucer. I argue that Chaucer reformulated trans-European pity discourses for an English audience, and, in the process, made pity a central ethical and aesthetic concern in English literature.
I am also interested in the social and gender politics of the particular vocabulary that developed in Passion narratives in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. To that end, I am developing a secondary project, Passionate Language: Constructing a Vocabulary of the Passion in Medieval and Early Modern England, tracing how keywords in Passion narratives such as glory, reuthe, and compassion came into the English language and how they were deployed for political purposes. Part of this project studying compassion in the work of Nicholas Love and Margery Kempe is forthcoming from the Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies.
I hold a Ph.D. in English from Duke University and a B.A. degree from Sewanee: The University of the South. Before joining Birmingham-Southern College, I was Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Duke University.