I am an assistant professor of English at Birmingham-Southern College 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. 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.
With the support of a fellowship from the Huntington Library I am completing work on my first book project, Forms of Suffering: Chaucer, Aesthetics, and the Invention of Pity. This project 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 appears in the Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies.
I have published essays on digital humanities pedagogies, as well as questions of gender, orthodoxy, and power in the works of Nicholas Love, Margery Kempe, and fifteenth-century lollard communities.