Ph.D., Princeton University, 1991
My writing and teaching respond to the ways that literary form makes interesting trouble for a range of other fields of thought, including moral philosophy, psychology, and history. My first book, Novels Behind Glass, concerned the interplay between narrative form and the commodity culture of Victorian England. More recently this preoccupation with literary form (and especially fundamental matters of perspective and orientation) has led me to consider the means by which novels frame our conceptions of particular ethical problems — and led me as well to study topics in moral psychology, including helplessness, knowingness, shame, and envy. Many of these interests are gathered together in The Burdens of Perfection, which aims to evoke and analyze the continuing powers, alluring and repellant, of nineteenth century moral perfectionism. I’m exploring others in my current project, which is titled "On Not Being Someone Else." I regularly teach graduate courses on academic writing and critical method; a recent seminar concerned counterfactualism in literature and philosophy. Finally, much of my time is spent as a co-editor of the journal Victorian Studies.