My research and teaching interests lie in several fields, including British Victorian studies, critical race studies, gender studies, and the literature of South Africa. Critical race theory, for instance, constantly informs my work as I interrogate how Victorian literary works construct, question, or embody notions of racial “purity” and of racial mixture. I also seek to reinvigorate studies of the nineteenth century by looking at familiar figures, such as Charles Dickens or Wilkie Collins, from new perspectives and by paying prolonged attention to works or authors that scholars have neglected. In the courses I teach, my students and I enjoy paying close attention to textual details in order to figure out how literary texts achieve their effects (in other words, how they do what they do).
My current research projects focus on Dickens and collaboration; references to Dickens in rap and hip-hop music; and representations of post-apartheid living conditions in South Africa. I have developed a May-term travel seminar to South Africa and a January-term travel seminar to London. In my tiny bits of spare time, I enjoy traveling, hiking, being in large bodies of water, listening to Stevie Wonder, and watching Michigan football. I sometimes claim to run for exercise.