- B.A., University of North Carolina, 2000
- M.A., North Carolina State University, 2008
- Ph.D., Duquesne University, 2014
In the classroom, as in my research, I engage students in considering the various kinds of sociopolitical and cultural work that American literature and African American literature in particular performs in the world. I am especially invested in helping students to think within and across boundaries of genre as well as race and gender. To assist them in this process, I bring a range of critical lenses—theories of race and gender, celebrity studies, and cultural studies, to name a few—to bear on our readings and encourage students to become active participants in literary and sociocultural discourses.
Currently under review, my book manuscript, Constructions of the Muse: Blues Tributes in Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century American Poetry, engages in this interdisciplinary, cross-cultural work by examining poetic representations of five blues icons: Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Huddie Ledbetter (Leadbelly), and Robert Johnson. At present, I am at work on a multi-genre project that explores literary representations of Negro League baseball produced by a diverse array of African American and Anglo American writers. My research in African American poetry has either appeared in or is forthcoming in African American Review, South Atlantic Review, The CEA Critic, and MELUS (the journal of the Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States).