About me and current work

Office: 431 Williams, FSU English Department

I am an Associate Professor of English at Florida State University and Core Faculty with the History and Philosophy of Science Program.

I teach courses on 19th-century British culture.
Most of the courses I offer focus on literature and science, literature and medicine, or the history and theory of the novel.

I’m on sabbatical & fellowship/research leave for 2019-20.
I won’t be holding regular office hours, but I’ll check in with my email regularly.

FSU English department (click here)
Email me (click here)
Please send me an email if your question is urgent. Or two emails; my FSU email is not always reliable!


My current book manuscript, Beautiful Mechanism, examines what you might call Victorians’ fearful romance with the microscope and the “skeptical sublime.” Work on this has been supported by an NEH summer stipend, a Huntington-Linacre Exchange Fellowship at Oxford University, and an NEH yearlong fellowship. You can read more about it here and here.

I’ll be working at the Huntington Library in Spring 2020 as a Dibner Research Fellow, revising a book that grew out of that project. Portable Vastness explores the social and professional circulation of microscopy, engaging debates on community, locality, nationality, and empire.

I’m also interested in how nineteenth-century British novels and medical texts begin to use and resist using visual quantitative narratives, specifically tables, charts, and statistics. Work on this project includes the talk I gave on mediate auscultation at the University of Konstanz, Germany during Summer 2015 and the paper I gave at MLA 2016 on “Oliver as statistical unit.”

You can read a recent interview with me here.


I published Revising the Clinic: Vision and Representation in Victorian Medical Narrative and the Novel in 2010. The book examines the interplay between medical case histories and British novels from the eighteenth century to the age of Freud. Reissued in paperback in 2017.

Quick guide to recent work:

‘Throes and struggles … witnessed with painful distinctness’: The oxy-hydrogen microscope, performing science, and the projection of the moving image.” Victorian Studies 62.1 (2019, forthcoming).

Writing realism in nineteenth-century British literature and medicine,” in Literature and Medicine: The Nineteenth Century, ed. Andrew Mangham. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. Forthcoming.

Tono-Bungay and Burroughs Wellcome: Branding Imperial Popular Medicine.” Victorian Literature and Culture 45.1 (2017): 137-62.

“‘A True Prophet’?: Speculation in Victorian Sensory Physiology and George Eliot’s ‘The Lifted Veil.’” Nineteenth-Century Literature. PDF available here.

‘Discriminating the minuter beauties of nature’: Botany as Natural Theology in a Victorian Medical School,” in Strange Science: Investigating the Limits of Knowledge in the Victorian Age, ed. Shalyn Claggett and Lara Karpenko; forward by Gillian Beer. Ann Arbor: U Mich Pr.

“Open Annotation and Close Reading the Victorian Text: Using Hypothes.is with Students.” Journal of Victorian Culture. October 2016: 1-9. DOI 10.1080/13555502.2016.1233905. Fulltext available here.

“Cleanliness and Medicinal Cheer: Harriet Martineau, the ‘People of Bleaburn,’ and the Sanitary Work of Household Words” in Victorian Medicine and Popular Culture, ed. Louise Penner and Tabitha Sparks.  Pickering & Chatto, 2015, pp. 41-51. Currently published by Routledge.

“‘Let me die in your house’: Cardiac Distress and Sympathy in Nineteenth-Century British Medicine.” Click here for PDF. Copyright 2014. Johns Hopkins UP. This article first appeared in Literature and Medicine 32.1 (Spring 2014), 105-32. DOI 10.1353/lm.2014.0004.

“The Victorian Novel and Medicine” in The Oxford Handbook of the Victorian Novel. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.  http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199533145.do

“Modernist Autobiography, Hysterical Narrative, and the Unnavigable River: The Case of Freud and H.D.” Click here for PDF. Copyright 2012. This article first appeared in Literature and Medicine 30.2 (2012): 241-275. DOI 10.1353/lm.2012.0028



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