Visiting Assistant Professor
In my classroom and in my writing, I try to focus on how writers imagine their communities. In particular, I examine how secularization and globalization destabilize tacit assumptions about the relationships between tradition, location, and identity. At the center of this enquiry is my research into the global imaginations of Catholic writers in the 20th century. My dissertation, Pax Ecclesia: Globalization and Catholic Literary Modernism, reads the fiction of Catholic modernists in the light of nascent globalization. This same approach structures my current work on religion in contemporary West African literature. In each context, I critique readings that insist on narrowly national definitions and critical approaches that treat religion as a discursive technique rather than a lived experience.
My teaching covers a wide range of geographic and ideological contexts under the general heading of modernism. I work to equip students with a critical vocabulary with which to discuss modern literature, and I give them many opportunities to demonstrate facility with that vocabulary. In other words, I value writing very highly in all of my classes. In their writing, I encourage students to consider the many historical, political, and philosophical/religious contexts of literature. This emphasis grows from my own work examining how religious and political identities interact.