I am professor of English at Central Michigan University, where I teach a range of courses on American literature and popular culture.
Born in Washington, DC and raised in Maryland, I earned my BA in English from the University of Pennsylvania, my MA in American literature from the George Washington University, and my PhD from the interdisciplinary Program in the Human Sciences at the George Washington University. I have taught at CMU since 2001.
My research focuses on the “cultural work” performed by the Gothic in its various manifestations—the ways in which Gothic texts and practices give shape to culturally specific anxieties and desires. This interest has led me from considering, for example, how nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American women made use of Gothic conventions as a strategy to express discontentment with their circumscribed roles to thinking about the ways contemporary monsters reflect shifting American fears and aspirations.
In 2020, I founded the Modern Language Association (MLA) Gothic Studies Forum. In 2023, I founded the Society for the Study of the American Gothic and currently serve as its director.