Research Interests19th & 20th-Century American Literature & Culture; Cultural Studies
In both my teaching and my scholarship, I find myself centrally engaged with the relationship between literature and popular culture, mostly, though not exclusively, in the twentieth-century United States. Methodologically, my approach to this relationship combines sociological analysis of the cultural field with close readings of individual texts. My first book, Authors Inc.: Literary Celebrity in the Modern United States, 1880-1980, chronicles the emergence of literary celebrity in the late nineteenth century, as a strategy for negotiating the tensions between elite and popular conceptions of authorship, up through its contemporary manifestations. I hold a joint appointment with the Center for the Book, and my more recent scholarship engages the emergent fields of book studies and the new sociology of literature. I have just completed a history of Grove Press entitled Counter-Culture Colophon: Grove Press, the Evergreen Review and the Incorporation of the Avant-Garde (Post*45 Series with Stanford University Press).