20th and 21st c. Literature and Culture of the United States
Sociology of Literature
Popular Music Studies
My research and teaching focus on literature and culture of the twentieth- and twenty-first century United States, with a particular interest in literary modernism broadly conceived. My approach is sociological, with a particular focus on literary institutions. My first book, Authors Inc.: Literary Celebrity in the Modern United States, 1880-1980, chronicles the emergence of literary celebrity at the turn of the twentieth 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 fields of book studies and publishing history. My second book was 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); it reprinted in paperback by Seven Stories Press under the title Rebel Publisher: Grove Press and the Revolution of the Word. Since then, I’ve been studying the history of creative writing, which has resulted in an edited collection entitled, After the Program Era: The Past, Present, and Future of Creative Writing in the University (Iowa, 2017). I’m currently working on an institutional history of creative writing at Iowa to be called University of Literature. In the meantime, I’ve been able to complete a study of Carole King’s Tapestry for Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series.
I’ve worked diligently on improving the climate and culture of our department, college, and university in terms of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. I’m BUILD certified and have helped establish the Division of DEI’s workshops on “Exploring White Identity” and “Dismantling White Supremacy Culture,” which I co-facilitate. As DEO, I composed the Racial Justice Action Plan and oversaw the establishment of our permanent committee on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access, and Social Justice (IDEAS).