I work on the modern novel in British, Anglophone and European contexts, and its philosophical and cultural tasks in twentieth-century thought; the interplay of ethics and literature; and cultural responses to global manmade species extinction. My research spans the period from the later nineteenth century to the contemporary. I work both within the field of literature and beyond it, for my scholarship addresses what ‘the novel’ is and the migration of novelistic modes into other media, particularly contemporary art, and asks how literature and visual art respond to and think about the age of extinction as a modern phenomenon. My interests are a reflection of my interdisciplinary training at New York University and the University of Chicago and exist at the intersection of literature, philosophy, critical theory, history and the environment.
I came to the College Fellows program and the engagements courses for three key reasons. First, aesthetic and ethical problems are intertwined in my work and I wanted to teach courses that encourage creative connections across disciplines and media. Second, the engagements lay the foundation for university-level thinking: to question the concepts we use to approach, categorize and reflect on ways of looking at the world, and to invite us to consider new and radical perspectives. Third, the role of the humanities in public life is crucial to the questions I ask in my teaching and research, and to the urgent challenges - such as manmade extinction - facing us now.