Co-Director of the College Fellows & Associate Professor of German Studies
I teach and write on European intellectual history, media theory, and the history of education and technology. My work ranges across centuries and ideas. In part, that’s because I get easily distracted by new books and new ideas, but it’s also because I simply love to learn from my students, my colleagues, and my books.
As co-director of the College Fellows Program, I consider the Engagements a dream come true. My work as chair of the General Education Reform Committee, which designed the new curriculum, inspired me to teach in the College Fellows Program. As a Fellow, I get to teach with and learn from some of UVA’s smartest and most talented faculty members, and I leave every Fellows meeting with a new book or a new thought. I get to share all those with students in their very first college class and show them that learning never ends and, regardless of your career, that you can devote your life to it.
My teaching has been recognized with an All University Teaching Award, and my scholarship has been supported by awards and fellowships from the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council of Learned Societies. I’ve written essays on everything from Google’s search engines and Facebook’s algorithms to virtue in the modern university and the history of reading. My five published books include Interacting with Print: Elements of Reading in an Era of Print Saturation (forthcoming, 2017), and Organizing Enlightenment: Information Overload and the Invention of the Modern Research University (2015).