My research centers on the “long nineteenth century” (1780-1914) with a focus on the writing and critical ideas of John Ruskin (1819-1900), the most influential art critic of the century in Britain and America, and one of the century's most impressive nonfictional prose stylists.
In addition, I am currently engaged with “digital humanities”--that is, the applications of computing to humanistic inquiry--and the relation of literature to the visual arts. In my methods, I have always been drawn to a form of textual scholarship known as genetic criticism--the study of the creative process and how texts evolve from composition through stages of publication.
As an editor, I am coeditor of Nineteenth Century Studies, the interdisciplinary journal of the Nineteenth Century Studies Association; and I am editor of The Early Ruskin Manuscripts, 1826-1842, a digital edition of the early writings of John Ruskin.
Childhood Portrait of John Ruskin (1822) by James Northcote, R.A. (1746-1831)
The Brantwood Trust, Coniston, Cumbria
MA, PhD, University of Chicago. BA, Earlham College.
“Ruskin, Dante, and the Dark Waters of Praeterita.” Special Issue: “Ruskin,” ed. Sharon Weltman. Nineteenth Century Prose 35.1 (2008): 58-93.
“Precocity and Sibling Relations: Goethe and Macaulay Family Life Writing.” Special Issue: Macaulay, ed. Thomas Gillcrist. Nineteenth Century Prose 33.2 (Fall 2006): 18-48.
“Precocity and the Economy of the Evangelical Self in John Ruskin's Juvenilia.” Pp. 200-221 in The Child Writer from Austen to Woolf, ed. Christine Alexander and Juliet McMaster. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
“George Croly.” In The New Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.
“Self and Revision in Ruskin's Revaluations of Romanticism, 18301880.” Studies in Romanticism 39 (Summer 2000): 255-302.
“The Psychology of Fragmentation: A Bibliographic and Psychoanalytic Reconsideration of the Ruskin Juvenilia.” In Text: An Interdisciplinary Annual of Textual Studies, vol. 10, ed. W. Speed Hill, 237-58. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1998.
“George Croly.” In British Short-Fiction Writers, 18001880 (vol. 159 of Dictionary of Literary Biography), ed. John R. Greenfield, 69-83. Detroit, Washington, D.C., and London: Bruccoli Clark Layman/Gale Research, 1996.
“ Art and Letters Illustrated Magazine and the Beginnings of Arts and Crafts in New Orleans.” Regional Dimensions 12 (1994): 46-67. To be reprinted in Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial Series in Louisiana History,vol. 12, Arts and Entertainment in Louisiana, ed. Patricia Brady. Lafayette: Center for Louisiana Studies, forthcoming.
“Out of the Same Mouth Proceedeth Blessing and Cursing': Ruskin as the 'Strange Disciple.'” Modern Philology 90.3 (February 1993): 36080. Reprinted in Twentieth Century Literature Criticism, vol. 63, pp. 328-35. Detroit, Washington, D.C., and London: Gale Research, 1996. Reprinted also in Literature Resource, Galenet, a secured Internet subscription service, 2000.
“Ruskin's Praeterita and Landscape in Evangelical Children's Education.” Nineteenth-Century Literature 44.1 (June 1989): 45-66.
Selected Other Professional Activities and Achievements
President's Award, Nineteenth Century Studies Association, 2009.
President's Award for Excellence in Artistic Activity, Southeastern Louisiana University, 1998.
Leola Purcell Endowed Professorship in English, Southeastern Louisiana University, 20012003.
Dean of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award, Southeastern Louisiana University, 1996.
Gamma Beta Phi Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award, Southeastern Louisiana University, 1995.
Vice-President and President, Council of Editors of Learned Journals, 20022005.
Board Member, Nineteenth Century Studies Association, 1999-present.
Visiting Fellow, Huntington Library, 20052006.
Visiting Fellow, Beinecke Library, 1998.
Louisiana Board of Regents “Atlas” Grant Recipient, 20052006.
Other grants and fellowships:
American Philosophical Society, 1991; Arts Council of Baton Rouge, 19961999; Bibliographical Society of America, 1998; Louisiana Division of the Arts, 19931999; National Endowment for the Humanities, 1991 and 1998; NINES Summer Workshop, 2005.