Associate Professor, Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences
I teach courses in literature and the environment, American literature, the history of nineteenth-century science, especially the history of earth and environmental sciences, and environmental justice. I also direct the Environment and Sustainability Studies Minor in HASS.
My research fits most broadly into the category of environmental humanities, and I focus especially on reactions and responses to evolutionary theory in the U.S., with a special focus on Darwin’s plant studies. I’ve published a book on women, nature and science, ‘Good Observers of Nature’: American Women and the Scientific Study of the Natural World, 1820-1885 (2007) and co-edited a collection of essays that explores the distinctive qualities of American textual engagement with Darwinism, America’s Darwin: Darwinian Evolution and U.S. Literary Culture (with Lydia Fisher; University of Georgia Press, 2014). I’ve also published articles on Darwinian botany, evolutionary science and women’s social reform, and women’s participation in botanical correspondence networks.
I’m currently working on a co-editing a volume featuring original plant studies from LGBTQIA people in the British Empire (~1650-1950). And recently, I’ve worked with an international team on a digital environmental huminites project, collecting plant stories written by people around the world, Herbaria 3.0: Everyone has a story to tell about a plant. What’s yours? www.herbaria3.org, (funded by The Seed Box: A Mistra-Formas Environmental Humanities Collaboratory, Sweden).
I have been a U.S. Fulbright Core Scholar (Naples, Italy, 2017) and have received fellowships from The Huntington Library, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council of Learned Societies. My work as Co-Ombudsperson for the History of Science Society is a particular passion. My degrees in literature are from Columbia University (Ph.D., 2002; M.Phil., 1996; M.A., 1993; B.A., 1991).
When I’m not reading or writing about the outside world, I prefer to be in it, climbing, skiing, or hiking through the mountains with my dog.