Research Overview

My research is motivated by the potential for literary study to encourage active, thoughtful engagement with the world and its inhabitants. To explore this potential, my work treats human subjects as part of an ecology of forces that comprise literary texts.

Animals provide my point-of-entry into an investigation of difference and otherness represented in a range of textual forms. Recent scholarship in the field of literary animal studies revises the longstanding inclination to read animals in literature as analogues for human characters, values, or desires. Drawing from such work, my research emphasizes how animals strain, disturb, or otherwise challenge anthropocentric narratives that insist on human dominance and sovereignty. My scholarship shows how animals’ morphological, behavioral, and phenomenological difference exposes the limits of human language and knowledge.

My research into the multiform ways human discourse produces the category of “the animal” requires a thoroughly interdisciplinary perspective. For this reason, my work explores canonical and non-canonical literary texts, environmental studies, popular culture, studies in animal behavior, and the biological sciences.