Associate Professor

Department of English

University of Pennsylvania


I am currently Associate Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. Before coming to Penn, I taught as a postdoctoral fellow at UC Irvine and as an assistant professor at San Francisco State University. My research and teaching focus primarily on gender and sexuality studies and on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English literature and culture. I am also interested in critical and psychoanalytic theory; classical, medieval, and Continental influences on English thought; histories of religion and national identity; and early modern political history and philosophy.

My first book, Erotic Subjects: The Sexuality of Politics in Early Modern English Literature, examines how sixteenth- and seventeenth-century writers used scenarios of eroticized violence and cross-gender identification to explore the origins and limits of political allegiance (Oxford University Press, 2011). Right now, I am writing a second book entitled Unreformed Desires: Feminism, Queer Theory, and Early Modern Sexualities. Here, I consider how consciousness of the debates and genealogies of feminist and queer theory can expand our understandings of female sexuality in both the past and the present. By adopting a pluralistic, even conflicted, theoretical framework, this book reassess early modern representations of female masochism, promiscuity, celibacy, and homoeroticism. In addition to these longer projects, I have written articles on gender, sexuality, and politics in the works of Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, Marvell, Mary Wroth, and the Earl of Rochester. For a list of published and forthcoming essays, please see my CV.

With Ania Loomba I am currently editing Rethinking Feminism: Gender, Race, and Sexuality in Early Modern Studies, a volume of essays on the present state of studies of race, gender, and sexuality in the early modern period (Ashgate, forthcoming).