Originally from Vancouver, I have an Honours B.A. in English and History from the University of British Columbia and an M.A. and Ph.D. in English from Cornell University. Since 1995, I have been a member of Dalhousie University’s English Department. After all these years, I am still adjusting to snow, ice, and spring that doesn’t arrive until June. I am married to a philosopher specializing in analytic epistemology and philosophy of religion. We have two extraordinary children: a son who amazes us all with his mathematical and musical prowess as well as his video game design, and a daughter who loves to sing and sometimes will still watch movies with her mom.
My main teaching area is the Victorian novel; I have a particular admiration for George Eliot and assign her greatest novel, Middlemarch, whenever possible. I also have teaching and research interests in ethical criticism, intersections between literature and moral philosophy, historical fiction and historiography, and the role of literature and criticism in contemporary life. A recent project is an anthology of Victorian critical writing on the novel for Broadview Press; details are available here. I also built the site Middlemarch for Book Clubs; the site content is now also available as a free ebook from Amazon and Kobo. You can find detailed information about my career, including a list of my publications, here. You can get information about my upcoming courses by following the links on my current Teaching page.
I blog about academia, literature, and criticism at Novel Readings. From 2008-2010 I contributed to the academic group blog The Valve (where you can still find an archive of my contributions). I am a senior editor and regular contributor at the online literary magazine Open Letters Monthly and write essays and reviews for a range of other publications.
Updated July 25, 2017