In 1987 I graduated from the University of Idaho with a B.A. in History and English. In 1993 I finished my Ph.D. at the University of Iowa, where I specialized in American literature and culture before 1900 and critical theories of history and culture.
I moved to Kansas in August of 1993 and became an assistant professor at Kansas State University in the Department of English, where I teach courses in cultural studies and American literature and culture. I served as the Director of Graduate Studies in English from 1997 to 2010, and I was promoted to associate professor in 1998 and to professor in 2005. In 2008, I became Coffman University Distinguished Teaching Scholar. I currently direct K-State First, our university's First-Year Experience Program.
I have written a book called Literature and Humanitarian Reform in the Civil War Era (Indiana University Press, 1996) and edited two others with my colleague Professor Anne K. Phillips, an edition of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women (2004) for the Norton Critical Edition series and The Louisa May Alcott Encyclopedia (2001) for Greenwood Press. I have also prepared an edition of the works of Emma Lazarus and an edition of Adah Isaacs Menken's writings (both 2002) for Broadview Press. I have some other, shorter publications as well.
The life and writings of Louisa May Alcott continue to be an important area of research for me. Currently, I am working on her classic children's fiction, but I remain interested in her entire body of work -- her thrillers, her fiction for adults, and her nonfiction (see the edition of The Sketches of Louisa May Alcott) -- as well as her life, career, religion, and culture. Other current intellectual pursuits include the first-year experience for college students, systems theory, William James and nineteenth-century pragmatism, Walt Whitman, and the relationships among literature, contradiction, and emotion in nineteenth-century America.
I can be reached at the Department of English, English/Counseling Services Building 124A, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66056-6501. Phone: 785.532.0386. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.