I specialize in research on 18th-century natural history collections and collectors, as well as the intersections between natural history and anthropology. I am especially interested in how recontextualizing historical narratives and reintegrating indigenous perspectives might yield a more wholistic understanding of human and “natural” landscapes.
Environmental literature, nature writing, American Literature
Walt Whitman, nature imagery, science and poetry.
Shakespeare, Milton, ecocriticism, architecture and nature in literature
Tournant des Lumières; Natural History; Jean-Baptiste Lamarck
gothic fiction, American realism and naturalism, class studies, film history, composition pedagogy, service learning
Late nineteenth and early twentieth century American literature, Naturalism, Realism, Romanticism, and Modernism.
Cultures of collecting (C19)
History of photography, natural history, libraries, collecting
20th-21st century French philosophy, Affect Theory, Theories of Human Nature
I am a historian of early modern political thought, working on topics from the German Reformation to the Early Enlightenment and from Denmark/Norway to the Coast of West Africa. I am particularly interested in how different theories of natural law were used to justify and legitimise interests in different religious, political, commercial and colonial conflicts in early modern history. My first project was a contextual study of the political philosophy of the Wittenberg reformer Philipp Melanchthon and the first formulations of Protestant natural law theories. It investigated the different theories of natural law which Melanchthon developed and the purposes for which he applied (or didn’t apply) them in his political philosophical works. An early fruit of this project was an article on Melanchthon’s commentary on Aristotle’s Politics published in History of Political Thought.