Interdisciplinary literary and cultural studies, including in disciplines outside the humanities (e.g., the sciences, mathematics, law, etc.); Scottish literary and intellectual history, 1707-the present; British literature of the long eighteenth century; Romanticism; modernism; critical and literary theory; the Enlightenment and its intellectual legacy; history and morphology of literary forms; literary and intellectual history; crime fiction
My work is concerned with Greek and Roman literature, religion, and philosophy, from Homer to late antiquity, and their reception in European intellectual history.
RESEARCH: Latin American literature, cinema, and intellectual history; the avant-gardes; and political philosophy. PERSONAL: travel, activism, and the outdoors.
Mīrzā Fatḥ ‘Alī Ākhūndzāda’s Letters from Prince Kamāl al-Dawla to the Prince Jalāl al-Dawla (1865) is often read as a Persian attempt to introduce European Enlightenment political thought to modern Iranian society. This essay frames Ākhūndzāda’s text within a broader intellectual tradition. I read Ākhūndzāda as a radical reformer whose intellectual ambition were shaped by prior Persian and Arabic endeavors to map the diversity of religious belief and to critically assess the limits of religion. That Ākhūndzāda’s critique of religion reached further than that of his predecessors is due in part to the influence of the European Enlightenment, but Ākhūndzāda’s form of critical reasoning was also substantially shaped by prior early modern intellectual genealogies.
Utopian/dystopian studies, European intellectual history (19th-20th century), political theory, critical theory, literature and philosophy
German literature and culture
film, media, visual culture
new media art and aesthetic
intellectual history from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century
medieval and Golden Age Spanish literature & culture, intellectual history, book history, bibliography, cataloging and librarianship, knowledge organization; gardening, reading, poetry, slow food, music
British Literature, Victorian Literature and Culture, Romanticism, South African Literature, Novel, Poetry, Literary Theory and Criticism, Philosophy, Intellectual History, Science, History of Science, Literature and Science, Mathematics and Literature, Law and Literature, Animal Studies
19th-century Latin American prose and intellectual history / Foundational narratives of Latin America / Regionalism / Warfare / Landscape photography / Travel narratives / Geography/ Pedagogy and Didactics/ Cognitive linguisticsrunning/skiing/photography/opera
…Society for U.S. Intellectual History
Organization of American Historians
American Historical Association…
I am an educator, historian, and critic. I possess a doctorate in U.S. history from Loyola University Chicago, with specialties in cultural and intellectual history, as well as the history of education. That work resulted in a book, The Dream of a Democratic Culture: Mortimer J. Adler and the Great Books Idea (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). I co-founded both the U.S. Intellectual History Blog and the Society for U.S. Intellectual History. Articles by me have appeared in the Journal of the History of Ideas, American Catholic Studies, The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, U.S. Catholic Historian, Public Seminar, and various encyclopedias. I am currently working on two book manuscripts—one on ‘great books cosmopolitanism’ and another on anti-intellectualism and ignorance in post-WWII America. On top of history and education, I also enjoy talking beer, Catholicism, politics, popular culture, and baseball. When I’m in an analytical mode, I tend, of course, toward historical thinking and qualitative (non-analytic) philosophy.