My research focuses on the relations between art and literature from the end of the eighteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth. I write on novels and poems, but also on criticism, art history, aesthetic theory, and the history of institutions across the period, as well as on the intersection of violence and responses to the fine arts. At the undergraduate level I regularly teach classes ranging from Victorian Literature to James Joyce, as well as ones with a wider set of concerns, including Principles of Literary Study and Civilization and its Discontents, which are both Core courses. Recent graduate clasess include Aesthetics and Social Critique, War/After War, Decadent to Modern Revisited, and Matter, Thing, and Remain in the Nineteenth Century and After.
I am the author of Overlooking Damage: Art, Display and Loss in Times of Crisis (2022), Material Inspirations: The Interests of the Art Object in the Nineteenth Century and After (2020), Haunted Museum: Longing, Travel, and the Art -Romance Tradition (2005), and Desire & Excess: The Nineteenth-Century Culture of Art (2000) and editor of The Emergence of the Modern Museum: An Anthology of Nineteenth-Century Sources (2007). My articles include: “Display Time: Art, Disgust, and the Returns of the Crystal Palace.” (Yearbook of English Studies, 2010); “Owning Art after Napoleon: Trophy, Symbol, and the Question of Restitution at the Birth of the Museum.” (PMLA, 2010); "Speed, Desire, and the Museum: The Golden Bowl as Art Romance" (Henry James Review, 2002); and "Leonardo, Pater and the Challenge of Attribution" (Raritan, 2001).
Other representative publications include“Beauty and her Sisters in the Nineteenth Century and After,” in The Question of the Aesthetic, ed. George Levine (2022). “Beauty,” Victorian Literature and Culture (Winter 2020), "War and The Domestic Interior: Pater, Curtius, and Praz in the House of Life." Modern Language Quarterly (June 2017), "Lang's Survivals," The Andrew Lang Effect (Special issue, RaVoN, October 2013), "Mere Antiquarianism." Romantic Antiquarianism (Special issue, Romantic Praxis, June 2014), "Classical Things: Archeological Poetics, Aesthetics, and the Mediation of Antique Art." The Oxford Hisotry Classical Reception in English Literature, Vol. 4: 1780-1880 (February 2015),and "Victorian Aesthetics," The Oxford Handbook of Victorian Literary Culture. (May 2015).
I have served as President of the Northeast Victorian Studies Association and on the Executive Committee of the MLA Division on the Victorian Period. I have been the recipient of a National Humanities Center Fellowship (1999-2000), an ACLS/Burkhardt Fellowship, and a Rome Prize Fellowship (2003-2004).