Colby College Department of English
5250 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, ME 04901


Colby College
Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of English, 2016-Present

University of California, Los Angeles
Lecturer, Department of English, 2015-2016


University of California, Los Angeles
PhD in English, 2015
CPhil in English, 2012
MA in English, 2010

Tufts University
BA in English, summa cum laude, 2005


“Reading from A to Z: Alphabets, Didacticism, Politics” reads the alphabetic sequence—a ubiquitous cultural form—in the Anglophone literature and visual culture of the 20th and 21st centuries. Writers and artists from Virginia Woolf to Gertrude Stein, from Mary Kelly to Harryette Mullen, have used the sequence to figure the relationship between self, other, language, and authoritative social structures. The sequence is a culturally meaningful trope with great symbolic import; we are, after all, initiated into written discourse by learning our ABCs, and the sequence signifies logic, sense, and an encyclopedic and linear way of thinking about and representing the world. But the string of 26 arbitrary signifiers also represents rationality’s complete opposite; the alphabet is just as potent a symbol and technology of nonsense, arbitrariness, and (children’s) play. More than just a compendium of alphabetic texts, “Reading from A to Z” intervenes in current scholarly debates about the aesthetics and politics of form by documenting the ways in which the alphabetic sequence has become increasingly politicized over the last century, and suggests that, even in our most radical moments, we always return to our ABCs.


Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

“On Not Teaching Art: Baldessari, Pedagogy, and Conceptualism,” ASAP/Journal 3.1 (2018): 143-171.

“The ABCs of Conceptual Writing,” Comparative Literature Studies, 51.1 (2014): 132-158.

“Releasing Daphne: Alice Fulton, Ovid, Trees,” Contemporary Women’s Writing 8.1 (2014): 89-107.

“‘Too Old for Children and Too Young for Grown-ups’: Gertrude Stein’s To Do: A Book of Alphabets and Birthdays,” Modernism/modernity 18.3 (2011): 575-595. 

Selected Other Publications

“Read Toads at the International Cryptozoology Museum.” Los Angeles Review of Books. July 17, 2018.

“Canoodling with Junk Food: On Tommy Pico’s Junk.” Los Angeles Review of Books. May 10, 2018.

“Sharp But Narrow.” Los Angeles Review of Books. April 19, 2018.

Never Let Me Go and the Human Condition.” Avidly. October 9, 2017.

“Demystifying the Contents of the Universe: A New Look at Mina Loy.” Los Angeles Review of Books. August 13, 2017.

“Aslant to the Flâneur: A Conversation with Lauren Elkin.” Public Books. July 10, 2017.

“Facing Facts, Facing Reality: On Deborah Nelson’s Tough Enough.” Los Angeles Review of Books. June 8, 2017.

“On Murder.” Los Angeles Review of Books. February 10, 2017. essays/ murder.

“The Gore Vidal Papers: A Love Story.” The Toast. June 20, 2016.

“The Six-Word Story” in The Pocket Instructor: Literature. Ed. Diana Fuss and William A. Gleason, (Princeton: Princeton UP, 2015): 47-49.

“Reduction and Relief.” Review of Voyage of the Sable Venus and Other Poems by Robin Coste Lewis. Public Books. September 30, 2015. reduction-and-relief.

“Google and (the) Alphabet.” Avidly. August 12, 2015.

“Quick Question: On Conceptual Art and Writing.” Jacket2. January 19, 2015.

“On Excess: Susan Sontag’s Born-Digital Archive.” Co-written with Jeremy Schmidt. Los Angeles Review of Books. October 26, 2014.

“Alphabet Books for Adults.” Bookforum. October 8, 2013. booklist/12334.

“Shelf Expression: Nina Katchadourian’s Sorted Books.” Los Angeles Review of Books. September 2013.

Review of Short People by Joshua Furst. Harvard Review 27 (2004): 178-79.


Amy J. Elias Founders Award, Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present, 2018
Colby College Center for Arts and Humanities Course Development Grant, 2018
Colby College Professional Travel Grant, 2017, 2018
UCLA Non-Senate Faculty Professional Development Award, 2016
UCLA Department of English Teaching Excellence Award, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015
UCLA Department of English Conference Travel Grant, 2009, 2011-2015
Modernist Studies Association Travel Grant, 2014
UCLA Department of English Dissertation Fellowship, 2013–2014
UCLA Mellon Graduate Fellowship in Pedagogy, 2013
UCLA Graduate Division Dissertation Year Fellowship, 2012–2013
UCLA Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Assistant Award, 2012
UCLA Graduate Summer Research Mentorship, 2009
UCLA University Fellowship, 2007–2008


“The ABCs of Racism.” Faculty Work-in-Progress Presentation. Colby College, ME. December 2018.

“The Humanities Lab as Social Practice,” Seminar: “Where is Poetry to You?: Rearticulating Strategies for Social Practice.” ASAP Conference, New Orleans, LA. November 2018.

Chair, “Queer Poetics,” ASAP Conference, New Orleans, LA. November 2018.

Seminar organizer & presenter, “The 21st-Century Abecedarian: Mullen, Smith, Sharif.” Seminar: “In with the Old: Revival & Revision in the 21st-Century.” American Comparative Literature Association. Los Angeles, CA. March 2018

Roundtable organizer & presenter, “Poetry and Politics at the Small Liberal Arts College.” Roundtable: “Woke Pedagogies: Teaching Art in/and the Present.” Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present. Oakland, CA. November 2017.

“Marsden Hartley and Modern Poetry.” Colby College Museum of Art. Waterville, ME. September 2017.

Panel organizer & presenter: “Alphabetizing Terror.” Panel: “Poetry and Big Politics.” National Poetry Foundation Conference. Orono, ME. June 2017.

“Feminist Pedagogies: Learning from Martha Rosler’s Semiotics of the Kitchen.” Panel: “Revolutionary Pedagogies.” Symposium on Media, Communication, and Film Studies Programs at Liberal Arts Colleges. Waterville, ME. May 2017.

Chair, “Where are We Now?” Colby College Symposium: Can Writing Change the World?: The Public Sphere from the Enlightenment to Post-truth. Waterville ME. March 2017.

“Avant-Garde Alphabets.” Panel: “What’s Next? The Episodic and the Serial.” Modern Language Association. Philadelphia, PA. January 2017.

“Virginia Woolf’s Alphabets.” Panel: “’A Revelation of Some Order’ : Chaos and Control in Modern Fiction.” Modernist Studies Association. Pasadena, CA. November 2016.

“Experimentation, Politics, and Didacticism in Harryette Mullen’s Sleeping with the Dictionary.” Panel: “Experimentation of Form in Function in Contemporary Literature.” American Literature Association. San Francisco, CA. May 2016.

Seminar co-organizer & presenter. “Mary Kelly, Martha Rosler, and the Technologies of (Feminist) Language.” Seminar: “Feminist Singularities.” American Comparative Literature Association. Cambridge, MA. March 2016.

“Reading Conceptual Writing.” Temple University, Philadelphia, PA (via Skype). March 2016.

Roundtable co-organizer and moderator, “Roundtable on Internet Criticism and Para-Academic Writing.” UCLA Department of English. May 2015.

“What is Experimental Literature?: Teaching Stein in the Intro Class.” Roundtable: “Teaching Modernist Genres.” Modernist Studies Association Conference. Pittsburgh, PA. November 2014.

Teaching a Plant the Alphabet at the Radical Arts Institution: John Baldessari, CalArts, and the Elemental.” Seminar: “Modernism and Aesthetic Education.” Modernist Studies Association Conference. Pittsburgh, PA. November 2014.

“Reading and Writing Conceptually.” Temple University, Philadelphia, PA (via Skype). October 2014.

“Alphabet Medium.” Roundtable: “M/ELTing Materiality.” UCLA Southland Graduate Student Conference. June 2014.

“The Alphabet in Video Art: Baldessari, Rosler, and Pedagogical Form.” Americanist Research Colloquium. UCLA Department of English. June 2014.

“Mr. Ramsay’s Alphabet: Virginia Woolf and Sequential Thinking.” Seminar: “Capitoli: Serial Form in Literary Culture.” American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting New York, NY. March 2014.

Respondent, “Seeing Surfaces: Visuality and Visual Media.” UCLA Southland Graduate Conference. May 2013.

“The ABCs of Conceptual Writing.” UCLA M/ELT Reading Group. April 2013.

“Exceeding Poetry: The Abecedarian and Other Arts.” Seminar: “Poetry as Muse,” Modernist Studies Association Conference. Las Vegas, NV. October 2012.

“Remaking the Alphabet: Children’s Texts by Stein and Barnes.” Panel: “ABC, it’s Easy as 123.” Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association Annual Conference. Claremont, CA. November 2011.

“Reaching Z: What the Alphabet Transmits.” Seminar: “Transmission and Modernity from the Typewriter to Twitter.” Modernist Studies Association Conference. Buffalo, NY. October 2011.

Chair, “Narrative Negations.” UCLA Southland Graduate Student Conference. June 2011.

“’The Suckers Love a Weird Wedding’: Alice Fulton, Ovid, Trees.” Seminar: “Re-vision in Contemporary Women’s Writing.” American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting. Vancouver, Canada. April 2011.

“‘Too Old for Children and Too Young for Grown-ups’: Gertrude Stein’s To Do: A Book of Alphabets and Birthdays.” UCLA M/ELT Reading Group. February 2011.

Chair, “Affective Afterlives.” UCLA Southland Graduate Student Conference. June 2010.

“‘read my poems and flash / them onwards to a friend’: Frank O’Hara and the Verse Epistle.” Panel: “Frank O’Hara.” American Literature Association Annual Conference. Boston, MA. May 2009.


Visiting Assistant Professor, Colby College

English 398: Forms of Otherness: 21st-Century Women’s Writing, Spring 2017
English 397: Poetry Remixes (Humanities Lab), Fall 2018
English 351: Contemporary American Poetry: Politics, Experiments, Selves, Spring 2017, Spring 2018
English 347: Modern American Poetry: Freedoms and Constraints, Fall 2016, Fall 2017
English 297: Race, Gender, and Experimental Women’s Writing, January 2018
English 247B: Science Fictions, Fall 2017, Spring 2019
English 243: Plants, Animals, and (Almost) Humans, January 2017, January 2018
English 200: Foundations of Literary Studies, Fall 2018
English 120: Language, Thought and Writing: Games, Rules and Play, Fall 2016, Spring 2018, Spring 2019

Lecturer, UCLA
English 173A: American Poetry 1900-1945, Winter 2016, Spring 2016
English 174B: American Fiction 1900-1945, Spring 2016
English 180: Virginia Woolf: Lives and Afterlives, Winter 2016
English M107B: Studies in Gender and Sexuality: Experimental Women’s Writing, Fall 2015

Teaching Fellow, UCLA
English 4W: Critical Reading and Writing: Games, Rules, and Play, Spring 2015
English 4W: Critical Reading and Writing: Repetition, Fall 2014, Winter 2015

Teaching Assistant Consultant, UCLA
English 495A: Supervised Teaching Preparation, Spring 2012 (co-taught with Christopher Mott)
English 495B: Supervised Teaching Preparation, Fall 2011 (co-taught with Christopher Mott)
English 4W: Critical Reading and Writing: Reading the Body, Fall 2011

Teaching Associate, UCLA
English 172B: American Literature Since 1945, Spring 2011 (Sianne Ngai)
English 143: Milton, Winter 2011 (Claire McEachern)
English 85: The American Novel, Fall 2010 (Christopher Mott)
English 142A: Shakespeare’s Poems and Early Plays, Summer 2010 (Lowell Gallagher)
English 4HW: Critical Reading and Writing, Honors: Strange Loves, Spring 2010
English 4W: Critical Reading and Writing: Strange Loves, Fall 2009, Winter 2010

Teaching Assistant, UCLA
English 142B: Shakespeare’s Later Plays, Spring 2009 (Michael Allen)
English 95A: Introduction to Poetry, Winter 2009 (Stephen Dickey)
English 10C: British Literature 1832 – Present, Fall 2008 (Joseph Bristow)


Colby College 

EN398: Forms of Otherness: 21st-Century Women’s Writing: An examination of poetry, mixed-genre, and hybrid works of literature by 21st-century American women writers. Concerned with the relationship between cultural, historical, and social issues (including race, colonialism, gender, and sexuality) and the structures, restraints, and (im)possibilities of language and poetic form. Texts by Mullen, Spahr, Alcalá, Hong, Philip, Diaz, Durbin, Rankine, Lewis, and Nelson.

EN397: Poetry Remixes (Humanities Lab): Remixing, re-visioning, rewriting, appropriation, quotation & recycling are key methods & concerns for many 20th/21st century poets. This humanities lab explores 100 years of poetic remixing in units on gender, race & identity, & culture. Significant work with Special Collections & the Colby Museum, including a project on the found language poetry of Bern Porter. Asks how & why do poets engage other art & cultural forms? How does remixing shape our understanding of history & politics? What does our poetic engagement with the past tell us about how we view our political moment?

EN351: Contemporary American Poetry: Politics, Experiments, Selves: Survey of poetry from WWII to the digital age concerned with individual authors and the social and formal concerns that unite them. Guiding questions: How do poets reimagine form and its relationship to the self after the innovations of modernism? What happens to the lyric “I” in this period? Poetry and prose by Ginsberg, Plath, O’Hara, Bishop, Creeley, Rich, Clifton, Hejinian, Cha, Mullen, Goldsmith, and Rankine, as well as clusters of poems on political issues (including abortion, racism, and September 11th) by other poets.

EN 347: Modern American Poetry: Freedoms and Constraints: A survey guided by questions such as: what makes a poem “modern”? What is the relationship between modern poetry and its literary forebears? What is free verse, and are our poets writing it? How are social realities (gender, race, class) figured by modern poetry? What kind of (American) self do these poets imagine? Poetry and prose by Pound, H.D., Williams, Toomer, Frost, Eliot, Moore, McKay, Millay, cummings, Stein, Hughes, Stevens, Loy, and Brooks.

EN 297: Race, Gender, and Experimental Women’s Writing: Explores race & gender in experimental poetry by women writers. We anchor our understanding of experimental writing in Gertrude Stein’s works & then focus on poetry by writers of color in the 21st century. Pays particular attention to the intersections of otherness and poetic forms & consider the ways that formal experiments challenge normative understandings of gender, race, sexuality, & the body. Poetry & prose by Stein, Mullen, Sharif, Philip, Lewis, Long Solider, Hong, de la Torre, & Rankine. Cross-listed with Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

EN297: Plants, Animals, and (Almost) Humans: An investigation into the relationship between humans and our others: first plants and animals, and then androids, aliens, and clones. From HD’s harsh sea roses to the carnivorous Venus fly trap of Little Shop of Horrors, from London’s narrating dog to Wallace’s sentient Maine lobsters, from Butler’s parasitic Tlic to Ishiguro’s clueless clones, these others confront us with the radically dissimilar and uncannily familiar, and ask to reimagine our rigid categories of plant, animal, self, and other. Course includes 20th-century poetry, drama, fiction, comics, essays, film, and video art.

EN 247: Science Fictions: Introduces students to the diverse genre of science fiction, a genre that imagines the possibilities and limitations of human experience, thought, and worlds. Topics include alien encounters, time travel, artificial intelligence and post-human life-forms, and environmental apocalypse. Literary texts by LeGuin, Chiang, Wells, Butler, Dick, Ishiguro, Mandel, Bradbury; film (Arrival) & TV (The Twilight Zone, Battlestar Galactica, Orphan Black). Cross-listed with Science, Technology, Society.

EN200: Foundations of Literary Study: How and why do we read? How do we decide what counts as literature? What counts as knowledge for readers of imaginative texts? We begin to answer these questions in this broad ranging course. Required for the English major, the introduction to college-level literary studies incorporates poetry, drama, and fiction, explores canon formation with a historical range of literary works, and emphasizes close reading, interpretive vocabulary, and critical writing skills. Also introduces students to critical perspectives and scholarly research. Theme: Monsters; major texts: The Tempest, Frankenstein, Beloved, Autobiography of Red.

EN 120G: W1: Language, Thought and Writing: Games, Rules, and Play (W1): Writing-intensive course designed to cultivate reading and writing skills through the exploration of the concepts of games, rules, and play across literary history. Devotes serious attention to the writing process, and focuses particularly on questions of evidence, analysis, and argumentation. Topics include poetic forms; linguistic play; the “rules” of race, gender, and sexuality; adaptation; globalization; the concept of “the end.” Texts by Shakespeare, Spenser, Millay, Duffy, Mullen, Goldsmith, az, Chiang, Ballard, Larsen, Collins, Shaw, Beckett, Ives.


English 173A: American Poetry 1900-1945: See Colby: “Modern American Poetry”

English 174A: American Fiction 1900-1945: An upper-division course organized around the concepts of affiliation and identification as part of national, ethnic, familial, racial, gendered, and/or socioeconomic groups. Course covers individual authors while also identifying cultural, historical, and literary trends that extend across the period. Authors include Wharton, Stein, Far, Yezierska, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Loos, Larsen, Faulkner, Hurston, and West.

English 180: Virginia Woolf: Lives and Afterlives: An upper-division seminar on the work of Virginia Woolf guided by two questions: for Woolf, what is a life? And how may a life be best represented on the page? Students read Woolf’s essays, diary entries, and autobiographical writings alongside her major works, and consider the relationship between fiction and life-writing throughout. Course also considers Woolf as a public figure and as fodder for other writers, including Walker, Bechdel, and Cunningham.

English M107B: Experimental Women’s Writing An upper-division course on experimental work by American women writers with a focus on post-1980 writing. Considers genre-bending texts that blur the lines between fiction and non-fiction, poetry and prose, and is particularly interested in the ways hybrid forms of literature open up non-binaristic ways of thinking about gender, race, and sexuality. Texts by Stein, Hejinian, Cha, Castillo, Mullen, Nelson, Bechdel, Spahr, Philip, and Rankine.

English 4W: Games, Rules, and Play: See Colby: “Language, Thought, and Writing: Games, Rules, and Play”

English 4W: Repetition: An examination of repetition both formal and thematic. Units on repetitive poetic forms and revision, political resistance, promiscuity, trauma, cloning, and the concept of “the end.” Major texts include revisions of Shakespeare by Duffy and Mullen; short fiction by Stein, Sontag, and Melville; Butler’s Kindred, Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go, Orphan Black, Freud’s “The Uncanny,” Beckett’s Endgame.

English 4W: Reading the Body: An exploration of representations of the body across history and genres, focusing particularly on issues of sexuality, race, death, and politics. Major texts include poems by Shakespeare, Rochester, Donne, Brooks, Rich, Sexton, and Clifton; short fiction by Hawthorne and O’Connor; Larsen’s Passing, Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go (novel and film), and Chesley’s Jerker.

English 4W: Strange Loves: An investigation of representations of love and desire across history and genres. Major texts include sonnets by Shakespeare and Spenser, poems by Marlowe, Herrick, Owen, O’Hara, and Mayer; short fiction by Hemingway, Lahiri, and, Joyce; Haywood’s Fantomina, Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, Baker’s Vox, Hitchcock’s Vertigo, Albee’s The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?, and plays by Ives.

English 495A: The first pedagogy practicum for new graduate student teachers at UCLA. A workshop for experimenting with teaching styles, personae, and activities that emphasizes strategies for preparing and presenting materials in class, leading classroom discussions, evaluating student writing, creating short assignments, and working one-on-one with students.

English 495B: The second pedagogy practicum for new graduate student teachers at UCLA. Prepares students for teaching English 4W, the department’s intro-level literature and composition course. Focuses on syllabus development and strategies for teaching across genres and historical periods, creating effective classroom exercises, and employing fair and useful assessment strategies.


Reviews Editor, ASAP/Journal, 2018-Present
Social Media, Colby College Department of English, 2017-Present
Programming Committee, Colby College Department of English, 2016-Present
Graduate Student Representative, Academic Senate Committee on Teaching, UCLA, 2013–2014
Graduate Student Representative, Mellon Advisory Committee on Pedagogy in Literatures in English, UCLA, 2012–2013
TA Conference Leader, UCLA, 2011–2013
Peer Reviewer, Modernism/modernity, 2011
Academic Mentor, UCLA Department of English, 2010–2011
Vice President, English Graduate Union, UCLA, 2009–2010
Tufts Alumni Admissions Program Volunteer, 2006–2012


Book Production Assistant, Modern Language Association, New York, NY, 2006–2007
Editorial Assistant, Oxford University Press, New York, NY, 2005–2006
Editorial Intern, Harvard Review, Cambridge, MA, 2003–2004


Modern Language Association
Modernist Studies Association
Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present
American Comparative Literature Association


Michael North, Professor of English, UCLA
Sianne Ngai, Professor of English, University of Chicago
Mary Ellis Gibson, Arthur Jeremiah Professor of Literature and Chair, Colby College
Brian Kim Stefans, Associate Professor of English, UCLA
Louise Hornby, Associate Professor of English, UCLA