Books in process

The Unpublished Republic: Manuscript Cultures of the Mid-Nineteenth-Century U.S.

In the Archives of Childhood: Playing with the Past


Books Published

Dependent States: The Child’s Part in Nineteenth-Century American Culture, University of Chicago Press, 2005.

Touching Liberty:  Abolition, Feminism and the Politics of the Body, University of California Press, 1993. Paperback 1997.



Oxford Handbook of Emily Dickinson, co-edited with Cristanne Miller, Oxford University Press, 2022.

Founding Co-editor, Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, Johns Hopkins University Press

Digital Exhibition The Worlds and Works of the Nelson Brothers of Goshen, New Hampshire 


“A World of Books: The Transnational Imagination of Child Bookmakers” in Transnational Books for Children 1750-1900: Producers, Consumers, Encounters, edited by Charlotte Appel, Nina Christensen, Andrea Immel, Matthew O. Grenby, John Benjamins, 2023.

“‘Except the smaller size’: Aunt Emily’s Poetry” in The Oxford Handbook of Emily Dickinson, edited by Cristanne Miller and Karen Sánchez-Eppler, Oxford University Press, 2022.

“A Dickinson Composed of Nows” Cult (April 2022).

 “Joining Reinterpretation to Reparations,” co-authored with Marla R. Miller, Museums and Social Issues (April, 2022).

“Juvenile Journalism and Genocide,” Hidden Literacies, edited by Christopher Hager and Hilary E. Wyss, 2021.

“Pleasure Reading: Ledger No. 1” co-authored with Christina Michelon and Megan Walsh, J19: The Journal for Nineteenth-Century Americanists 8.2 (Fall 2020).

“Geographies of Play: Scales of Imagination in the Study of Child-made Things” in Reimagining Childhood Studies, edited by Spysos Spyrou, Rachel Rosen, and Daniel T. Cook, Bloomsbury Press, 2019.

“‘Remember, Dear, when the Yankees came through here I was only ten years old’: Valuing the Enslaved Child of the WPA Slave Narratives,” Child Slavery Before and After Emancipation: An Argument for Child-Centered Slavery Studies, edited by Anna Mae Duane, Cambridge University Press, 2017.

“The Politics of the Body: Gender, Race and Coalition after Twenty Years” (coda to a special issue reflecting on the 20th anniversary of Touching Liberty) Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers, 30.2 (Fall 2013).

“Over a Century of Shipwrecks: American Child Readers and Robinson Crusoe,” The Materials of Exchange between Britain and North East America, 1750-1900: Transatlantic Goods, Books and Ideas, Ashgate Press, 2013.

“In the Archives of Childhood” in The Children’s Table: Childhood Studies and the New Humanities, edited by Anna Mae Duane, University of Georgia Press, 2013.

“Children as Collectors of Cultural Heritage: Leland Stanford Jr. and His Museum” Children, Childhood and Cultural Heritage, edited by Katherine Darian-Smith and Carla Pascoe, Taylor & Francis / Routledge, 2013.

 “Indeterminate Sex and Text: The Manuscript Status of The Hermaphrodite,Philosophies of Sex: Essays on The Hermaphrodite, edited by Gary Williams and Renée Bergland, Ohio State University Press, 2012.

 “Castaways: The Swiss Family Robinson, Child Book-Makers, and the Possibilities of Literary Flotsam,” The Oxford Handbook to Children’s Literature, edited by Julia Mickenberg and Lynne Vallone, Oxford University Press, 2011.

“Marks of Possession: Methods for an Impossible Subject,” PMLA 126 (January 2011).

“Childhood,” Keywords for Children’s Literature, edited by Philip Nel and Lissa Paul, New York University Press, 2011.

“Practicing for Print:  The Hale Children’s Manuscript Libraries,” Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth (June 2008).

“Copying and Conversion: A Connecticut Friendship Album from ‘a Chinese Youth,’” American Quarterly (June 2007); reprinted in Asian Americans in New England: Culture and Community, edited by Monica Chiu, University Press of New England, 2009.

 “Gothic Liberties and Fugitive Novels:  The Bondwoman’s Narrative and the Fiction of Race” in In Search of Hannah Crafts:  Critical Essays in the Bondwoman’s Narrative, edited by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Hollis Robbins, Basic Books, 2004.

“Hawthorne and the Writing of Childhood,” The Cambridge Companion to Nathaniel Hawthorne, edited by Richard H. Millington, Cambridge University Press, 2004.

Co-author of Introduction to Adolphus, A Tale (Anonymous) & The Slave Son (Mrs William Noy Wilkins), The Caribbean Heritage Series, University of the West Indies Press, 2003.

“Playing at Class,” English Literary History (Fall 2000) 819-842; reprinted in The American Child:  A Cultural Studies Reader, edited by Caroline F. Levander and Carol J. Singley, Rutgers University Press, 2003.

“Sentimentality,” in Encyclopedia of American Studies, edited by George T. Kurian et al, Grolier Incorporated, 2001.

“To Live is So Startling,” biography of Emily Dickinson for Emily Dickinson:  The Poet at Home, Dickinson Homestead and Amherst College, 2000.

“Then When We Clutch Hardest:  On the Death of a Child and the Replication of an Image,” in Sentimental Men:  Masculinity and the Politics of Affect in American Culture, edited by Mary Chapman and Glenn Hendler, University of California Press, 1999.

“Exhibiting Sheets of Place:  Seeing Emily Dickinson Through Contemporary Art,” in Language as Object:  Emily Dickinson and  Contemporary Art, edited by Susan Danly et al., University of Massachusetts Press, 1997.

“Raising Empires Like Children:  Race, Nation and Religious Education,” American Literary History (November, 1996) 399-425.

“Temperance in the Bed of a Child:  Incest and Social Order in Nineteenth-Century America,” American Quarterly (March, 1995) 1-33; reprinted in The Serpent in the Cup:  Temperance in American Literature, edited by David S. Reynolds and Debra J. Rosenthal, University of Massachusetts Press, 1997; and in Incest and the Literary Imagination, edited by Elizabeth L. Barnes, University Press of Florida, 2002.

“Righting Slavery and Writing Sex:  The Erotics of Narration in Harriet Jacob’s Incidents,” reprinted from Touching Liberty in Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism 44 (NCLC-44), edited by Joann Cerrito, Thomson Gale, 1994.

“To Stand Between:  A Political Perspective on Whitman’s Poetics of Merger and Embodiment,” English Literary History (Winter, 1989) 923-49; reprinted in Leaves of Grass and Other Writings, a Norton Critical Edition edited by Michael Moon, W.W. Norton & Company, 2002; and excerpted in The Poetry of Walt Whitman:  A Readers’ Guide to Essential Criticism, edited by Nick Selby, Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.

“Bodily Bonds:  The Intersecting Rhetorics of Feminism and Abolition,” Representations 24, Fall 1988, 28-59; translated into Italian as “Vincoli corporei:  le intersezioni retoriche de femminismo e abolizionismo” and reprinted in Communitá 193/194, (Marzo, 1992); and also reprinted in The New American Studies:  Essays from “Representations”, edited by Philip Fisher, University of California Press, 1991; The Culture of Sentiment:  Race, Gender, and Sentimentality in Nineteenth-Century America, edited by Shirley Samuels, Oxford University Press, 1992; The History of the American Abolitionist Movement, edited by John R. McKivigan, Garland Publishing, 1999; and Interracialism:  Black-White Intermarriage in American History, Literature and Law, edited by Werner Sollors, Oxford University Press, 2000.

“Decomposing:  Wordsworth’s Poetry of Epitaph and English Burial Reform,” Nineteenth Century Literature (March, 1988) 415-31.  Reprinted in Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism 124 (NCLC-124), edited by Edna M. Hedblad, Thomson Gale, 2003.