Ph.D., Romance Languages and Literatures, Harvard University (2016)
M.A., Romance Languages and Literatures, Harvard University (2011)
B.A. (summa cum laude), Romance Languages and Literatures, Mount Holyoke College (2009)
My research focuses on the literatures of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century France and Italy, and I am especially interested in the relationship between literature, science, and technology. In my current project, I have been examining the implications of optical theories and technologies, such as the inverted retinal image and the telescope, on vision’s role in the acquisition of knowledge and as a mode of representation. The affinity between literature and lenses is the subject of my book project, “Early Modern Lens Crafters: Literature and Optics in France & Italy,” in which I propose that literature at the turn of the sixteenth century grows increasingly conscious of its lens-like, or lenticular, function, be it to distort or correct the reader’s view of reality.
I am also involved in a number of collaborative projects on topics including optics and literature, women writers in eighteenth-century France, and the depiction of Parnassus in early modern French, Italian, and Spanish literature.
With a focus on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century France, the guiding threads of my literature classes generally address questions of knowledge (its sources, its transformations, …), representation, and how a Subject negotiates his/her relationship to reality in an ever-changing world. In the spirit of the early modern period, which inherently fosters dialogue between various disciplines and national traditions, I adopt a very broad definition of “literature.” As such, French texts will be complemented by non-French readings (primarily Italian), and novels and poems will appear alongside travel narratives, political pamphlets, and works of natural history and philosophy. In addition to understanding the place of a particular work in its cultural and historical context, my courses invite students to draw connections between this distant past and our own present preoccupations. I also enjoy experimenting with non-traditional assignments, combining our study of texts with that of images and objects and encouraging students to showcase their critical and analytical thinking in creative ways (see Early Modern French Lit @ Amherst).
Prior to my arrival at Amherst, I was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of French at New York University (2016-2017), where I taught a literature survey from the Middle Ages to the French Revolution and an upper-level literature course (“From the New World to the Moon”), in addition to a graduate seminar on the Essais of Michel de Montaigne.
Awards & Honors
Morgan Dissertation Completion Grant, Harvard University (2015-2016)
Augustus Clifford Tower Fellowship for Study in France, Harvard University (2014-2015)
Department of Romance Languages and Literatures Teaching Prize, Harvard University (2014)
Certificate of Distinction in Teaching, Harvard University (2011-2012, 2013-2014)
Graduate Fellow, Villa I Tatti, Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies (Fall 2012)