2011, B.A. in English Language and Literature (Honors), University of Chicago.
I am a Ph.D. candidate in English and Comparative Literature with interests across a wide range of academic disciplines. In the past, I have held research and/or teaching positions in literature, composition, women’s and gender studies, LGBTQ+ studies, popular culture, health/medical writing, public policy, developmental psychology, and urban education. My current research tracks the circulation of “Mad Genius” mythology in twentieth-century American culture to now, investigating how popular media—especially auto/biographical writing—has imagined a link between psychiatric disability and exceptional creativity, intelligence, and other gifts or talents. My dissertation, “Extra/Ordinary Minds: Confronting ‘Mad Genius’ Mythology in Contemporary Women’s Memoirs,” draws from feminist critiques of science and medicine to explore the sociocultural factors (i.e., systemic sexism and ableism, but also class privilege and white supremacy) that compel women writers with mental illness to construct romanticized Mad Genius personae in their best-selling memoirs. Through readings of Susanna Kaysen’s Girl, Interrupted (1993), Elizabeth Wurtzel’s Prozac Nation (1994), and Kay Redfield Jamison’s An Unquiet Mind (1995), I argue that women’s autobiographical literature depicts Mad Genius mythology as a deceptively effective, but ultimately unsustainable framework through which to cope with psychic pain.
- “Broken Promise: Depression as Ex-Gifted Girl Identity in Elizabeth Wurtzel’s Prozac Nation.” In The Faces of Depression in Literature, ed. Josefa Ros Velasco (Peter Lang, forthcoming).
- Krista Turner Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence, 2019.
- Erika Lindemann Teaching Award in Composition and Literature, 2019.
- Erika Lindemann Teaching Award in Composition and Literature, 2018.
- Summer Dissertation Fellowship, UNC Department of English and Comparative Literature, 2019.
- Travel Grant, American Comparative Literature Association, 2019.
- Blyden Jackson and Roberta Jackson Graduate Fellowship, 2013–2014.
Office: Greenlaw 447