Current Projects: 

“Rum Histories:  Drinking in the Past in Anglophone Caribbean Literature” (work in progress).

This book charts the figuration of  rum in British and Anglophone Caribbean texts after 1945.  As both a product of imperialism and an intoxicant, rum indexes the point at which prior economic and historical conditions are deflected into ideas about cultural difference perpetuated through “consciousness” or “psychology.”  In this study, I track this effect through literary works and popular forms produced during the era of decolonization in order to explore literary attempts to cope with, redress, and reorganize the institutional forces of empire as perpetuated in the realms of culture.

“Scoping Out the Pleasures of Pandora:  Nostalgia and Chauvinism in James Cameron’s Avatar.”  

This article considers the gender politics of Avatar by examining the pleasures of looking at and possessing Pandora, the fictional moon on which Avatar takes place, thus pushing beyond the obvious stereotypes depicted in the plot of the film to a more insidious model of female oppression inherent in the film’s spectator practice.

“The Third City of Empire: Comparing James Joyce’s Dubliners and V. S. Naipaul’s Miguel Street”  (With Eric Kennedy).

This article examines the ways V. S. Naipaul takes up the themes and form of Joyce’s Dubliners to position Port-of-Spain, Trinidad as the British Empire’s third city, and Naipaul himself as its appointed bard.  Tracking similarities in motive, character, and conflict, we explore Naipaul’s debt to Joyce as well as his extension of Joyce’s vision of colonial oppression and its effect on artistic production.


Ph.D., Department of English, Emory University (1993-1999)

Certificate in Women’s Studies, Emory University (1998)

M.A., Department of English, Emory University (1997)

A.B. magna cum laude, History and Literature, Harvard University (1983-1987)


“Spoiler Alert!,” Letter to the Editor.  York Daily Record.  21 December 2012.

“Rum:  A Case Study for Teaching Material Culture in the Anglophone Caribbean Text.”  Teaching Anglophone Caribbean Literature, ed. Supriya Nair.  New York:  MLA Publications, 2012.

“Under the Sign of Sugar and Rum:  Entitlement, Authority, and Authorship in Postcolonial England.”  Perennial Empire.  Eds. Chantal Zabus and Silvia Nagy-Zekmi.  Cambria P, 2011.

“Race, Identity, and Genre in Sujata Massey’s Rei Shimura Series.”  Clues:  A Journal of Detection 27.1 (Spring 2009):  87-98.

“Under the Influence:  Signifying Rum.”  ARIEL 39.3 (July 2008):  1-22.

“Rum Histories:  Consumption and Decolonization in Sylvia Townsend Warner and Jean Rhys.”  Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature 26.2 (Fall 2007):  309-330.

Excerpt, Narrative Settlements (pp. 46-62).  Rpt. in Twentieth Century Literary Criticism, volume 190. Ed. T. Schoenberg.  Gale Group, 2007.

Narrative Settlements: Geographies of British Women’s Fiction Between the Wars. U of Toronto P, 2005.

“Footsteps of Red Ink: Rewriting Body and Landscape in Lolly Willowes.”  Twentieth Century Literature 49.4 (2003):  449-471.

“Space, Self, and Nation in Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions.”  Post-Colonial Perspectives on Women Writers from Africa and the African Diaspora.  Ed. Martin Japtok.  Africa World Press, 2003.

“Sharing ‘a worldliness of austerity’:  Sylvia Townsend Warner and Jane Austen.”  The Journal of the Sylvia Townsend Warner Society (2002).

“Mary Manning” and “Winifred Mantle.”  Encyclopedia of British Women Writers, 2nd edition.  Eds. June and Paul Schleuter.  Routledge, 1999.

“Shouting Curses:  The Politics of Bad Language in Richard Wright’s Black Boy.”  (as Jennifer H. Poulos.)  Journal of Negro History 82.1 (Winter 1997).

“Lorenzo Thomas.”  The Oxford Companion to African-American Literature.  Eds. William L. Andrews, Trudier Harris, and Frances Smith Foster.  Oxford University Press, 1997.

“Frantz Fanon.” (1996).

Feature and news articles.  Dance/USA Journal (1988-1990).


Advisory Board Grants, Penn State University (2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2013)

Student Activity Fee (for Teaching International) (2013)

Institute for the Arts and Humanities Resident Scholar, Penn State University (Spring 2011)

Sabbatical, Penn State University (Fall 2010)


Research and Development Grants, Penn State University (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007,  2009)

Teaching Enhancement Travel Grants, Schreyer Institute, Penn State University (2004, 2005)

Arts and Liberal Studies Unit Grants (for Women’s History Month), Penn State York (2006, 2007)

Diversity Committee Grants (for Women’s History Month), Penn State York (2004, 2006, 2007)

Student Activity Fee Grants (for Women’s History Month), Penn State York (2004, 2006, 2007)



“Three Cheers for Edith! And Other Speculations about Season 4 (Downton Abbey).”

  • WITF Downton Abbey Season Four Premier Dinner.  Cameron Inn and Estates.  Mount Joy, PA (January 2, 2014).
  • Jenks Senior Center.  Winchester, MA (December 17, 2013).
  • Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Penn State (November 6, 2013).

“Entails, Coattails, and Cocktails:  The World of Downton Abbey.”  WITF Mind Matters Lecture Series (pilot).  Harrisburg, PA (March 12, 2013).

“Entails, Coattails, and Cocktails:  The World of Downton Abbey.”  WITF Downton Abbey Season Three Premier Dinner.  Cameron Inn and Estates.  Mount Joy, PA (January 3, 2013).

“Pandora’s Box:  Myth, Memory and Misogyny in Avatar.”  Literature/Film Association 2012 Conference.  York College.  York, PA (October 2012).

“The Norton Lolly.”  Revisiting Sylvia Townsend Warner (1893-1978), Dorchester County Museum, Dorchester, England (June 29, 2012).

Chair, “Products of Imperialism.”  NeMLA 2012 Annual Conference.  Rochester, NY (March 2012).

“Rum Stories:  Alcohol and Postcolonial Masculinity in Transnational Perspective.”  30th Anniversary Conference on West Indian Literature.  University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad (October 2011).

“For Women, Pleasures of Avatar Dearly Bought.” NEMLA Annual Conference.  New Brunswick, NJ (April 2011).

“Thinking Through Rum, Creolizing Literary Study.”  GOING CARIBBEAN! New Perspectives on Caribbean Literature and Art Conference.  University of Lisbon.  Lisbon, Portugal (November 2009).

“Escaping History?:  Images of Rum in Contemporary Anglophone Caribbean Literature.”  Joint Annual Meeting of the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society and the Association for the Study of Food and Society.  Penn State University.  State College, PA (May 2009).

“Rum Histories:  Commodity Chains and Literary Figurations of Rum and Sugar in Eighteenth- and Twentieth- Century Literature.”  Commodities in Evolution:  Historical Change in Different Ages of Globalisation, 1800-2000.  London Metropolitan University.  London, England  (September 2008).

“Rum and Black British Subjectivity in George Lamming’s Fiction.”  On Whose Terms?  Critical Negotations in Black British Literature and the Arts.  Goldsmith’s College, University of London.  London, England (March 2008).

Chair, “Food and Culture in Victorian Britain.”  North American Conference on British Studies Annual Meeting.  San Francisco, CA (November 2007).

“Rum Histories:  Commodity Sagas and Imperial Hangovers.”  The Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies.  Vancouver, British Columbia  (August 2007).

“Rum Histories:  Imperial Hangovers and Decolonization in Three Mid-Twentieth-Century Novels.”  International Conference on Caribbean Studies.  South Padre Island, TX (November 2006).

“Plotting Race and Identity in Sujata Massey’s Novels The Salaryman’s Wife and The Pearl Diver.”  Modern Language Association Annual Conference.  Washington, DC (December 2005).

Seminar Participant, “From Barcelona to Berlin:  Modernism Goes to War.”  Seminar Paper:  “‘the real truth of the terrain’:  Modernism in Barry Unsworth’s Sugar and Rum?”  Modernist Studies Association Conference.  Chicago, IL (November 2005).

“Writer’s Block as Postcolonial Symptom in the Work of Barry Unsworth.”  American Comparative Literature Association.  State College, PA (March 2005).

Seminar Participant.  “Genders and Races, Empires and Nations:  Views from Elsewhere.” Modernist Studies Association Conference.  Vancouver, BC (October 2004).

“‘I have been a bad father’:  Family Business and the Domestic Economies of Sylvia Townsend Warner’s The Flint Anchor.”  Northeast Modern Language Association Conference.  Pittsburgh, PA (March 2004).

Respondent and Special Session Organizer.  “Sylvia Townsend Warner and the Currencies of History.”  Modern Language Association Annual Convention.  San Diego, CA (December 2003).

“Dance in its Social Context.”  Invited Lecture, College Misericordia Honors Program.  Dallas, PA (November 2002).

Seminar Leader.  “Modernist Things.”  Modernist Studies Association Conference.  Madison, WI (October 2002).

“‘Footsteps of Red Ink’:  Rewriting Body and Landscape in Sylvia Townsend Warner’s Lolly Willowes.”  Modernist Studies Association Conference.  Houston, Texas (October 2001).

Seminar Participant. “Modernism and Geography.”  Leader:  Jon Hegglund, Central Connecticut State University.  Modernist Studies Association Conference.  Houston, Texas (October 2001).

“Home of Contention:  Sexuality and the Country House in Orlando and The Edwardians.”  Eleventh Annual Virginia Woolf Conference.  University of Wales, Bangor, United Kingdom (June 2001).

The English Patient, Mansfield Park, and Teaching a “Postcolonial” Conscience.”  East/West:  Points of Contact, Lycoming College.  Williamsport, Pennsylvania (March 2001).

“‘Lueli could have told him’:  Race, Sexuality, and the Imperial Imperatives of Masculinity.” South Atlantic Modern Language Association.  Birmingham, Alabama (November 2000).


Interim Discipline Coordinator in English, University College Campuses, Penn State, Jan. 2012-May 2013.

Assistant Professor, English.  Division of the Humanities, Wilkes University (2000-2003)

Coordinator of Women’s Studies Minor, Wilkes University (2002-2003)


Academic Service (Penn State York)

Promotion and Tenure Committee (2013-2014)

Co-chair, Teaching International Committee (2013-2014)

Faculty Affairs Committee, York Campus (2012-2013; Chair 2013-2014)

Unit Head, Arts and Liberal Studies Unit (2011-2013)

Chair, Chancellor Search Committee (2012)

FYE Subcommittee Member, Retention and Persistence Committee (2012)

Croqueting for a Cure (THON fundraiser through Rotary Club), Penn State York Team Member (2012).

Ombusdperson, York Campus (2011-2012)

Promotion and Tenure Committee (2011)

Search Committee, Tenure-track Position in English (2010-2011)

Search Committee, Tenure-track Position in English (2009-2010)   

Chair, York Campus Faculty Senate (2009-2010)

AD-14 (Administrative Review) Committee (2009)

Chair, Ad-Hoc Committee for the First-Year Engagement Plan (2009)

Search Committee, Tenure-track Position in English (2008-09)

Chair-Elect, Faculty Senate (2008-09)

Representative, Arts and Liberal Studies Unit (2008-09)

Curricular Affairs Committee (2007-09)

Coordinator, Women’s History Month Events (2004-2008)

Search Committee, Adjunct Instructor in English (Summer 2007)

Search Committee, Tenure-track Position in History (2006-07)

Secretary, Faculty Senate (2006-07)

Coordinator, Faculty Working/Writing Group (Summer 2006)

Academic and Student Issues Committee (2004-05)

Search Committee, Fixed-Term Position in English (2005-06)

Search Committee, Director of the Pullo Center for the Performing Arts (Summer 2005)

Search Committee, Tenure-track Position in English (2004-05)

Search Committee, Fixed-Term Position in Business (Spring 2004)

Search Committee, Tenure-track Position in Business (Fall 2003)

Commonwealth College English Committee (2003-05)


In-house Service Presentations

Panelist, “The Tenure-Line Process:  Notes from the Inside.”  Penn State York. (September 24, 2009).

Chair, “Cutting Corners without Cutting Quality:  Implementing a Learner-Centered Classroom.” Penn State York. (September 2007).

Chair, “Teaching Pre-1800 British Literature.”  PSU Fall English Department Conference.  State College, PA.  (September 2007).

“Rum Histories.” British Literature after 1798 Discussion Group.  PSU English Faculty Fall Conference.  Altoona, PA. (September 2006).

“Narrative Settlements.”  Penn State York Book Publication Reception.  (April 2006).

Facilitator, “What is Literature?”  Commonwealth College English Conference.  State College, PA. (September 2005).

“Narrative Settlements.”  CAS 497 Guest Lecture, Penn State York. (November 2004).

Respondent, “New Work on Virginia Woolf.”  PSU English Faculty Fall Conference.  State College, PA.  (October 2004).

Chair, “The English Major and the English Minor.”  Commonwealth College English Division Spring Conference.  Mont Alto, PA.  (April 2004).

Chair and Panelist, “Research on Women.”  Women’s History Month, Penn State York.  (March 2004).

Professional and Community Service

Workshop Coordinator, Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA) 2009 Young Writer’s Workshop.  Assisted with organizing and hosting a workshop and essay contest for high school students.  Duties included selecting a speaker, writing essay prompts, and maintaining contact with workshop participants over the summer.  This workshop is associated with the Annual General Meeting of JASNA.  (September 12, 2009).

Judge, Poetry Out Loud.  One of three judges for the regional finals (York, Adams, and Franklin counties) of the National Endowment for the Arts poetry recitation contest for high-school-aged students.  (2007-09).

Referee, Twentieth-Century Literature (2004-present).

Referee, Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature (2007).

Public Lecture, “Nature Poetry and the Nature of Poetry.”  Homewood at Plum Creek (Retirement Community), Hanover, PA.  (November 2004).


Professional Organizations

Alcohol and Drugs History Society

Caribbean Studies Association

Modern Language Association

Modernist Studies Association

North American Conference on British Studies

International Virginia Woolf Society

Sylvia Townsend Warner Society