Research

I have recently completed my first book, Making Liberalism New: American Intellectuals, Modern Literature, and the Rewriting of a Political Tradition, published by Johns Hopkins University Press in Nov. 2021. My book traces a mutually formative antagonism between modernist culture and liberal intellectuals in the United States from the 1930s into the 1960s. As it moves through major intellectual episodes in American liberal culture, Making Liberalism New shows how modernist form engaged enduring problems in liberal political theory and practice: corporate personhood, reproductive rights, “color-blind” law, social documentaries, tragic form, and political style. At the same time, it explains how “liberalism” transformed from a relatively unknown term into a keyword in American political life.

I have started work on my second book : a cultural history of “selling out.” Two essays from this project are forthcoming. The first, which will appear in PMLA, is titled “On the Literary History of Selling Out: Craft, Identity, and Commercial Recognition.” The second, entitled “From Obama’s Presidency to Beatty’s Booker Prize: On the Notion of the ‘Racial Sellout,'” will appear in African American Review.

I am also in the process of completing several book chapters for edited collections, including an essay on Richard Wright’s contemporary reception for Richard Wright in Context (Cambridge UP), an essay on Partisan Review for The Routledge Companion to the Literary Magazine, and an essay entitled “Periodicals and Popular Culture: Science Fiction Pulps,” for The State of Magazine Studies. This last project builds on my ongoing relationship with the Obama Institute for Transnational American Studies in Mainz, Germany, where I served as a 2019 Fellow, giving talks on science fiction periodicals and completing a recent essay on the radical magazine KAPITALISTATE for Amerikastudien /American Studies. 

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