I have been at Furman since 1996, teaching Early Modern literature and Humanities courses. My specialty is 16th and 17th century British poetry, and my dissertation was on the religious poetry of John Donne and George Herbert. My research interests currently focus on Milton, Shakespeare, Margaret Cavendish, seventeenth century book frontispiece portraits, early modern humanist education, the history of scientific writing, Reformation theology, British detective fiction, and children’s fantasy literature. I am the faculty advisor for Sigma Tau Delta, the English honorary, and sometimes coach for the Mock Trial program.

Selected Publications

  • Engaging the Humanities, co-editor with Sean O'Rourke (under contract)
  • Rotterdam "Secret Domination or Civic Duty: The Source and Purpose of Magical Power in Harry Potter." Reading Harry Potter: Critical Essays, Vol. 2
  • "'Entering Upon That One Path': Bacon's Knightly Quest for Knowledge." Discoveries (online publication of the South Central Renaissance Conference)
  • “’To be thy praise / And be my salvation': The Duty to Praise in The Temple." Texas Studies in Literature and Language
  • "Naming Cromwell: Marvell's Dilemma," Discoveries: South Central Renaissance Conference News and Notes
  • "Flying Cars, Floo Powder, and Flaming Torches: The Hi-Tech, Lo-Tech World of Harry Potter." Reading Harry Potter: Critical Essays

Honors and Awards

  • Furman Meritorious Advising Award in 2002
  • Faculty Member of the Year, Association of Furman Students in 2006
  • Sigma Tau Delta Outstanding Advisor in 2006
  • Princeton Review "300 best professors in the United States" in 2012
Name Title Description


Professional Communication

Development of effective written and oral communication skills, critical thinking, research strategies, collaboration, and professional and ethical behavior in workplace environments. Job search and interviewing strategies will also be covered.


Lit of Early Modern Britain

A study of literature written during the reigns of the Tudors and the early Stuart monarchs when England began to develop a distinct cultural identity. Emphasis is on poetry and prose.


Renaissance Epic

The nature and purpose of the epic in the European Renaissance through a close study of Dante146s Divine Comedy, Ariosto146s Orlando Furioso, Spenser146s Faerie Queene, and Milton146s Paradise Lost. Renaissance theories of allegory and genre and the cultural work of these epics are explored.


Studies in Fictional Histories

How does literature shape the ways in which one imagines historical figures, national events, or remote geographies? How do partially fictionalized reconstructions of experience influence historical understanding? This course theorizes the often porous borders between history and fiction. Students will examine archival material, historical documents, and theoretical studies alongside fictional works that do not simply reimagine the past but profoundly recast national histories.


Religious Poetry in English

Selected religious poets writing in English in the Christian tradition, from the seventeenth century to the present. Special attention to the function of metaphor in rendering religious experience.


Mystery & Detective Fiction

Study of mystery fiction and its offshoots (detective, suspense, spy) in English and translation. Possible writers: Shakespeare, Walpole, Poe, Hammett, Mankell. Critical perspectives may include narrative studies, gender criticism, Marxist criticism.


Shakespeare on Film

Study of Shakespeare's plays on film or in production if live performances occur during semester the course is taught. Shakespeare's written texts may be studied, but focus will be on the artistry of the cinema or theater in revealing Shakespeare for modern audiences.


Shakespeare on Film

Study of Shakespeare's plays on film or in production if live performances occur during semester the course is taught. Shakespeare's written texts may be studied, but focus will be on the artistry of the cinema or theater in revealing Shakespeare for modern audiences


Mjr Fgrs in Erly Mdrn Eng Lit

Study of works written by major authors in the reigns of the Tudors and the Stuarts. Authors include: Sidney, Spenser, Wroth, Marlowe, Jonson, Milton, or the major lyric poets. Focus on major works in their entirety written by single authors except in the case of the lyric poets.


Shakespeare's Europe

The influence of important classical and Renaissance European writers on the literature and drama of Shakespeare's England. Topics vary, but may include the impact of authors such as Dante, Ovid, Montaigne, Petrarch, and others on Donne, Herbert, Marlowe, Milton, Shakespeare, Spenser, and their peers.


Intrprtv Issues Erly Mdrn Lit

Study of key issues for understanding early modern British literature and its place in a history of ideas in the West. Topics include early modern literature in relation to the histories of science, individualism, gender and sexuality, privacy, literary criticism, authorship and/or the place of period texts in emerging theories of literature and history.


Senior Seminar in English

Course topic changes with each offering.


History of Liberal Arts

The course will explore the history and practice of the liberal arts in the western tradition from the classical period to the present. Specific focus will be on the development of Humanism" and the "Humanities" in higher education from early modern European universities to liberal arts education on American campuses."


History of Detective Fiction

The course traces detective fiction from 18th century gothic novels to Sherlock Holmes, British cozies, and American crime noir. Relationships to horror and science fiction are also explored. Focus includes creating a logical argument, using textual evidence, and writing mechanics.


History of Ideas in Context I

Texts and ideas from a variety of disciplines and genres (including the humanities, fine arts, and political philosophy) in both Western and non-Western cultural contexts. Topics will vary.


Humanities Capstone Symposium

First semester of a year-long capstone experience for the Humanities Interdisciplinary Minor, meeting weekly. Rocus on advanced research methodologies and disciplinary practices in the Humanities, with presentations and readings that represent all Humanities departments.


Humanities Capstone Symposium

Second semester of year-long capstone experience for the Humanities Interdisciplinary Minor, meeting weekly. Having completed HUM-450, students will prepare and present their own research, and organize a concluding academic conference.

Stanford University
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Northwestern University
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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