“Dread: The Phobic Imagination in American Literature.” J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, Spring 2019.
This article examines how abolitionists developed a rhetorical tradition revolving around the terms colorphobia and Negrophobia to posit a psychological basis for race prejudice. Early on, satire served as the dominant mode. Soon, the rhetoric of phobia began to encompass a logic of public health activism as well. American writers began to conceptualize antislavery and other reform-oriented print cultures as technologies of social inoculation, safeguarding democracy through the circulation of textual immunities. Rather than seeing these satirical and medicinal uses as divisible from one another, I argue that they coalesced in a dynamic assemblage and are best interpreted as lay experimentations with the vernacular adaptability and cultural capital of medical nomenclature.
“Whitman and Disability: An Introduction,” co-written with Clare Mullaney. Special Issue: Revisiting the Whitmanian Body at 200: Memory, Medicine, Mobility. Common-place: The Journal of Early American Life. Eds. Don James McLaughlin and Clare Mullaney. Vol. 19, No. 1 (Spring 2019).
Coinciding with the Whitman bicentennial, our introduction argues for putting Whitman scholarship in conversation with nineteenth-century disability history.
"Review: Circulating Queerness: Before the Gay and Lesbian Novel.” American Literary History, Review Series XVI, Fall 2018.
"Inventing Queer: Portals, Hauntings, and Other Fantastic Tricks in the Collected Folklore of Joel Chandler Harris and Charles Chesnutt." American Literature, vol. 89, no. 1, Mar. 2017, pp. 1-28.
Through an analysis of Little Mr. Thimblefinger and His Queer Country (1894) by Joel Chandler Harris and The Conjure Woman and Other Conjure Tales (1899) by Charles Chesnutt, this essay accounts for a late nineteenth-century genre termed the queer fantastic. In so doing, it suggests that in the late nineteenth century, the term queer, as a signifier of distorted time, became central to debates over race and the nature of folkloric belonging.
Adapted from my dissertation, this article connects modern progressive lexicons revolving around the rhetoric of social phobia to the abolitionist newspapers of Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Charles Bennett Ray, Samuel Cornish, and others.
"Schoolgirl Smashes, David-and-Jonathan Relationships, and Champagne Friendships: Mining the Archive for LGBT History." (Special Issue: Pennsylvania Pride: LGBT Histories of the Commonwealth.) Legacies: Magazine of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, vol. 16, no. 1, Jun. 2016, pp. 12-19. (Co-authored with Connie King)
LGBTQ history in Pennsylvania is deep-rooted and diverse, encompassing the experiences of elites, celebrities, and leaders in arts and politics as well as those of the poor and marginalized. This special issue of Legacies explores a few episodes and individuals in Pennsylvania's past that shed light on this history. (Historical Society of Pennsylvania website)