Background and activities


I am Associate Professor of English Literature and Culture in the Department of Teacher Education, where I teach American and world literatures in the English and Foreign Languages section for the integrated five-year Masters in Teacher Education program.

I hold a Ph.D. in English from the University of Arizona, USA (2012), and I joined the NTNU faculty in 2021 after teaching for many years in the Department of English, Philosophy and Modern Languages at Montana State University Billings, USA. There I was Associate Professor of English and affiliated faculty with the Native American and Environmental Studies programs (2014-2021).



My research field is the environmental humanities. My work examines the intersections of literature and environmental science in nineteenth-century America and the broader Atlantic world, particularly how developments in life and earth sciences altered the trajectory of US literary history. My first book, Magnificent Decay: Melville and Ecology  (University of Virginia Press, 2020), was shortlisted for the 2020 British Society for Literature and Science Book Prize, and my ongoing research traces the disciplinary barriers between humanities scholars and biological, physical, and materials scientists to explore points of contact across multiple discourses, histories, and practices of knowledge.

I'm also interested in geospatial approaches to literature, law and literature, and the relationship between literature and philosophy. My earlier work looked at the history of American slavery and the legal geographies of settler colonialism, and I co-edited the anthology Melville Among the Philosophers, (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017), featuring an afterword by Cornel West. 

My current book project, Uranium Cadillac: Energy & the Work of American Literature, highlights representations of energy, thermodynamic processes, and radioactive compounds in comparative American literatures alongside the development of modern physics, roughly 1850 to 1970. The book considers how various literary traditions, especially African- American and Native American, have responded to non-living compounds and energetic systems, with broad implications for environmental ethics, indigenous knowledges, material histories of media and literature, and the origins of nuclear studies.


NTNU Research Groups

Environmental Humanities


Indigenous Topics in Education

North American Studies



Spring 2022

MGLU 1505 - English 1 (5-10) Module 1

MGLU 3503 - English 2 (5-10) Topic 1

LVUT 8086 - English 2 (5-10) subject 2 KFK

Fall 2021

MGLU2505 - English 1 (5-10) Module 2

LVUT8085 - English 2 (5-10) subject 1 KFK




Magnificent Decay: Melville and Ecology. Under the Sign of Nature: Explorations in Ecocriticism Series. University of Virginia Press, 2020. 

Reviewed in Nineteenth-Century Contexts (Taylor & Francis, 2022) and Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2022)

Melville Among the Philosophers. Ed. with Corey McCall. Rowman & Littlefield, 2017.

Book Chapters

“Melville’s Foams.” In The Oxford Companion of Herman Melville. Ed. Michael Jonik. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Forthcoming 2022.

“Verdure.” In A New Companion to Herman Melville2nd Ed. Eds. Wyn Kelley and Christopher Ohge. London: Wiley-Blackwell, Forthcoming 2022.

“Shackle, Sycamore, Shibboleth: Material Geographies of the Underground Railroad.” In Cartographies of Exile: A New Spatial Literacy. Ed. Karen Elizabeth Bishop. Routledge, 2016: 111-132.

“Wallace’s Choice.” In The Wire in the College Classroom: Pedagogical Approaches to the Humanities. McFarland Press, 2015: 160-178.

“The Detective Reader: Force and Form in Poetry,” Student’s Guide for First-Year Writers, eds. Haley-Brown, Lee & Rodriguez (Hayden-McNeil, 2011): 81-88.


“Mineral Melville.” J19: Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists 7.1 (2019): 155-83.

“Shadows in the Shenandoah: Melville, Slavery, and the Elegiac Landscape.” Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies 17:3 (2015): 7-24.

Reprinted in Mickle Street Review: An Electronic Journal of Whitman and American Studies 21 (2016).

“Stranger in Japan.” Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies 18:1 (2016): 128-130.

“Body/Land: Notes on the State of Virginia and the Rhetoric of Possession.” Polymath: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Arts and Sciences 3:1 (2012): 97-111.

“Writing Ojibwe: Politics and Poetics in Longfellow’s Hiawatha. Journal of American Culture 35:3 (2012): 244-257.