Tel: 514 848-2424 ext. 2353
Room: LB 685.7
updated July 2009
My research since I arrived at Concordia in 1999 has been pursued on an array of disciplinary fronts (including Victorian literature and culture, the history of technology, contemporary American poetry, and Canadian poetry), but has demonstrated a consistent concern with questions of genre, media/publication, the history of authorship, and, in the broadest sense, the history and cultural politics of rhetoric. I have completed a few big projects over the past two years: a book entitled Style and the Nineteenth-Century Critic about theories of rhetoric in the context of nineteenth-century periodicals, a co-edited collection of essays called Language Acts, about English-language poetry in Québec, and a new collection of poems, The Debaucher.
I am nearing completion of a book called Documenting the Phonotext: Sound Recording and its Victorian Legacy, which gives an account of the literary significance of early spoken recordings. This SSHRC-funded project tracks the impact of sound recording technology upon the literary imagination, both in the sense of this technology’s symbolic significance for literary authors and readers, and of its implication in modes of literary production and consumption. It tells this neglected story of “talking records” and their significance for literature from the invention of the phonograph in 1877 to the recorded performances of early modernist works, and consequently challenges the textual and visual assumptions of much contemporary literary criticism by making the recorded, oral performance or “phonotext” its primary object of analysis. This project has gone through a series of phases. While it started with an exploration of some contemporary experiments in the relationship between poetry and sound recording (by poets like Michael McClure and david antin), it has become a more historically specific project, and has led to research about a series of contexts—technological, elocutionary, generic, pedagogical, etc.— that help explain what late-Victorian and early twentieth-century voice recordings meant (and what these ‘acoustic’ artifacts might mean in relation to our new, digital audio media).
I am also at the very beginning of a project about the use(s) of poetry in the Victorian period. This work will consider Victorian poetry in relation to historically located formulations of use, usefulness and uselessness. By considering Victorian ideas of what use poetry is, this project will probably (only time will tell…) develop an historically located argument about what poetry was, and was able to do, in Victorian England. In short, this work will tell the story of particularly purposive nineteenth-century conceptions, activities and practices of poetry. I am also working on a new collection of poems that engage, in a variety of ways, with the forms, themes and ‘essence’ of Victorian poetry. My scholarly research certainly influences my creative work, and this new poetry project, in particular, will benefit from the recent research I have been doing on Victorian poetry in material contexts. I have even toyed with the idea of collapsing these two projects together into one big research-creation project. In addition to publishing on Victorian topics, and writing books of poetry, I also write and publish articles in a more ad hoc manner on contemporary American poetry, and I am always open to learning about a new poet I hadn’t heard of before. So if you have a new favorite discovery feel free to let me know about it. Other extra-curricular activities include editing the Punchy Poetry imprint for local small press, DC Books, and playing ice hockey in several house leagues.
Ph.D. (1998)—Department of English, Stanford University, Stanford, California, U.S.A.
Master of Arts (1991)—Graduate Program in English, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Bachelor of Arts (1990)— English (Major), Western Civilization Studies (Major) & Creative Writing (Minor), Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Research / Teaching Interests
Victorian Literature and Culture, Nineteenth Century Print Culture and Rhetoric, History of Technology, Sound Recording, Elocution and Recitation, Poetry as a Genre, Romantic Literature, Contemporary American and Canadian Poetry.
Recent Conference Papers / Readings / Talks
Selected Conference Papers
Grants / Research Projects / Honors & Awards
I am presently involved in three interdisciplinary (and mostly inter-institutional) research teams. The Nineteenth-Century Technologies, Media and Representations Research Group considers the implications of vastly different disciplinary approaches to shared subjects in nineteenth-century culture and society, The Anglo-Québec Literature Research Team considers the implications of English language writing of Québec for definitions of Québecois, Canadian and American literature, and The Technoculture, Art and Games Initiative—a cross-faculty interdisciplinary research team—explores the relationship between art, and contemporary digital culture.
Research-Related Web Links
Links to Books:
Style and the Nineteenth-Century British Critic (Ashgate 2008)
Language Acts (Vehicule 2007)
The Debaucher (Insomniac 2008)
Attention All Typewriters (DC Books 2005)
The Animal Library (DC Books 2000)