About


My research specialty is Literature and Philosophy. I am the author, most recently, of One Foot in the Finite: Melville’s Realism Reclaimed (Northwestern University Press, 2017), which explores Melville’s passion for philosophy that does not progressively distance itself from the concrete lives of humans. I have in addition written Whale! (University of Minnesota Press, 2003), a reframing of Ahab’s pursuit of the whale as a search for connection and meaning, and co-edited (with Branka Arsić, Professor of English at Columbia University) Melville’s Philosophies (Bloomsbury, 2017). My work has appeared in such journals as Philosophy: The Journal of the Royal Institute of Philosophy, and ESQ: A Journal of the American Renaissance, and discusses such authors as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Matthew Arnold as well as Stanley Cavell, Henri Bergson, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. I’m also a devoted and acclaimed teacher. I’ve held tenure-track positions in the departments of English at the University of Redlands and at Yeshiva University in New York City, where I taught a wide range of courses in American literature, literature and philosophy, literature and film, and—with relish—first-year writing. I am currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the State University of New York College at Cortland.