About me

I am an Assistant Professor of English at Rutgers University Camden.

My research interests are varied, but can be focused at the interstices of theories of narrative, language, affect, and translation. I am particularly interested in these areas as a way of thinking through the quandary of relation, both between and within the human but also the nonhuman (which for me includes both the world of objects as well as those whose humanity is disavowed, as I argue to be the case for early national representations of Native Americans).

I teach courses in literary theory, narratology, postcolonial literatures, and topics in nineteenth-century American literature, including early American women writers and frontier literature. This semester we will be thinking a lot about monsters in my courses -- those figures that loom on the edges of our understanding, that (h)edge those unnamable spaces, figures, and feelings. In doing this we will also be thinking about the connection between writing and power, between inscription and order, and how these connections might be rendered insecure or altogether undermined by those "monstrous" others. In Literature and Horror, we will be thinking about how and why a text moves its readers through our study of common horror tropes and conventions in literary texts. Studying texts by authors like Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Allan Poe, HP Lovecraft, and Shirley Jackson (among others), we will look at the way horror marks powerful uncertainties -- about the world around us but also about ourselves. In the senior capstone class REMIX: Visions and Revisions of the New World, we will think about how the space of otherness is crafted and curated by colonial texts. We will then think about how postcolonial authors confront and revise these constructions, and how this work of revision functions as a critical response to socio-political traditions that excluded New World subjects but still required them as objects to be spoken about. Some of the texts we will be reading include works by Christopher Columbus, Hans Staden, William Shakespeare, Oswaldo de Andrade, Aimé Césaire, and Jean Rhys.

I post older work and discuss current preoccupations on my blog Roer.

Before Rutgers

I completed my PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of Texas at Austin in 2010. My doctorate worked focused on critical theory and nineteenth-century literature and culture in the Americas. My dissertation developed an idea of the work of death in the national romance through a study of the cathected figure of the amerindian in these texts. My languages of study are English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French.

In 2014 I was a fellow at the First Book Institute hosted by the Center for American Literary Studies at the Pennsylvania State University.

In 2009-2010 I was a University Continuing Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin and also a guest resident scholar at the Humanities Center at Wayne State University (2010-2011). At the center I developed a project addressing companion animals and animal rites in Cooper's Leatherstocking series.

In 2008-2009 I was an Assistant Director and Instructor in the Department of Rhetoric and Writing. I assisted in teaching the Department's pedagogy course for new instructors (Fall 2008) and helped organize the First-Year Forum program and lower division course guides. As a teacher in the Department, my interests included visual and digital rhetorics and composition theory. My courses for undergraduates focused on somatic arguments and identity construction. You can learn more about them here

You can find my full CV here