Originally my background was in theology and literature, American literature, 17th century English poetry, and modern poetry, both English and American. But I'm glad for the generalist's preparation I received in my education, as it has served me well in Paideia and in the variety of courses I teach in the English department.
I would say that my favorite courses to teach are Paideia, The Writer's Voice, and the special topics courses we offer as Literary Ventures and Seminars. The range and variety of texts from different historical periods in these courses always invigorate me!
My research interests run to American conversion narratives and their influence on American confessional writing, scriptural story in American narrative, including modern fiction, and the influence of 17th century English devotional poetry on American poets.
During my last sabbatical I read women's history of the classical Greek period and the Renaissance, researched the trial of Anne Hutchinson in 17th century Boston, and travelled in China for three months. Next spring, my sabbatical project will be on Arabian Nights, American "Orientalism," and the Hudson River School of American artists, influential to nineteenth-century women's literature.
I've enjoyed my Jones Professorship Project on Humanities and Science these past two years, and hope in the future to teach a course on "Science and Literature," drawing from the texts that served as the basis for faculty discussions and presentations.