About me

I am a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of English and starting in the Fall 2022, I will be joining the Department of Philosophy at the University of Miami as an Assistant Professor. My research engages questions in the areas of animal ethics, moral psychology, American pragmatism, and feminist philosophy. My articles have appeared or are forthcoming in Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and the Environment, Journal of Modern Literature, Arizona Quarterly, and Hypatia.

 

Research

My book project, Making Animals Matter, is an interdisciplinary inquiry into the nature of "care"--what it is and how it might be cultivated in the public domain--and a study of the representational methods employed by artists to do just that--to change attitudes and motivate the public to care about animals. Its primary contribution is in the field of animal care ethics, which has largely assumed that caring relationships with nonhuman creatures can only be achieved by means of empathy. I argue that although empathy may play intensify the degree to which we care about animals, we need not empathize with animals to perceive and experience them as subjects worthy of ethical attention. I also propose that emotions such as sadness, despair, anger, disgust, contempt, guilt, and shame stand a better chance of motivating us to intervene in the lives of animals than empathy, as they force us to grapple with the wrongness of practices that instrumentalize animals for human benefit without any regard for their wellbeing, and to reflect on our failure to adopt practices that would end their suffering.

 

Teaching

A central focus of my work is how media affect the way that we think. With the rise of multi-media approaches, students are gaining some skills and losing others. I believe good teaching begins from an awareness that current media ecologies offer us endless possibilities for exploration and learning, but they can also narrow our horizon. The logarithmic logic of the internet poses challenges to a new generation of students who have grown up interacting with digital technologies, which is why I believe media literacy should be the central humanistic focus in the classroom. How do we avoid the trappings of google and the internet, technologies that currently serve the needs of coorporations by reducing our likes, opinions and personalities to “data” in order to better serve our so-called consumer-needs? How do we help students navigate digital media environments where it is difficult to identify authoritative sources so that they might become better researchers and well-informed citizens? I believe that a liberal arts education at its best arms students with the analytical tools that they need to arrive at carefully-weighted opinions.