Professor, Department Chair This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
University Hall 5063
(205) 934-4250

Research and Teaching Interests: English Renaissance poetry and prose, Milton, Reformation studies, literature and law

Office Hours: By appointment


  • B.A., Davidson College
  • M.A., University of Pennsylvania
  • Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, English Renaissance Literature

Originally a Birmingham native, I returned home to join the UAB English Department in 2000, and I currently have the honor to be the Department Chair. Whenever I get a chance to take off my administrative hat, I’m happy to step either into the classroom or into whatever research project I have going at the time. As a teacher, my special strengths are in courses such as Shakespeare, Renaissance Poetry, Milton, and anything where I get to work with students on their writing skills. As a scholar, I have published a number of books and articles on a broad spectrum of early modern literature, but my true specialty is the works of John Milton. I recently published a book on the extensive role that ideas of law play in Milton’s great epic poem Paradise Lost, and I’m working on a follow-up book about Milton’s interest in questions of jurisdiction. And when I’m not being a teacher, scholar, or administrator, I enjoy spending time at home with my husband and our kids and dogs.

Recent Courses

  • Milton
  • Renaissance Poetry and Prose
  • Shakespeare
  • Reading, Writing, and Research for the English Major
  • English Capstone Seminar

Select Publications


Articles and Other Works

  • “Milton and Legal Reform,” Renaissance Quarterly 69 (2016):529-65.
  • “Satan’s Pardon: The Forms of Judicial Mercy in Paradise Lost,” Milton Studies 55 (2014):177-206.
  • “Lucrece’s Time,” Shakespeare Quarterly 64 (2013): 165-87.
  • “Marking Time: Astrology, Almanacs, and English Protestantism,” Renaissance Quarterly 60 (2008):1257-90.
  • “The Paradise Within,” a creative non-fiction essay about an Alabama prison hospice program, pms: poemmemoirstory 13 (2014):43-56.
  • “Milton’s Captive Audience: Teaching Paradise Lost in the Maximum Security Prison,” pms: poemmemoirstory 9 (2009):49-61. Named in the “New and Notable” section of Best American Essays, 2010, Christopher Hitchens, ed. (Mariner, 2010).

Academic Distinctions and Professional Societies

  • Odessa Woolfolk Community Service Award, 2016
  • National Association of Academic Advisors, Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award, 2014
  • UAB Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award, 2014
  • UAB President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2010