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University Hall 5022
(205) 934-4250

Research and Teaching Interests: Romanticism, electronic text, poetics & prosody, bibliography

Office Hours: By appointment


  • B.A., Dartmouth College, English
  • M.A., University of Illinois, English
  • Ph.D., University of Illinois, English

The central project that has dominated my professional life is an exploration of form and significance. Just how is it that we find such joy and beauty and meaning in the sounds of, say, a Beethoven sonata or a Miles Davis solo or an Emily Dickinson lyric? When we get to the end of a well-crafted poem or novel, what causes that satisfying sense of closure? How do text and image and sound combine to produce a truly cohesive and illuminating website design?

My own approach to such questions began in music — I played jazz through most of my college days, and studied classical guitar in London for a couple of years after my undergraduate years. Then in grad school at Illinois, I started reading the Romantics — Blake and Coleridge, Wordsworth and Shelley — and discovered that these writers were exploring exactly the same issues, only their "music" was poetry, and they were working in a wider context that included an appreciation for nature as well as a concern for the origins of social and political thought.

Since then I have been reading and writing and thinking about poetry and music, web design, bibliography and archival research, mark-up languages, and just about anything else that has bearing on the meaning, value, and significance of literary language.

  • Recent Courses
    • Reading, Writing and Research
    • Nature Writing
    • British Romanticism
    • "English Now!" — a capstone on the discipline of English in a digital age
    • Prosody, Poetics, and Close Reading
    • Bibliography and Research Methods
    • Major Authors: Byron
  • Select Publications

    Book Chapters

    • “Private Visions/Public Responsibilities: The Alastor Volume,” in A Brighter Morn: The Shelley Circle's Utopian Project, Darby Lewes. Lanham, ed. (Lexington Books, 2003): 63-80.
    • "Spreading the (Radical) Word: William Hone's Liturgical Parodies of 1817,” in Radicalism and the Threat of Revolution in Britain, 1789-1848: Essays in Honour of Malcolm Thomis, Michael T. Davis, ed. (Macmillan, 199): 143-56.

    Articles and Other Works

    • “Before the Trials: William Hone and the Rise of the Watchdog Press.” English Studies: A Journal of English Language and Literature, August 2022. DOI: 10.1080/0013838X.2022.2116197.
    • "Antiquarian Polyphony: William Hone’s Transformation in/of the 1820s." forthcoming 2023, Wordsworth Circle.
    • "'Fit Audience though Few': Physical Fitness in the Early Nineteenth Century." Romanticism 19 (2013): 261-72.
    • The William Hone BioText (a biography, bibliography, and e-text archive).
    • Romanticism@UAB (blog).
    • "Daniel Defoe, William Hone, and The Right Divine of Kings to Govern Wrong! : A New Electronic Edition," Digital Defoe: Studies in Defoe and His Contemporaries 4.1 (2012).
    • "Queen Mab, the Law of Libel, and the Forms of Shelley's Politics," Journal of English and Germanic Philology 94 (1995): 1-18.
    • "Censorship, Violence, and Political Rhetoric: The Revolt of Islam in Its Time," Keats-Shelley Journal 43 (1994): 98-116.
    • "The Entropics of Discourse: Michael Harper's Debridement and the Myth of the Hero," Black American Literature Forum 24 (1990): 417-40.