Research

Novel Repair: Restorative Justice, Global Literature, and International Law

My book project demonstrates how the global Anglophone novel imagines new models of repair for historical, procedural, and spatial exclusions of international law in the non-western world. My research serves as both an alternative history of, as well as an addendum to, the international criminal tribunal system that starts at Nuremberg. I begin instead with the India-Pakistan Partition of 1947 in Bapsi Sidhwa’s novel Cracking India and demonstrate how imaginative narratives from the Biafran War in Nigeria (1967-1970), the Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia (1975-1979), and the system of apartheid in South Africa (1948-1991) develop enhanced tribunal structures in which perpetrators take punishment and victims find remedies. This book ultimately argues for a literary model of human recovery in which reparative reading practices reshape the punitive language of the law and reclaim postcolonial histories of resistance.

Constitution-Making and Global Indigenous Literature

I am beginning work on a second book project that seeks to reshape the boundaries of world Anglophone literature by demonstrating how works of indigenous fiction from seemingly disparate regions of the globe together develop new models of constitution-making in settler and postcolonial nations. A new article drawn from this project argues that Keri Hulme’s fragmentary novel the bone people can transform our thinking about the dialogic nature of constitutionalism in New Zealand and other regions connected to the Commonwealth. At MLA 2016, I discussed the role of Leslie Marmon Silko's novel Ceremony (1977) in drawing out the ameliorative language of collectivity in the Laguna Pueblo constitution, and I am currently engaged in questions of Aboriginal constitution-making in Australia and First Nations sovereignty in indigenous Canadian literature. 

Pablo Neruda and the Global Politics of Poetry

I have an award-winning collection of books by the Chilean poet and Nobel Prize winner Pablo Neruda, which features rare books and objects from nearly 50 different countries and six continents, translated and published in dozens of languages. The collection focuses on the global politics of Neruda's work at various moments of war and tyranny in the twentieth century. My collection won a prize in the Library of Congress National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest in 2014. I've been interviewed about the collection in Fine Books Magazine, which you can read here, as well as by the antiquarian bookseller Books Tell You Why, which you can find here.

I co-curated an exhibit of highlights from my collection in fall 2016 in the Marvin Cone Galleries at Coe College: "Index of Influence: Archiving Pablo Neruda’s Poetry and Politics."

Neruda to Stig Carlson

First Swedish translation inscribed to Stig Carlson.