I study and teach early modern literature at Emory University’s Oxford College, especially the intersections of literature and law. I’ve written about the violence of the law in early modern England, critical prison theory, and human rights in children’s literature.
My publications appear in Law, Culture, and the Humanities, Columbia Human Rights Law Review, Contemporary Justice Review, The Social History of Crime and Punishment in the United States, Wake Forest Law Review, and Reading Milton. As a way of exploring the constructive aspects of law, I co-authored Human Rights and Children’s Literature: Imagination and the Narrative of Law.
For the last twelve years, I’ve taught in Georgia state prisons where I’ve discovered unparalleled intellectual freedom and creative collaboration. Along with my friend and colleague Bill Taft, I founded and co-direct the nonprofit Common Good Atlanta, which seeks to connect the humanities to the community. Common Good Atlanta is an all-volunteer consortium of 70 faculty from 6 universities teaching in 4 prisons, 5 days a week, plus a downtown course for prison-impacted people. Since 2008, we’ve taught thousands of hours of college courses to people who are incarcerated.