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Hello! I am an Associate Professor of Literature and director of the Center for Experimental Humanities at Bard College.

My research interests include media studies and digital culture, childhood, fantasy and the afterlives of medieval literature, and the role of the humanities in contemporary society. I have published academic work in all of these areas and my book Re-Enchanted: The Rise of Children’s Fantasy Literature in Twentieth Century is out with the University of Minnesota Press (2019).Maria2 copy.jpg

I am the founding Director of the Center for Experimental Humanities and its affiliated academic concentration, both of which focus on how technology mediates what it means to be human. We embrace historical, theoretical, and practice-based approaches to this question, often through interdisciplinary collaboration and justice-minded work in the community.

I experiment with form in my own public-facing work, which includes a computational text analysis / digital humanities project based on The Babysitters Club corpus called The Data-Sitters Club; a trio of video documentaries that explore staging and understanding early English drama; a podcast called In Theory about the relevance of academic theories to everyday life, co-hosted with Noorain Khan; and very occasionally, short speculative fiction.

I am honored to work with the American Library Association as a National Project Scholar for their Great Stories Club reading and discussion program for underserved youth across the United States, and am working on a new interdisciplinary research project about the intellectual lives of teen participants based on GSC survey data.

I received my master’s in English Medieval Studies and doctorate in English from the University of Oxford, where I was a Rhodes Scholar, and my BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago. I grew up in Newport News, Virginia.

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