What is your favorite book to read for fun?
What's your favorite book to teach?
Do you have a favorite film?
How do you spend your free time?
What is your biggest literary inspiration?
Anyone who gets past the many barriers and embraces a way of living that is always creating rather than consuming is an inspiration to me, but I am particularly inspired by women who find ways to write and create in the midst of the arduous and important work of daily life--and the pressures of gendered expectations of caring and care. Jane Austen and the Brontes were examples of this, for certain, but their counterparts who were parents (sometimes single parents) had an even more challenging task and kept their families fed by doing it in a time in which women’s writing was widely consumed, but women writers were not necessarily treated with respect.I believe creating things should be as continual and embodied in life as breathing, but that takes a leap of faith, to say nothing of material, emotional, and temporal support.
What's your cure for writer's block?
What are you working on outside of class?
I’ve spent the last few years coediting a book on Disability in the Long Nineteenth Century (1776-1918), part of a six-volume reference on the Cultural History of Disability that will appear in print late this year! I also have essays in a 2019 collection on Frankenstein, Disability, and Chemistry and a 2020 Routledge Companion to Victorian Literature. I’m currently working on an essay on teaching Jane Austen through film, based on one of the courses I created here at CSUSM. Closer to my heart, though, is a creative project that has stretched on for several years: I’m trying to transform my creative nonfiction about my cancer experiences into a graphic narrative that might help others thrive in the process of diagnosis and treatment. So, if you see me doodling during a meeting, I’m just tuning the instrument.