2016    Ph.D. in English, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX

2014    M.A. in English, Southern Methodist University

2008    B.A. in English, summa cum laude, Cedarville University, Cedarville, OH

Academic Appointments

2018–present   Assistant Professor of English, Samford University, Birmingham, AL

2016–17  Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of English, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL

Book Manuscript

Flesh Becoming Word: Eucharist and Allegory in Early Modern England

How did bread and wine teach early modern readers how to read? Answering this question depends, I argue, on how the Protestant Reformation redefined the Eucharist as an allegorical text. The effects of this ritual were as much literary as theological. Whereas the Catholic Church believed that Christ’s literal body existed under the form of bread and wine, most Protestants saw these same elements as signs that demanded allegorical reading and that renegotiated the place of the body within this interpretive encounter. Thus, Protestantism did not spurn allegory, as most scholars assert, but rather saw it as a source of sacramental efficacy that empowers reading. As a result of this radically reconceived ritual, writers as diverse as Spenser, Shakespeare, Lanyer, and Milton make the body the site of allegorical reading and weight this reading practice with the stakes of the sacrament. Beginning with the controversies of the Reformation and extending through the revolutionary era of Milton and Bunyan, I argue that the bodies of allegory become explicit texts that demand allegorical reading, a phenomenon made possible not just by the rise of print culture but also by the reading practice embodied in the Protestant Eucharist.


“Flesh Becoming Word: Eucharist and Allegory in Early Modern England”

Committee: Timothy Rosendale (chair), Daniel Moss, Rajani Sudan, Debora Shuger

Publications and Submissions

“The Georgic Mode and ‘Poor Labours’ of George Herbert.” Renaissance Studies 30.2 (April 2016)

“Book, Body, and Bread: Reading Aemelia Lanyer’s Eucharist.” Philological Quarterly 96.1 (Winter 2017).

 “Utopian Literality: Thomas More and the Faith of Catholic Reading.” Forthcoming in Studies in Philology (Spring 2020)

Book Review. Allegory and Enchantment (Oxford UP, 2016). Renaissance Quarterly 71.1 (Spring 2018)


2019                “Jacke Jugeler, Shakespeare, and the Lost Bodies of Eucharistic Performance.” Annual Meeting of the Shakespeare Association of America. Seminar: ‘Minor’ Dramatists. Washington DC, April 18–20.

2018                “Getting Rid of the Body: The Eucharist and Bodily Erasure in Catholic Allegory.” Symposium of Medieval and Renaissance Studies. St. Louis MO, June 18­­–20.

2017                “When Paradise Gets Political: Teaching Milton’s Satan Through the Reformation.” NEH-Sponsored Panel. Sixteenth Century Society and Conference. Milwaukee WI, October 26–29.

2017                The Five Senses in Pre-modern English Literature. International Congress on Medieval Studies. Kalamazoo MI, May 11–14. Panel moderator.

2017                “A Parody of Reformation: Anthony Copley and the Language of Catholic Reform.” Renaissance Society of America. Chicago IL, March 30–April 1.

2016                “Shakespeare, Calvin, and the Limits of Reading.” Conference on Christianity and Literature. Riverside CA, May 13–14.

2016                “Staging Lear: Change and Chaos on the Early Modern Stage.” Guest Lecturer, ENGL 251, British Literature I. Biola University, La Mirada, CA, May 12.

2016                “Shakespeare, Calvin, and the Limits of Reading.” Conference on Christianity and Literature, Riverside, CA, May 13-14.

2015                “A ‘charming allegorical utterance’: The Protestant Eucharist and the Question of Allegory.” Sixteenth Century Society and Conference, Vancouver, British Columbia, October 22–25. Upcoming.

2015                “John Donne’s Body and Eucharistic Allegory.” Domestic Devotions in the Early Modern World, Cambridge University, Cambridge, England, July 9–11.

2015                “Re-reading Literal Reading: Thomas More, the Eucharist, and Utopia.” Symposium for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, St. Louis, MO, June 15–17.

2014                “The Georgic Environment and Fruitful Labor of George Herbert.” Sixteenth Century Society and Conference, New Orleans, LA, October 16–19.

Awards and Fellowships

  • Teaching and Learning Seminar. Samford University (2018–19).
  • Faculty Seminar on Vocational Mentoring. Wheaton College (Fall 2017).
  • Faculty Development Grant. Wheaton College (May 2017).
  • National Endowment for the Humanities. Summer Institute. “Teaching the Reformation After 500 Years” (July 2016).
  • Hughes Dissertation Fellowship, Southern Methodist University (2015­–16).
  • Pueppke Prize, Best Graduate Student Essay, SMU Department of English (2015).

Teaching Interests

British poetry, drama, and prose; early modern literature; Shakespeare; Milton; dramatic literature; poetry; literary theory/criticism; Medieval and Renaissance history, theology, and culture; humanities; composition (first-year, research-based, and advanced)

Teaching Experience

Assistant Professor, Samford University

  • ENGL 375 Shakespeare
  • ENGL 205 Fiction and Film: Shakespeare
  • UCCA 102, Communication Arts
  • ENGW 103, Compositions and Rhetoric (Fall 2016): Why Our Stories Matter

Visiting Assistant Professor, Wheaton College

  • ENGL 115, Modern Global Literature
  • ENGL 111, Western Literature: Faith and Doubt
  • ENGL 111, Western Literature: Watch the Throne
  • ENGL 111, Western Literature: Power and Politics
  • ENGW 103, Composition and Rhetoric
  • ENGW 104, Composition and Rhetoric (accelerated)

Instructor, Southern Methodist University

  • DISC 2306, Honors Humanities Seminar: Human Responsibility
  • DISC 2305, Honors Humanities Seminar: Questions of Knowledge
  • DISC 1302, Composition: Cultural Myths and Mythologies
  • DISC 1301, Composition: Rhetorics of Culture, Other, Self
  • ENGL 1302, Introduction to Research Writing
  • ENGL 1301, Introduction to College Writing and Rhetoric

Co-Instructor, Southern Methodist University

  • ENGL 1380, Introduction to Literature: British and American Poetry, Drama, and Short Fiction

Adjunct Instructor, Cedarville University

  • ENGL 1400, English Composition

Other Relevant Experience

2015­­–16          Elementary Reading Tutor, Dallas, TX
2012–13          College-Level Writing Tutor, Dallas, TX
2009                Workshop Instructor, High School Writing Camp, Cedarville University, OH
2008–10         Publications Editor and Writer, Marketing Department, Cedarville University
2006–08         Writing Center Consultant at Cedarville University

Professional Service

  • CA Summer Workshop Speaker, Samford University (2019)
  • Served as proctor for the Alabama High School Math Competition (Feb. 23, 2019)
  • Organized student-led discussions on Shakespeare for CP students (Dec. 2018)
  • Department Representative, Admissions Event, Samford University (Spring 2019)
  • CA Assessment Task Force, Samford University (Fall 2018)
  • Special Exhibit, Anti-Semitism, the Reformation, and ‘The Merchant of Venice’, Buswell Library, Wheaton College (Spring 2018)
  • Portfolio Reviewer, First-Year Writing Assessment, Wheaton College (2016–18)
  • Department Representative, Recruitment Event, Wheaton College (Fall 2017)
  • Special Exhibit, Hamlet in Wittenberg, Buswell Library, Wheaton College (Fall 2017)
  • Evaluator for Writing Competency Exam, Wheaton College (2016–17)
  • Invited Faculty Speaker, College Democrats (student organization): “Elizabeth Tudor, Hillary Clinton, and the Politics of Gender,” Wheaton College (Fall 2016)
  • Invited Panelist for Teaching Assistant Orientation, Center for Teaching Excellence, Southern Methodist University (August 18, 2015)
  • President, English Graduate Organization (June 2014–June 2015)
  • Student Representative, English Graduate Program Committee (June 2014–June 2015)
  • Chair, Graduate Women’s Organization (Fall 2011–Spring 2014)
  • Member, Executive Team for Graduate Student Conference (Spring 2012, 2013)

Professional Affiliations

Modern Language Association
Renaissance Society of America
Shakespeare Association of America
Sixteenth Century Society and Conference

Research Languages

Latin and Spanish (reading proficiency)