Book Project

“Broadway, Print Capital: Literature, Modernity, and the Marketplace”

This project recovers the ways in which New York’s busiest avenue mediated literary production in the nineteenth century, providing a material context for how writers like Walt Whitman and Frederick Douglass experienced and imagined the development of mass publishing. As printing evolved from an artisanal trade to a commercial industry, publishers, booksellers, and other literary tradesmen clustered in the vicinity of City Hall Park, and the adjacent stretch of Broadway became one of the most frequently depicted places in popular writing of the day. I reinterpret the term “print capital” to conceptualize the literary market as an actual, lived marketplace, to explain the value of representing such a place for contemporary authors, and to analyze the literary forms it inspired. Broadway, I argue, shaped not only the material conditions of literary production, such as the location of gas pipes or the movements of newsboys, but also the metaphorical language available to writers for conceiving and responding to literature’s changing status. Moving between a materialist micro-history of Broadway and formal analysis of canonical and forgotten works that represent the street, I demonstrate how new genres of mass print, from sensational reform narratives to children’s city guidebooks, use Broadway to formulate their operation as reflexive literary forms and in doing so provided a larger set of strategies by which antebellum authors explored their relationship to the transforming marketplace.


“The Coquette and Pseudonymous Attribution,” The Coquette and The Boarding School: A Norton Critical Edition, ed. Bryan Waterman and Jennifer Harris (New York: Norton, 2013), 419-427

Fellowships and Grants

The Winterthur Postdoctoral Fellowship, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, 2017-2018

Andrew W. Mellon Dissertation Fellowship in English, Graduate School of Arts and Science, NYU, 2016-2017

Honorary Dissertation Fellowship, Center for the Humanities, NYU, 2016-2017

The William Reese Company Fellowship, Library Company of Philadelphia, 2016-2017

Student Bursary, Spatial Humanities: Texts, GIS & Places Conference, 2016

Millicent Bell Fellowship, English Department, NYU, 2015-2016

American Historical Print Collectors Society Fellowship, American Antiquarian Society, 2015-2016

Directors’ Scholarship, Rare Book School, University of Virginia, 2015

National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute Fellowship, “City of Print: New York and the Periodical Press,” New York City College of Technology, 2015

Graduate Student Travel Grant, Northeast Modern Language Association, 2015

Ilse Dusoir Lind American Literature Fellowship, English Department, NYU, 2014-2015

Tuttleton Award, English Department, NYU, 2014-2015

Digital Humanities Summer Institute Tuition Scholarship, University of Victoria, 2014

Digital Commons Initiative Fellowship, English Department, NYU, 2012-2014

Henry M. MacCracken Fellowship, Graduate School of Arts and Science, NYU, 2010-2015

Folger Institute Seminar Grant, Folger Shakespeare Library, 2009

Recent and Upcoming Presentations

“Gaslights, Sensational Urban Writing, and the Antebellum Literary Marketplace.” Panel on “Material Culture Studies and American Literature,” Northeast MLA Annual Convention, Pittsburgh, April 2018

“Douglass on the Promenade.” Presidential Theme Panel on “NY Transit,” sponsored by the MLA GS Forum on Life Writing, MLA Annual Convention, New York, 6 Jan 2018

“Mapping the Publishing District in Mid-Nineteenth-Century New York.” Panel on “Literary GIS,” Spatial Humanities: Texts, GIS & Places, Lancaster University, England, 16 Sep 2016

“The Periodical Writing of Julia Francesca: A New Tradition of Women Authoring the City.” Panel on “Urban Stories and Spectacles,” C19 Biennial Conference, Pennsylvania State University, 17 Mar 2016; also, panel on “Subversive Metropolitans,” Conference of the European Society for Periodical Research, Liverpool John Moores University, 8 Jul 2016

“Broadway and Performances of Social Belonging in Frederick Douglass’s New York Writing.” Panel on “Early American Literature and Performance Theory,” Northeast MLA Annual Convention, Toronto, 2 May 2015

“Mobilities on Broadway and Nineteenth-Century Sensation Fiction.” Panel on “Masculinity in Motion,” Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies Conference, Atlanta, 18 Apr 2015

“New York City’s Broadway and Nineteenth-Century Literary Culture,” McNeil Center for Early American Studies Works-in-Progress Series, University of Pennsylvania, 3 Dec 2014

“Mapping Mid-Nineteenth-Century New York City,” AGGRE-GATE: The Scandal of Siloed, Private, and Off-Line Data Collections, New York Public Library, 11 Jun 2014

“The Poetics of Reflection in Walt Whitman’s New York Writing.” Seminar on “The Poetics of Transparency/Translucency/Reflection,” ACLA Annual Meeting, New York University, 21 Mar 2014

“Between Light and Shadow: Nineteenth-Century Broadway and the Makers of Gaslight Literature.” Special session on “Reading Class in Nineteenth-Century American Popular Publishing,” MLA Annual Convention, Chicago, 10 Jan 2014; also, panel on “The Big City,” Topographies of Popular Culture, University of Tampere, Finland, 25 Oct 2013