My dissertation, “Wrestling with Angels: Postsecular Contemporary American Poetry,” interprets religion/secularity in Li-Young Lee, Scott Cairns, etc.

What drive my scholarly writing are curiosity, a desire to connect, a desire to create, and an interest in crafting words. In my literary scholarship, I write about the intersections of literature and spirituality, particularly with respect to poetry, contemporary literature, U.S. literature, and the environment. In my pedagogical scholarship, I write about understanding students and helping them grow, connect, and learn more deeply, particularly with respect to reading, writing, thinking, and compassion.


  • “Whispers of Faith in Contemporary American Literature.” Review essay. Christianity & Literature 63.4 (Summer 2014): 521-32. (Download PDF)
  • “Language and the Spirit: Prophetic Reading with the Poetry of George Herbert.” Sewanee Theological Review 56.3 (June 2013): 219-241. (Download PDF)
  • “Wrestling with Words and Meanings: T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets and Scholarly Writing about Literature.” Yeats Eliot Review 29.1-2 (Spring/Summer 2012): 19-32. (Download PDF)
  • “Generative Tension between ‘God’ and ‘Earth’ in Mary Oliver’s Thirst.” God, Grace, and Creation: Annual Volume for the College Theology Society. Ed., Philip J. Rossi. Orbis Books (May 2010): 43-58. (Download PDF)
  • “The Complicated Spiritual Vision of Elizabeth Bishop.” Literature and Belief  28.2 (2008): 1-27. (Download PDF)
  • “Messy Thresholds.” Review of Ecocriticism on the Edge: The Anthropocene as a Threshold Concept, by Timothy Clark. The Goose 15.1 (2016): 1-3. (Download PDF)
  • Review of The Blue Sapphire of the Mind: Notes for a Contemplative Ecology, by Douglas E. Christie. ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment 20.4 (2013): 901-02. (Download PDF)
  • Review of Religion, Consumerism and Sustainability: Paradise Lost?, ed. Lyn Thomas. Ecozon@ 3.2 (2012): 217-220. (Download PDF)


  • “Threshold Concepts in Literary Studies.” Teaching & Learning Inquiry 7.1 (2019): 3-17. (Read online)
  • “The State of Scholarship on Teaching Literature.” Pedagogy 18.3 (2018), pp. 415-432. NOTE: You can download here the Bibliography and Metabibliography of recent scholarship on teaching literature analyzed in the essay.

  • “Conclusion to Literature.” Teaching English in the Two-Year College.
  • “Whether Wit or Wisdom: Resisting the Decline of the Humanities from Within.” Profession.
  • “Jobs Will Save the Humanities.” Chronicle of Higher Education.
  • “Students, Keep Your Books.” Inside Higher Ed. June 3, 2016. Web. (Read online)
  • “Attending to the Act of Reading: Critical Reading, Contemplative Reading, and Active Reading.” Reader: Essays in Reader-Oriented Theory, Criticism, and Pedagogy  65-66 (Fall 2013/Spring 2104): 146-173. (Download PDF)
  • “Pedagogy and Koinōnia.” The Pentecostal Educator 3.1 (Spring 2016): 18-28. Web. (Download PDF).
  • “Error in Student Writing: A Balanced, Developmental Approach.” The Writing Campus. Sep. 10, 2015. Web. (Read online)
  • With Cameron Hunt McNabb. “Re: Your Recent Email to Your Professor.” Inside Higher Ed. Apr. 16, 2015. Web. (Read online)
  • “Students Are Horrible in Every Way.” The Conversation. The Chronicle of Higher Education (June 2014). (Read online)
  • “To Lecture or Not to Lecture?” The (Dec. 2013). (Read online)
  • “Teaching in the Shadow of a Dead God.” International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 7.2 (July 2013). (Read online)
  • “The Writing Process.” The Teaching Professor 27.2 (Feb. 2013): 4. Rpt. in Grading Strategies for the College Classroom: A Collection of Articles for Faculty. Ed. Maryellen Weimer. Madison, WI: Magna, 2013. (Request copy of article)
  • “Supporting Learning: What Faculty Want from Administrators.” Academic Leader 28.12 (Dec. 2012): 2, 5. (Request copy of article)
  • “Painting as a Reading Practice.” Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture 12.1 (2012): 168-175. (Download PDF)
  • “How I Came to Understand That My Students Would Need Training Wings in Order to Learn to Fly.” College Teaching 59.4 (2011): 127-128. (Request copy of article)
  • “Silence in Progressive Teaching.” Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice 24.1 (Spring 2011): 8-11. (Download PDF)
  • “Spirituality and Literary Studies.” Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice 23.4 (Winter 2010): 47-51. (Download PDF)