Appointed As

Art of Writing Program Postdoctoral Fellow


ACLS Emerging Voices Fellowships program


University of California, Berkeley

PhD Field of Study

PhD, English, Harvard University

Dissertation Abstract

"Fiction's Metronomes: Music, Time, and the Eighteenth-Century British Novel"

While the British novel emerges in a century increasingly governed by clocks and schedules, it not only assumes a variety of temporal shapes but also grapples with the antinomies of time as at once countable and defying calculation, present yet impossible to pin down. Following the lead of eighteenth-century novelists, readers, and scholars of music, I call on music’s intimate relationship to time to investigate an underexplored dimension of narrative theory: recursion. Tracing repeated motifs, objects, scenes, and decisions whose repetition seems to short-circuit time itself, I argue that music and novels in this period resisted nascent regimes of time-discipline linked to gender and class. Even as women and the emergent middle class are portrayed in terms of restrictive habits and routines—time as a condition of capitalist cycles of credit and debt—music and novels, by structuring recursion in different ways, together imagine alternative forms of being in and owning (or disowning) time.