American culture and literature
- Political significance of American literature
- Relationship of literature to democracy
- American studies
- Editor, "The Oxford Handbook to 19th-Century American Literature" (forthcoming)
- Author, "Beautiful Democracy: Aesthetics and Anarchy in Global Era"
- Author, "Necro Citizenship: Death, Eroticism, and the Public Sphere in the Nineteenth-Century United States"
- Author, "Fathering the Nation: American Genealogies of Slavery and Freedom"
- Co-editor, "Materializing Democracy: Towards a Revitalized Cultural Politics"
- Jean Wall Bennett Professor, English and American studies