I began working at BYU in 2000. Trained in literary theory and eighteenth-century British literature, my early work focused primarily on Scottish literary and intellectual history of the eighteenth century and after. Eventually, I held a joint appointment between BYU and the University of Aberdeen, in Scotland.
In 2012, I was named Founding Director of the BYU Humanities Center, and I spent the next decade working with colleagues across BYU’s College of Humanities (and with scholars from multiple disciplines around the world) to create initiatives strengthening and promoting humanities scholarship. These initiatives included named lectures, symposia, research groups, colloquia, workshops, organized conversations regarding important trends in higher education, venues for student mentoring and research, and wide-ranging forms of community engagement. My term as director of the BYU Humanities Center concluded in 2022, and I assumed a new role as associate coordinator of the BYU Faith and Imagination Institute.
I've published more than forty articles and book chapters as well as two monographs: The Ruins of Experience: Scotland’s “Romantick” Highlands and the Birth of the Modern Witness (2007) and Literature after Euclid: The Geometric Imagination in the Long Scottish Enlightenment (2016); I also co-edited the volume Walter Scott at 250: Looking Forward (2021). My recent work explores literature’s relationship to religious and spiritual experience, and my publications on this subject include the book Life to the Whole Being: The Spiritual Memoir of a Literature Professor (2022).