I am an MA candidate in English at California State University, Northridge. I'm actively involved with CSUN's Center for Digital Humanities and the 4Humanities@CSUN chapter. My research revolves mostly around eighteenth-century British and colonial American literature. I am currently obsessed with Mary Rowlandson and other captivity narratives. Curious connections between this early genre of American literature and the American ideals of both liberty and religious tolerance, as well as contemporary innovations in prison and surveillance technology fascinate me.
Prior to becoming engrossed with Puritans and prisons, I did a lot of work on a little talked of mid-century writer, Sarah Fielding (sister to the famous Henry!) and the birth of madhouses in England during the 1700s. Fielding is often credited with writing the first children's novel, The Governess, within which, I would argue, she makes the case againt techniques of restraint behavior modification to treat lunacy. As many of you probably know, the madhouses were notorious for physical torture and exhibitioning their patients. I find that, in her example of Sukey and Jenny Peace, she anticipates cognitive behavior therapy for the treatment of mood disorders. I don't mean to sound like I've moved on passed Fielding for Rowlandson. I'll be presenting a paper on Fielding and the 1774 Madhouses Act at next week's Pacific and Ancient Modern Language Association's conference in San Diego. (I would love to meet up with any fellow HASTACians who will be there too!) Additionally, my big project this year is to code a website that grants access to Fielding's out-of-print works.
I am very excited to be part of the new cohort of scholars! I am here to contribute, widely, anything I can and to learn from all of your brilliant minds!