PhD, Boston College (English)

Dissertation Abstract

Witnessing Empire is a cultural history of the American war correspondent. I trace the figure through various points of crisis in the making of U.S. sovereignty including the U.S.-Mexico War, the Civil War, and the Spanish-American War. Locating correspondents like Herman Melville, Richard Harding Davis, and Stephen Crane in what Mary Louise Pratt terms "contact zones"--areas of cross-cultural exchange and contest--I show in this interdisciplinary work how the figure emerged through confronting U.S. state power with "on the spot" visual and textual witness accounts of the violence entailed by that power in a period of territorial expansion across the hemisphere, mass media development, and renewed aesthetic challenges to representing war. 

BA, University of California Irvine (Comparative Literature, French (minor)