I am a PhD candidate in Berkeley’s department of comparative literature, where I study Victorian and modernist novels, film, and critical theory. My dissertation examines the constraints that capitalism places on attention and investigates how the form of the novel reproduces or resists those constraints. Among the novelists I consider are Dickens, Dostoyevsky, Conrad, Joyce, Beckett, and Stein.

I have also recently published or presented work on mysticism and excess in Bolaño’s 2666 and on the persistence of allegory in modernist cinema.

At Berkeley, I have designed and taught Reading and Composition courses on a variety of topics: “Improbable Cities: Venice, Saint Petersburg, Los Angeles”; “How Can We Know? Ambiguity in Literature”; “Laughing Matters” (on dark humor and the political significance of laughter); “Fan Fictions, Fiction Fans” (on literary imitation across “high” and “low” genres); and “Nowheresville” (on representations of peripheral and rural space). I have also taught Spanish 1 and 2 at San Quentin State Prison through the Prison University Program.

I grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in a family of mixed Filipino and Russian heritage. I received my BA in English from Harvard in 2008.