About Me

My Life in a Nutshell

I currently live in the Outer Banks of North Carolina with my spouse Theresa and two children, Lenora and Saoirse (ages 6 and 3). We moved here in haste in March. Before that, we had been in Black Mountain, NC since August 2018. Before that, we lived in Chicago for over 7 years, mostly in Hyde Park, and I “ABD”ed my PhD program during that time at the University of Chicago. I am currently writing my dissertation (see below). Before Chicago, we lived in Dallas, Texas, where we met and wed. Before that, I lived in Austin, Texas, and completed my B.A. at the University of Texas at Austin. My major was classics, and I was also in the Plan II Honors program. Before that, my family and I lived in Lafayette, Louisiana…also Houston and Atlanta…and way before that, Denver, Colorado, where I was born.

My Academic Bio

I am trained as a Hebrew Bible scholar and an Egyptologist, and fulfilled the requirements for the Hebrew Bible & Ancient Near East as well as the Egyptology doctoral programs in the Dept. of Near Eastern Languages at the University of Chicago. Specifically, I am a philologist of Egyptian and Northwest Semitic languages, and a historian and critic of narrative literature, particularly of Achaemenid and Graeco-Roman Egypt and Palestine. My dissertation is on novellas written during this period in Demotic, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek: I am identifying the genre of the novellas in the Hebrew Bible (and related literature) as well as in Egyptian (Demotic) literature of this period, studying their important characteristics as literary, narrative art, and trying to rediscover their cultural role and importance. I take a radical philological approach to the study of literature that is grounded in the materiality of book culture, with recourse to fruitful and sympathetic interpretive approaches that allow me to reconstruct and describe the ancient experience of literature.

I am currently engaged in a small-scale research project on Semitic texts written in Egyptian script, which will appear in a chapter on the Oxford Handbook of Ancient Egypt and the Hebrew Bible. I am in the process of Samaritan Pentateuch manuscripts held at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago. In relation to this, I am interested in the question of digital diplomatic editions of manuscripts, as well as digital critical editions of texts with complex transmission histories.

I am currently an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina Asheville, where I teach in the Humanities program. Before moving to North Carolina, I worked for the education department of the museum of the Oriental Institute where I was involved with training museum docents and public education initiatives. In addition to teaching traditional courses at the U of Chicago, I worked for the Writing Program of the college and was also an undergraduate writing tutor. I still teach online classes for the Oriental Institute, and also do occasional public lectures for them.

Now, why “Liberation Philology”? Well, what I am trying to convey is