I’m an English professor and part-time dog trainer. As the former, I direct the writing program at my college, and I work on the “long” 19th-century, especially the circulation of reading and writing practices. That work reflects more generally a fundamental interest in learning (really in how learning happens)–one that took an “animal turn,” when my husband and I adopted our first dog and realized we had a lot to learn about communication across the species divide. In addition to writing and teaching about writing, literacy, literary history and related topics, I write and teach about animals; I train and occasionally compete with my dogs in various dog sports; and I’m a volunteer trainer at my local shelter. When I can (when my schedule permits), I take some private clients, especially those dogs I’ve worked with at the shelter.
I earned my trainer certification in 2010 from Kutztown University’s program in Canine Training and Management (the program has since moved to Carroll Community College in Westminster MD). And I’m a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and the Pet Professional Guild.
I created this blog to have a space for exploring my interest in animals—especially dogs. (Previous blogs of mine can be found here and here.) I’m interested in thinking about how dogs and other animals learn, how that learning is represented in language and discourse, how we (humans) represent our relationships with other animals and, consequently, our moral obligations to them.