I teach in the Music Department as well as the English and Comparative Literature Departments of Harvard University. I'm particularly interested in the ways in which artistic media-poetry, music, painting-interact with one another; in 2000, my book Untwisting the Serpent: Music, Literature, and the Visual Arts won the Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship. At Harvard I teach two Core Curriculum courses: the first called Putting Modernism Together, which studies (for example) Impressionism through works by Monet, Debussy, and Joseph Conrad, or Surrealism through works by Apollinaire, Stravinsky, and Magritte; the second is The History of the English Language. I also teach courses on opera, drama, Victorian and Modernist poetry and fiction, and the relation of physics to literature.
I enjoy scuba diving and cooking simple French recipes, though not at the same time. I love travel, and on my recent sabbatical year (2012-2013), in addition to being a fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, I managed to chalk up travels to 19 different countries, giving a lecture series in Shanghai, and talks in Seoul, Berlin, Heidelberg, as well as on a ship full of Harvard Alumni somewhere off the coast of Scotland!