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- B.A., Clemson University
- M.A., University of South Carolina
- Ph.D., University of South Carolina
- 19th- and 20th-century American literature
- Road culture and tourism theory
- Mark Twain
- American humor and satire
- Mark Twain, Travel Books, and Tourism: The Tide of a Great Popular Movement. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2002, rpt. 2009.
- Mark Twain on the Move: A Travel Reader. Co-edited with Alan Gribben. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2009.
- “When the Candle Goes Out: The Complexity of Simple Jokes and the Limits of Satire.” Studies in American Humor 4.2 (2018): 152-59.
- “Romancing the American Dream: The Coen Brothers’ Raising Arizona.” Studies in American Humor 3.1 (2017): 1-21.
- “’Immediate Consciousness’ and the American Open Road: Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.” Studies in Travel Writing 17.4 (2013): 398-410.
- “Mark Twain and the Middle Landscape in Paint and Print.” Mark Twain Journal 48.1-2 (2010 ): 14-28.
- “Keeping the Faith in Mark Twain’s The Innocents Abroad.” South Atlantic Review 64.2 (1999): 58-80.
- “The Tourist as Art Critic: Mark Twain and the Old Masters.” Studies in American Culture 22.2 (1999): 61-69.
- “The Trouble with Tourists: Authenticity and the Failure of Tourism.” Popular Culture Review 10.2 (1999): 9-19.
- “Touring Decay: Nineteenth-Century American Travel Writers in Europe.” Papers on Language and Literature 35.2 (1999): 206-22.
- “Travel Writing.” Mark Twain in Context. Edited by John Bird. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2019.
- “Tourism and Landscape in The Awakening.” Critical Insights: The Awakening by Kate Chopin. Edited by Robert C. Evans. Ipswich, MA: Salem Press/Grey House Publishing, 2014. 162-75.
- “The Subversion of Happy Endings in Terry Gilliam’s Brazil.” The Cinema of Terry Gilliam: It’s a Mad World . Edited by Jeff Birkenstein, Anna Froula, and Karen Randell. New York: Wallflower Press/Columbia UP, 2013. 66-78. –co-written with Eric Sterling.
- “Seeing the River: Mark Twain’s Landscape Imagination.” Mark Twain’s Geographical Imagination. Ed. Joseph A. Alvarez. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009. 101-15.
- “Mark Twain and Travel Writing.” A Companion to Mark Twain. Ed. Louis Budd and Peter Messent. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2005. 338-53.