Jennifer Baker specializes in American literature, culture, and intellectual history, with particular interest in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century writing. Her first book, Securing the Commonwealth: Debt, Speculation, and Writing in the Making of Early America (Johns Hopkins 2005), examined the impact of financial developments, particularly the advent of public debt and paper money, on eighteenth-century American writing. Her other published work on early American literature includes essays on Benjamin Franklin, Cotton Mather, Judith Sargent Murray, and Revolutionary-era women writers, as well as a co-edited special issue of Early American Literature on “Economics and Early American Literature.” She is currently at work on a study of American Romanticism and the life sciences. This book examines how new thinking about organic form and biodiversity shaped the American assimilation of European Romantic ideas in the middle decades of the nineteenth century; in addition to offering new readings of works by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, Edgar Allan Poe, and Emily Dickinson, this book reconsiders American Romanticism as a category of literary practice. Published and forthcoming work on nineteenth-century literature includes essays on Emerson and embryology, Moby-Dick and zoology, Benito Cereno and theater, and Hawthorne's Civil War-era writings. She serves on the Melville Society Cultural Project, which organizes archival research, visiting fellowships, programming, and lectures at the New Bedford Whaling Museum in New Bedford, Massachusetts. At NYU, she teaches classes on American literature, transatlantic Romanticism, literature and science, and a general humanities course on "Humans and the Natural World."