Lisa's research interests include the twentieth-century novel, humor studies, travel and transnational literature, and literary history, especially as it relates to ideas of modernity, narrative, and aesthetic response. Her research on humor theory and social satire explores the way humor is used as both a defense mechanism and a weapon in order to confront overwhelming and unsettling circumstances. She is particularly interested in how humor requires an aesthetic way of seeing that insists on pleasure. This ties in with her other research stream, which explores the literature of travel and the nature of exile and expatriate experience. Often the literary accounts of displacement employ a dark humor, a type of humor that Freud claimed allows for the individual to maintain a “customary hold” on the ego, even if the material circumstances threaten to overwhelm it.
Lisa's teaching interests include courses in Modernism, Satire and the Comic Form, the Literature of the Grand Tour, Literary Responses to War, as well as surveys of Anglo-American literature. Her writing courses draw on her background in composition theory and an interest in the art of the popular essay, which include such topics as food, travel, and culture.