Elspeth works on twentieth-century poetry and prose, with persistent interests in science, organization, and disciplinary history. Since joining the department in the fall of 2012, she has given conference presentations on Ezra Pound, James Joyce, and Marianne Moore, and has taught courses on the contemporary novel and twentieth-century drama. She also spent two years as the co-chair of the Graduate Action Committee and as the department representative to the Graduate Student Government.
Elspeth is currently working on a dissertation that explores the influence of popular science on the poetry and criticism of the 1920s, with chapters on Marianne Moore, I.A. Richards, and T.S. Eliot. She considers popular scientific books and articles not only as sources of scientific knowledge for modernist writers, but as examples of a distinct genre of writing in which metaphor mingles uneasily with objectivity. By examining the publishing history and context of these works, which were often included in series and magazines alongside more strictly literary material, Elspeth shows how their conventions and strategies came to shape the development of academic English study.