All our lives are collections curated by memory… The sum total of that deep archive is what makes us who we are.

–Richard Fortey, Dry Storeroom No. 1: The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum

I’m from Savannah, Georgia.  I moved up north to attend Swarthmore College, then worked for a few years in Philadelphia’s nonprofit/arts and culture sector before heading to graduate school.

I completed my Ph.D. in American Studies at Brown University in 2021. My dissertation is about phrenology and how knowledge circulated in antebellum popular culture.

Through my years in grad school I also worked in the museum field, with roles including a summer job cataloguing the collections of the Tenakee Historical Society in rural Alaska; the Buchanan-Burnham Fellowship in Historical Interpretation at the Newport Historical Society; and a curatorial research fellowship at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston.

I now live in Burlington, Vermont.

To contact me, email kvduffy [AT] alumni [DOT] brown [DOT] edu .

The header image on the main page of this web site is the painting Interior with Portraits by Thomas LeClear (c. 1865).