- Ph.D., American Studies, Brown University, 2021.
- M.A., Public Humanities, Brown University, 2015.
- M.A., History, University of Delaware, 2012.
- B.A. with honors, English Literature, Swarthmore College, 2005.
The Phrenologists: Participatory Knowledge in Antebellum America
Preliminary Examination Fields
- Early America (directed by Seth Rockman)
- History of Science (directed by Lukas Rieppel)
- Material Culture and Museum Studies (directed by Steven Lubar, chair)
Awards & Research Fellowships
Dissertation Research Fellowships
- Interdisciplinary Opportunities Fellowship, John Carter Brown Library, Providence, R.I., September 2018-May 2019.
- Joukowsky Summer Research Award, Brown University, Summer 2018.
- Jay and Deborah Last Fellowship, American Antiquarian Society, 2017-18.
- Research Fellowship, Consortium for History of Science, Technology and Medicine, 2017-18
- Research Fellowship, New England Regional Fellowship Consortium, 2017-18.
- Hazeltine Entrepreneurial Research Fellowship, Brown University, 2017-18.
- Doctoral Research Travel Grant, Brown University, 2017-18.
- Summer Scholars Grant, Jonathan M. Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship, Brown University, Summer 2017.
- Conference Travel Grant, National Science Foundation, November 2018.
- Salomon Curricular Development Grant, Brown University, Spring 2016.
- Fulbright U.S. Student Program Fellowship, Montreal, QC, 2012-13.
- Full Tuition Scholarship for M.A., University of Delaware, 2010-12.
Honors & Prizes
- Awards for The Lost Museum exhibition:
- History in Progress Award, American Association for State & Local History, 2015.
- Graduate Student Project Award, National Council on Public History, 2015.
- Award of Merit, American Association for State & Local History, 2015.
- Excellence in Exhibit Label Writing, American Alliance of Museums Curators Committee, 2015.
- Honorable Mention for Exhibition Catalogue, New England Museum Association Publication Awards, 2015.
- Daniel Walden Prize (awarded annually to an outstanding emerging scholar in popular culture studies), Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association, November 2011.
- Editor, The Public Humanities Idea: A Retrospective of the Masters Program at Brown University, 2005-2023 (Providence: Brown University, 2023). [forthcoming]
- “The Dead Curator: Education and the Rise of Bureaucratic Authority in Natural History Museums, 1870–1915,” Museum History Journal 10, no. 1 (2017): 29-49.
- “From Virtuous Visions to Rubbish and Rats: A Natural History Society in Gilded-Age Newport,” Newport History 85 (2016): 27-58.
- “Flowers from Neptune’s Garden: Seaweed Albums and the Refinement of Perception,” catalogue essay for A Singularly Marine & Fabulous Produce: the Cultures of Seaweed exhibition at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, 2023. [forthcoming]
- Essays in Mark Dion: Misadventures of a 21st Century Naturalist (New Haven, CT and Boston, MA: Yale University Press and Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, 2017):
- “A Naturalist’s Return: Travels of William Bartram — Reconsidered (2008), 116-121.
- “Scala Naturae, 1994,” 154-157.
- “The Ladies’ Field Club of York, 1999,” 164-167.
- “Harbingers of the Fifth Season, 2014,” 178-181.
- “Memory Box, 2016,” 182-183.
- “Museum-Maker: The Life of J.W.P. Jenks, 1819-1894,” catalogue essay for The Lost Museum exhibition at Brown University, May 2014.
- “Phrenology and the Civil War,” National Museum of Civil War Medicine blog, January 2017.
- Blog entries for The Lost Museum, 2014-15.
- “God’s Free Gift to Man and Beast: Henry Cogswell’s Temperance Fountains,” essay for Rhode Tour mobile history app, April 2014.
- “The Prison Palimpsest: A Former Tour Guide Looks Back at Eastern State Penitentiary.” The Appendix, March 2014.
University Teaching Experience
- Instructor, Brown University, Spring 2016.
- “Unsettled Things: Objects & Knowledge in Nineteenth-Century America,” Department of American Studies, Spring 2016.
- Teaching Assistant, Brown University, Fall 2014 – Fall 2015.
- “Crime and the City,” Urban Studies Program (Stefano Bloch), Fall 2015.
- “Cities of Sound: Place and History in American Pop Music,” Department of American Studies (Samuel Zipp), Spring 2015.
- “Museum Collecting and Collections,” Department of American Studies (Ron Potvin), Fall 2014.
Museum & Cultural Institution Experience
- Pre-Doctoral Research Fellow, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, M.A., February 2016 – October 2017.
- Buchanan/Burnham Fellow in Historical Interpretation, Newport Historical Society, Newport, R.I., Summer 2014.
- Alaska State Museums Intern, Tenakee Historical Collection, Tenakee Springs, AK, Summer 2012.
- Collections Intern, Rosenbach Museum & Library, Philadelphia, PA, Summer 2011.
- Graduate Assistant, Museum Studies at the University of Delaware, Newark, DE, 2010-12.
- Tour Guide, Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, Philadelphia, PA, Spring & Summer 2010.
- Associate Director of Development, Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, Philadelphia, PA, 2009-10.
- Grant Writer → Grants Manager, Children’s Literacy Initiative, Philadelphia, PA 2006-09.
Exhibitions & Projects
- Research Fellow, Mark Dion: Misadventures of a 21st-Century Naturalist. Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston, MA), October 2017-January 2018.
- Curator, Flowers of the Ocean: A History of Seaweed Collecting in Newport. Exhibit at the Museum of Newport History (Newport, RI), August 2014-July 2015.
- Co-Curator, The Lost Museum. Exhibition by the Jenks Society for Lost Museums, Brown University (Providence, RI), September 2013-May 2015.
- [in progress] Voices from the Clay: A Lost Landscape of Montreal interactive digital documentary.
- “The Phrenologists: Participatory Knowledge in Antebellum America,” John Carter Brown Library, December 2018.
- “Phrenology and the Business of Popular Knowledge,” National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, July 2018.
- “Skulls, Selves, and Showmanship: Itinerant Phrenologists in Nineteenth-Century America.”
- Vermont Historical Society, November 2017.
- Connecticut Historical Society, December 2017.
- Massachusetts Historical Society, January 2018.
- “Gallery Talk: New Bedford Cabinet,” Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, November 2017.
- “Naturalists in Neptune’s Garden: Seaweed Collecting as Virtuous Amusement in Nineteenth Century America.” Newport Historical Society, April 2015.
- “Seaweed Collecting in New England, 1850-1900.” Roger Williams University, Department of Biology, Marine Biology & Environmental Science. Bristol, RI, September 2014, September 2015, December 2016.
- Fellows Working Group Talk, Consortium for History of Science, Technology, and Medicine. March 2018.
- Fellows Talk, American Antiquarian Society. February 2018.
- “Commerce and Controversy: The Political Ambivalence of Practical Phrenology,” Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. Cambridge, MA, July 2019.
- “Measure of the Mind: Phrenological Character Charts and the Marketing of Self-Knowledge,” History of Science Society. Seattle, WA, November 2018.
- “Collected Wonders: A Historian in the Contemporary Art World,” John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities & Cultural Heritage, Alumni Conference. Providence, RI, October 2017.
- “The Lost Museum Collections Annex.” National Council on Public History. Nasvhille, TN, April 2015.
- “The Heroic Algologist: Collecting Seaweed Souvenirs in New England, 1850-1900.” Nineteenth Century Studies Association. Boston, MA, March 2015.
- “Missing Links: Embodiments of Evolution in Late Nineteenth Century American Culture.” American Historical Association. New York, NY, January 2015.
- “The Lost Landscape: Non-Linear Storytelling and Urban Microhistory in Montreal.” National Council on Public History. Monterey, CA, March 2014.
- “Hopeless Maniacs, Physical Wrecks: Ruined Women and the ‘Oriental Cult’ Scare, 1900-1918.” Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association. Philadelphia, PA, November 2011.
- The Phantom Archive
- #1: “Keepers of Beasts,” John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities & Cultural Heritage, March 2018.
- Jenks Society for Lost Museums, “Re-Collecting the Lost Museum: Curious Afterlives of Natural History Specimens.”
- John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities & Cultural Heritage, Providence, RI, May 2015.
- Edna Lawrence Nature Lab, Providence, RI, May 2015.
- Morbid Anatomy Museum, Brooklyn, NY, November 2014.
University & Academic
- Library Advisory Board, Brown University, January 2015 – August 2017.
- Guest Co-Editor (with Steven Lubar, Lukas Rieppel, and Ann Daly), Museum History Journal special issue on “Lost Museums,” May 2015-December 2016.
- Organizing Committee, “Lost Museums: Symposium on the Ephemerality & Afterlives of Museums & Collections,” Brown University, Providence, RI, May 2015.
- Co-Founder and Co-Organizer, Pen & Shovel Club, September 2016 – August 2017.
- French (reading proficiency)
- Society for Historians of the Early American Republic
- History of Science Society
- National Council on Public History