Curriculum Vitae

Kathrinne Duffy


  • 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.

Dissertation Project

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.

Other Awards

  • 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]

Scholarly Journals

  • “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.

Exhibition Catalogues

  • “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.


Professional Experience

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

Exhibitions & Projects


Invited Talks

  • “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.



  • French (reading proficiency)

Professional Affiliations

  • Society for Historians of the Early American Republic
  • History of Science Society
  • National Council on Public History