I research nineteenth-century American history, with an emphasis on popular culture and the history of science. My work concerns cultures of observation and introspection — particularly practices that have become obsolete.

Much of my work has centered on natural history, museums, and how people have used collections of physical objects to create knowledge.

My dissertation, Doctrine of the Skull: Phrenological Modernity in Nineteenth-Century America, is about phrenology and the circulation of new ideas about the self.


“The Antiquarian” lithograph, c. 1830. American Antiquarian Society.