My main academic field is nineteenth-century American cultural history. I also study the history of science and material culture.
A few of my interests include:
- why and how certain ideas and types of knowledge become popular.
- the ways in which market society shapes knowledge.
- how knowledge is derived from physical objects.
Much of my work has centered on museums and natural history. My dissertation, The Phrenologists: Participatory Knowledge in Antebellum America, is about phrenology and the commercial circulation of new ideas about the self and mind from about 1830 to 1860.