Since childhood, I've been fascinated by history, museums, and the minutiae of material life in early America. Throughout my undergraduate and graduate training, I've worked toward a career in museums and public history. My fields of expertise include Atlantic and early American history, material culture, and women’s and gender history. I hold a Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization and an M.A. in History with a Certificate in Museum Studies from the University of Delaware. My B.A. is in History and Music from Binghamton University, The State University of New York.
My dissertation "Mundane Monstrosities: Gender, Reproduction, and Embodiment in the British Atlantic World, 1585-1815" assesses how early modern women and medical men understood the maternal body as monstrous in material ways. My research centers objects ranging from facsimiles of the human body (such as dolls, waxwork figures, and anatomical models), and objects that supplemented and augmented the maternal body (such as nipple shields and breast glasses) because they tell us what constituted natural and unnatural ways to procreate in the early modern period. Although monstrous births lost scientific credibility in the eighteenth century, these objects reveal the persistence of ideas about monstrous maternal bodies and births in cultural imaginations long after medical communities dismissed them. My research has received generous support from the Center for Material Culture Studies at the University of Delaware, the Huntington Library, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and the Library Company of Philadelphia.
Outside of graduate school, I crochet, play Animal Crossing, and collect nineteenth-century ephemera.