- Associate Professor, Department of History
- Associate Professor, Department of English
- Director/Co-Editor, Victorian Studies Program
Trained as a historian, I work at the intersection of history, literature, and visual culture in the interdisciplinary field of Victorian Studies. My first book, Grand Designs: Labor, Empire, and the Museum in Victorian Culture, chronicled institutional and social efforts to improve public taste in mid-nineteenth-century Britain, and especially in London. Researching and writing this book allowed me to address diverse fields of inquiry, including museum studies and material culture studies; gender history and social history; and imperial history and urban history. I have sustained many of these engagements in researching and writing my second monograph, “War Without End: The Crimean Conflict and its Victorian Legacies.” This project has brought me into dialogue with military archives and military history. Like mid-Victorian museums and their contexts, mid-Victorian militarism and its legacies have offered up rich materials for original research and cultural analysis. In the next few years, I will bring these inquiries to conclusion in a book that considers the enduring role of the Crimean War (1854-56) in producing collective identity and social community from the mid-nineteenth century to today.
As in my research, I am devoted in my pedagogical and professional life to finding new ways to understand the nineteenth century, whether for academic audiences, for university students, or for the general public. I am engaged, too, in sustaining dialogue across disciplinary boundaries, particularly those of history and literature. To these ends, I have planned conferences addressing British history, Victorian society, and military culture. I have taught from untapped or overlooked sources like diaries of nineteenth-century girls, testimonies of Caribbean slaves, and memoirs of factory men. I have published not just in academic journals, but also in popular venues, including a children’s magazine. Currently, I serve as the Director of IU’s Victorian Studies Program and a co-editor of the journal, Victorian Studies. This last venture builds on my ongoing interest in scholarly editing, which I pursued in the recent past as the Associate Editor of the American Historical Review.
College Arts and Humanities Institute Conference Grant and Travel Grant, Indiana University, 2014, 2015
Mellon International Innovative Research and Teaching Grant, Indiana University, 2015
Institute for Advanced Study Consultation Grant, Indiana University, 2014
Provost's Teaching Award, Florida International University, 2007
Donald Gray Prize for Best Essay in Victorian Studies, North American Victorian Studies Association, 2004
National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, Huntington Library, Museum, and Gardens, 2002-03
- Victorian Culture, Society, and Literature
- History of Britain and the British Empire
- Military Culture
- Diaries, Memoirs and Life Writing
- Museum History and Public History
Courses Recently Taught
Britain's Road to Modernity
Dear Diary: A History of the Form from Pepys to Blogs
Victorian Britain: Culture and Society, 1820-1900
Greater Britain or Little England?: Modern British History and the Question of Scale
Grand Designs: Labor, Empire and the Museum in Victorian Culture (Durham: Duke University Press, 2007).
Recent Articles and Book Chapters:
“Lace, Ladies and Labours Lost: The Meanings of Handicraft in Victorian and Edwardian Britain,” in Art versus Industry, ed. Kate Nichols, Rebecca Wade, and Gabriel Williams (Manchester: Manchester University Press, In Press 2016).
“The Strange Career of Fair Play, or, Warfare and Gamesmanship in the Time of Victoria,” in Oxford Handbook of Victorian Literature and Culture, ed. Juliet John (Oxford: Oxford University Press, In Press 2015).
“Who Blew the Balaklava Bugle? The Charge of the Light Brigade and the Legacy of the Crimean War,” 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century (No. 20, 2015).
“E.P. Thompson and the Kitchen Sink, or Feeling from Below c. 1963,” Historical Reflections/Reflexions Historiques 41.1 (2015)
“Culture, Civilization, and Mother's Milk: The New Imperial History and the Mission to Civilize,” in Ashgate Companion to Modern Empires, ed. Philippa Levine and John Marriott (London: Ashgate, 2012).