I am a cultural historian, teacher, writer, and mother. I have been at Simmons since 1997, with a joint appointment in the History and the Women’s and Gender Studies departments. For several years, I directed the graduate program in History. I greatly enjoy working with students on their research, especially introducing them to archival research and to work with visual sources.
I teach a wide spectrum of undergraduate and graduate courses in American history, gender history, race and ethnicity, the history of sexuality, historical methodology, archives and history, memory studies, and cross-cultural imperialism.
HIST 141 History of American Civilization since 1877
HIST 213 Race and Ethnicity in United States History
HIST/WGST 215 Women and Gender in the U.S. before 1890
HIST/WGST 216 Women and Gender in the U.S. since 1890
HIST 219 History of Sexuality and the Family
HIST 360/560 Seminar in Women’s History
HIST 373/573 Seminar in Nineteenth-Century America
HIST 374/574 Seminar in Modern America
HIST 375/575 Cold War Culture
HIST 397/597 Historical Methods and Research
HIST 527 Archives, History, and Collective Memory
GCS 410 Gender, Race, and Imperialism in Historical Perspective
My research interests focuses on women and gender, especially at the turn of the twentieth century; visual culture; and cultural history.
My first book, At Home in the Studio: The Professionalization of Women Artists in America (Harvard University Press, 2001) studies how women painters, sculptors, and illustrators created a professional identity for themselves in the face of exclusion. I subsequently wrote a document project for "Women and Social Movements" about nineteenth-century American women sculptors and how they used art to contribute to the abolitionist and women's rights movements.
Another recent essay of mine, “In Loving Memory of Her Little Girl: Past, Present, and Place in the Gladys Potter Garden,” centers on a local playground. It offers a chance to consider how traces of the past are all around us, consciously and unconsciously connecting the present to what came before. This essay will appear in the upcoming anthology, Subjecting History, edited by Trevor Getz and Thomas G. Padilla, from Ohio University Press.
My primary current research concerns American women, colonized women, and imperialism during the era of the Spanish-American War. I consider the relationship of women nurses, journalists, teachers, missionaries, philanthropists, and activists to the advent of American imperialism in the Caribbean and Pacific from 1898 through the 1920s. I’ve published aspects of this larger project in the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era and in the anthology Competing Kingdoms: Women, Mission, Nation and American Empire (Duke University Press, 2010), edited by Barbara Reeves-Ellington, Connie Shemo, and Kathryn Kish Sklar. Another related essay will be included in the anthology on gender and race in the Atlantic World that I am co-editing with Professor Steve Berry.
I am also finishing a book for Facts on File that surveys Women in America: Issues and Controversies. It is designed for classroom use, combining narrative and analysis with primary source excerpts.
More information about my work can be found at academia.edu.