I am the Associate Director and Oral Historian at the Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society at the Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, Delaware. Prior to that, I was Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, and the Project Director for Under Connecticut Skies, devoted to documenting, collecting, and interpreting the history of astronomy at the Van Vleck Observatory.
I completed my Ph.D. in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2012, under the direction of Professor Gregg Mitman. My work sits at the intersection of the history of science and technology and environmental and agricultural history. My dissertation, Cultivating Modern America: 4-H Clubs and Rural Development in the Twentieth Century, uses the USDA’s extension efforts with rural youth as a means of tracing the intertwined histories of development, agriculture, and modernization in the U.S. and abroad from the turn of the twentieth century through the 1970s.
I am also a sometimes filmmaker, web developer, and digital humanist interested in using new media to organize and present historical information in ways that allow researchers to ask new kinds of questions about the past. In 2013, I participated in One Week | One Tool, a digital humanities barn-raising in which I collaborated with eleven other amazing people to conceive, design, build, test, and promote a very cool web-based tool. It’s called Serendip-o-matic, and it allows you to use your own sources to find new and unexpected documents among the holdings of the Digital Public Library of America, Europeana, and other content aggregators. I also love things on paper, good food and cooking, time in the archives, crocheting and other fiber arts, wintertime, and the sea.
This blog has been in existence since 2003, and has been a forum for thoughts that have ranged in topic alongside my work as a college admissions officer, MIT OpenCourseWare employee, graduate student of the history of science and technology, and postdoctoral fellow at a major historical museum. There is also a non-negligible amount of content on LaTeX, baseball, and food.