My academic work sits at the intersection of the history of science and technology, environmental history, and agricultural history, and explores how the landscapes and techniques of agricultural production shape ideas of culture, citizenship, and growth. My research interests cluster around the history of food, agriculture, rural life and livelihoods, home economics, farming, and scientific and technical knowledge about nature, agriculture, animal husbandry, and development. I am especially interested in how ideas of modernity, progress, and development relate to rural landscapes and livelihoods. How have science and technology shaped our ideas about what a modern landscape looks like? How do have theories of organismal growth and biological development, and ideas about cultural progress, the development of nations and civilizations, and the growth of communities intersected and interacted over time? My research argues that the practices of cultivation and nurture — of crops, livestock, and children — have been central to the formation of modern ideas about development at the level of the nation-state.
You can read more about my research projects and support, dissertation, and teaching experience.