My scholarship, which engages museum history, material culture and visual studies, has its roots in my earlier career as a writer and editor in the public humanities and medical fields. Through this work I became interested in how objects function as cultural capital, particularly within the space of the museum. My dissertation examines domestic and international activities undertaken by U.S. museums during World War II and its immediate aftermath. A central methodological goal is to better understand museum exhibition practices as a complex ideological and spatial technology that employs a range of visual, material, somatic, phonic, and affective stimuli in order to convey meaning.
Education: MA in Public Humanities, Brown University, 2009; MA in American Studies (Museum Studies concentration), Trinity College, Hartford, 2005; BS in Advertising and Marketing, Syracuse University, 1984.
Research Interests: Museum Studies, Material and Visual Cultures, Social construction of race, citizenship & other categories of identity, U.S. Cultural History, Public and Digital Humanities
"From P.T. Barnum to Second Life: American Identities in the Museum," Spring 2010
"Picturing American Childhood, 1950-2000," (with Jan Cohn, PhD), Fall 2003
Review: 'At Home and Abroad: The Transcendental Landscapes of Christopher Pearse Cranch (1813-1892).'" Connecticut History, Vol. 47 (1) spring 2008: 159-63.
"Complicating Simplicity: An examination of 'Norman Rockwell: Pictures for the American People.'" American Quarterly, Vol. 54, No. 2 (June 2002): 279-306.
Selected Conference Presentations:
"The Material Rhetoric of Sensory Persuasion in MoMA's 'Wartime Housing' (1942)" and organizer of its panel, "War and the Visceral Imagination." Forthcoming at Annual Meeting of the American Studies Association, Baltimore, MD, October, 2011.
"Black Men, White Boys, & Masculinity-forming Child's Play in Post-Reconstruction America." New England American Studies Association, Providence, RI, November, 2007.
"Fully Loaded: Discourse with an Objectionable Object." Annual Meeting of the American Studies Association, Hartford, CT, October, 2003.
"War Fare: Home Front Exhibitions at the Wadsworth Atheneum during World War II." Northeast Popular Culture/American Culture Association, New London, NH. November, 2002.
Selected Professional Experience:
Teaching Consultant, Brown University: Fall 2009 – present
Writer & Editor, various organizations: 1984 to present. Includes work with art, medical and history publications, art museums, and other organizations—both as an executive staff member and as a freelance project specialist. I have written about the arts for Artweek, Visions Art Quarterly, Korean Culture, and Antiques & Fine Arts.
Awards and Honors:
Research Grant-in-Aid, Rockefeller Archive Center – 2010
Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC) Scholar, 2010-2011
Salomon Curricular Development Grant, Brown University - 2010
American Studies Association
American Association of Museums
National Council on Public History