Professor, American Studies, History, and History of Art and Architecture. At Brown since 2004. Director of the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage, 2004-2014. Director of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, 2010-2012.
Before that, Chair of the Division of the History of Technology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.
Guggenheim Fellow, 2016.
Author or co-author of Inside the Lost Museum: Curating, Past and Present; Legacies: Collecting America's History at the Smithsonian; InfoCulture: the Smithsonian Book of Information Age Inventions; History from Things and Engines of Change: The American Industrial Revolution, and many articles on museums and on the history of technology.
Exhibits at the Smithsonian include "America on the Move," "Smithsonian's America," and "Engines of Change." Exhibits at Brown include oversight of student exhibitions at the public humanities center, the Haffenreffer Museum, and the John Hay Library.
Present interests include the history of museums and memorials, material culture studies, and public and digital humanities.