Home: Histories of Knowledge & Nature


I am a historian of knowledge and sensibilities–particularly knowledge and sensibilities about “Nature.” Now a PhD candidate at Vanderbilt University, I have been trained as a historian of science and of Europe, receiving my B.A. from Montana State University in 2015 and my M.A. from Vanderbilt 2017. My dissertation—“Nature’s Working World: Mining, Travel, and Environment from Forster to Humboldt”—studies the relationship between science, industry, and nature-aesthetics in German-speaking Europe ca. 1770 – ca. 1850. My doctoral advisors are David Blackbourn, Laura Stark, Celia Applegate, and Helmut Smith.

Currently I am overseas, carrying out research in archives in Poland and Germany. I will remain abroad throughout 2018-19 thanks to funding from the Fulbright Program, the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), and the History of Science Society (by way of a 2017 Nathan Reingold Prize). Beginning in September of this year, I will be associated with the Lichtenberg-Kolleg–the Göttingen Institute for Advanced Study–thanks to an invitation from Dr. Dominik Hünniger.

In recent years, my overseas research has been supported by the Preußischer Kulturbesitz, who in 2016 awarded me a three-month research grant in collaboration with the BMBF-Verbundprojekt “Alexander von Humboldts Reisetagebücher,” a joint project of the Universität Potsdam, the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, and the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften. (See my 2018 Isis article, which was largely a product of the research I did during this time, and the transatlantic exchange with a vibrant community of Berlin-based Humboldt scholars: 10.1086/697061.)

Before that, I was inspired, as an undergraduate at Montana State University, by professors Michael Reidy and Billy Smith. It was there that I wrote my first article, published in the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography (2017), on the interplay between partisan politics and racial thinking in early national America. This article explores how partisan politics and geo-political allegiances shaped many North Americans’ portrayals of revolutionaries in Haiti and throughout Latin America at the turn of the nineteenth century.  (DOI: 10.5215/pennmaghistbio.141.1.0031).