Field & Specialties
Modern United States
Political and Social Movements
History of Capitalism
Ph.D. Princeton University, 2013
M.A. Princeton University, 2009
B.A. Harvard , 2007
I am a historian of the twentieth century United States. My work focuses on how organized interest groups and everyday Americans influence government policy and the terms of political debate. My current book project, The Cigarette: A Political History, will be published by Harvard University Press in 2019. It is a history of tobacco in the twentieth century that places farmers, government officials, and citizen-activists at the center of the story. Rather than focusing exclusively on "Big Tobacco," the book demonstrates how domestic and global cigarette consumption rose through the efforts of organized tobacco farmers and US government officials; and how it fell as a result of local government action spurred by the efforts of citizen-activists and activist lawyers.
I've also begun a project that considers the relationship between gender and whistleblowing in the twentieth century. I begin from the premise that there was something constitutive and not coincidental about the simultaneous rise of women in the workforce and the proliferation of whistleblower protection laws beginning in the 1970s. At the same time, strategies used by corporations and government bureaucracies to discredit whistleblowers--regardless of gender--frequently cast them in feminized, hysterical terms. By looking at the intertwined history of whistleblowing and gender, I hope that three dynamics central to the history of knowledge, capitalism, and modern politics become more clear: new knowledge—and new risks— created by the movement of women into jobs traditionally held by men; the promise and perils of claiming authority as women or sexual minorities; and the gendered techniques of corporate crisis management.
The Cigarette: A Political History (Harvard, 2019).
"Clearing the Air and Counting Costs: Shimp v. New Jersey Bell and the Tragedy of Workplace Smoking" in Shaped by the State: Toward a New Political History of the Twentieth Century Ed. Brent Cebul, Lily Geismer, Mason Williams (University of Chicago Press, 2018).
Awards & Honors
Mead Endowment Faculty Award (2018-2019)
Fellow, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (2017)
Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California-San Francisco (Fall 2013)
Woodrow Wilson Society of Fellows, Princeton University (2011-2012)
HIUS 1501: Disasters in America from Cholera to Katrina
HIUS 1501: The United States through Tobacco
HIUS 3151: Moralizing, Modernizing and Mass Politics, US 1900-1945
HIUS 3171: United States Since 1945
HIUS 3559: United States in the 1970s
HIUS 4500/STS3500: Debating Science in Modern America
HIUS 4501: Eugenics
HIUS 9021: United States in Transnational Perspective (Graduate Tutorial)
HIUS 9022: History of US Capitalism (Graduate Tutorial)
Internet and Popular Press Publications