Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2002;
M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1997;
B.A., Bryn Mawr College, 1994
My primary field of academic inquiry has been the American West in the twentieth century. I draw on cultural history, environmental history, cultural geography, and gender studies in my research and writing. My central project in recent years has been a book about Mabel Dodge Luhan, a Greenwich Village salon hostess who moved in the late 1910s to Taos, New Mexico, where she brought together the aesthetic, political, and social interests of artists, writers, activists, and New Mexican locals to reshape modernist expression as well as everyday life in the American Southwest. I plan to draw on this work in future investigations of the role of the twentieth-century American Southwest in aesthetic, environmental and political transformations, both national and international. I also look forward to casting a wider net and exploring relationships between regions and regional cultures of North America. For me, the most enjoyable element of my work is the simultaneous freedom and discipline of historical thought. Although my colleagues may study topics centuries and thousands of miles distant from my own, I know we speak a common language of historical inquiry. My interest in historical thinking has contributed to work I have done with pre-collegiate teachers and informs my own pedagogy.
Honors and Fellowships:
- Butcher Scholar, Institute of the American West and Women of the West Museum, Autry National Center, 2006-2007.
- Bill and Rita Clements Postdoctoral Fellowship, William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University, 2002-2003.
Recent Courses Taught:
- Environmental History of the United States
- History of the American West since 1848
- Sensing Place: American Regional Cultures
- Between the Wars: 1920-1940 in the U.S.
- From Greenwich Village to Taos: Primitivism and Place at Mabel Dodge Luhan's (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2008). Winner of a Ralph Emerson Twitchell Award from the Historical Society of New Mexico.
- "Spud Johnson and a Gay Man's Place in the Taos Creative Arts Community," Pacific Historical Review, February 2010.
- "An Artists' Home: Gender and the Santa Fe Culture Colony Controversy," Journal of the Southwest, Summer 2004.
- "What Does It Mean to Think Historically," co-authored with Thomas Andrews, Perspectives, January, 2007.
Essays in Edited Volumes
- "Artists and Boosters," chapter in Making of the American West: New Perspectives in American Social History, Perspectives in American Social History Series, ABC-CLIO, 2007.