Dissertation: The Letter & the Spirit: Calligraphy, Manuscript Illumination, and Popular Piety in German Pennsylvania, ca. 1750-1850
German-speaking settlers of colonial and early-national southeastern Pennsylvania created, exchanged, and read ornate and colorful religious manuscripts as part of their spiritual-devotional exercises. While well-studied by local and regional historians, museum curators, and collectors, the documents have yet to attract much interest among early American religious and intellectual historians, print and manuscript culture scholars, or historians of the book. Bringing these analytical perspectives to bear on the study of the manuscripts sheds new light on their historical meaning and significance. The task of my dissertation is to situate the documents within broader conversations ongoing in the fields of early American religious history and book history.
Coursework: Combining Theory & Practice
During my undergraduate and graduate education, I have taken courses that have enhanced my knowledge of United States history and culture and equipped me with the practical skills necessary to contribute to a non-profit cultural organization.
At the undergraduate level, I also undertook significant study of instructional design, technology, and pedagogy. This background proves useful in both formal and informal learning environments.
History, Art, & Literature
The Revolutionary Atlantic
The Atlantic World, 1450-1815
Colonial North America
The Early Republic
Eighteenth-Century British Literature
German Church History
Introduction to Book History
History Beyond Borders
The U.S. in the Twentieth Century
American Social History
Seminar in Women's and Gender History
Museum Studies & Public History
Connoisseurship of American Decorative Arts I - III
Collections Care & Management
Curatorship of Archives & Paper Collections
Methods in Historic Preservation
Library Exhibition Design
Fundaments of Professional Fundraising (expected fall, 2017)
Budgets (expected fall, 2017)
Financial Management (expected spring, 2018)
Research Expertise: Documents & Objects in Cultural Context
My areas of scholarly research expertise fall into four categories:
Early American religious history in transatlantic context
My dissertation research examines various early American Protestant religious traditions in a comparative context, considering German and Anglo-American traditions side-by-side and likewise placing them in the context of their European antecedents. My training in theories and methods of Atlantic world scholarship helps me put focused religious-historical research questions in international context.
History of the book
One of my main methodological interests is using book history and print and manuscript studies as gateways to study other historical questions, especially those that address popular piety and transmission of religious texts.
American social and cultural history, 1880 - 1940
I have done research projects (namely my first M.A. thesis) focused on gender, social organization, urban spaces, and cultural history from the late Victorian age through the Progressive era and into the twentieth century.
Architecture, decorative arts, and objects connoisseurship
Much of my research focuses on using historic architecture, decorative arts, and museum artifacts as evidence about the American past. Particular areas of interest include historic landscapes and nineteenth-century domestic architecture and interior design.
Examined Fields: Comparative Religion & Book History
I took my doctoral exams in fall, 2016, in the following fields:
Primary (Dissertation) Field - Religion in Early America
Secondary (Comparative) Field - Late Medieval and Early Modern German Church History
Secondary (Thematic) Field - Book History and Print/Manuscript Cultures