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am a public historian and scholar whose work ranges from books and
articles about the intersection of popular and political culture to
museum exhibitions and programs about oystering, the ivory trade, and
the legacies of the Mayflower landing. The theme that ties it all
together is an emphasis on how the past shapes the present. As Director
of Museum Studies and Public History, I help students learn the
professional skills required to apply their growing expertise to
non-scholarly audiences, for whom a personal or contemporary connection
often heightens understanding and impact. I come to this position after
having spent more than twenty years working for institutions big and
small, from the Smithsonian and the National Park Service to historic
houses and local museums. I also graduated from the Winterthur Program
in American Material Culture and completed my dissertation at UD in
work has been funded by numerous grants from archives and universities
around the country, as well as the National Endowment for the
Humanities, the Fulbright program, and the Getty Leadership Institute
for museum professionals. In addition to articles in scholarly journals
and popular media, my first book, They Will Have Their Game: Sporting Culture and the Making of the Early American Republic,
won the James Broussard Prize for best first book from the Society of
Historians of the Early American Republic. Current projects include
articles on museum objects made by prison labor and the history of
entertainment memorabilia collecting, the catalog for a major
Smithsonian exhibit on the history of commercial entertainment in the
U.S., and a book exploring the evolution of Halls of Fame from
institutions enshrining politicians, inventors, and soldiers to
institutions that primarily enshrine entertainers.
They Will Have Their Game: Sporting Culture and the Making of the Early American Republic. Cornell Univeristy Press, 2017.
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