Academic Work

I hold a BA in History and a BM in Vocal Performance from Illinois Wesleyan University (2003-2007), and an MA in Modern European History from the Eastern Illinois University (2007-2009). I recently completed a PhD in Modern British History and Science and Technology Studies, with a Teaching Track Certification in the Philosophy and Teaching of History, at the University of Illinois at Chicago (2010-2018). My research, which took me to London and Surrey, investigates the advent of gendered categories of mental illnesses within Western medicine, arguing that there’s dismantling power in knowing how Victorians medicalized what was essentially toxic masculinity as “wellness.” I was a Teaching Assistant at UIC from (2010-2015) and an Adjunct Professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology from (2014-2015).

Available Talks

“Diagnosis is as Diagnosis Does,” explores how the psychiatric community in late-Victorian Britain produced its medical authority and refined its practices.

“Letters from Holloway Sanatorium,” addresses what it meant to be a normative, middle-class, white man in late 19th-century Britain, and why (inherently racist/classist/sexist) respectability politics quickly became deeply competitive, isolating, and toxic.

“British Tea Trade and Traditions,” explores how tea fueled the British empire as an economic, political, and social tool, changing lives and industries around the globe, and inflicting violence upon those who cultivated the product. If you’re interested in learning about that history, while tasting some of the original teas from China, India, and Sri Lanka, join me at LizzyKate Tea in Kirkland, WA, where I give this talk every few months, or so, for $25 per person.

Available Classes (Semester Length)

Science and Technology Studies

  • This class–formatted at present as a seminar–owes its lineage to the nuclear era when scientists began thinking in a big way about the democratic responsibilities and the ethics of their inventions.  Originally, historians of science asked a lot of questions about transparency and the role of the expert, and we do still cover those topics.  But in today’s world, we also consider how science benefits from critical race theory and feminist and queer critiques, which raise red flags and work to assure scientific progress helps everyone.  We also discuss how science affects local spaces within the network of invention and progress, and what we owe each other as informed citizens.

Western Civilization pre-1600; post-1600

  • My Western Civ classes are survey courses that use primary documents (writings from the time periods we’re studying) to look at what it means to be part of the “Western” world and how that definition has changed over time.  Spoiler: These aren’t cheerful surveys.  The history of “The West” is full of white supremacy, violent imperialism, world wars, and misogyny, among other tragedies, and I won’t shy away from those topics.  However, we do talk about what our history holds that can clue us into how we create a better future. And we actively work to see what the world looks like if “The West” isn’t at the center–how that opens routes to change and possibility.

World History

  • Broader and more conceptual than Western Civ, World History is a survey course that tends to concern itself with human geography, systemic change, and patterns in the movement of people and ideas.  It also considers, based on historical evidence and current events, where we’re heading globally, and encourages students to consider fixes for the problems they foresee.