Trained as a historian, I work at the intersection of history, literature, and visual culture in the interdisciplinary field of Victorian Studies. My first book, Grand Designs: Labor, Empire, and the Museum in Victorian Culture, chronicled institutional and social efforts to improve public taste in mid-nineteenth-century Britain, and especially in London. Researching and writing this book allowed me to address diverse fields of inquiry, including museum studies and material culture studies; gender history and social history; and imperial history and urban history. I have sustained many of these engagements in researching and writing my second monograph, “War Without End: The Crimean Conflict and its Victorian Legacies.” This project has brought me into dialogue with military archives and military history. Like mid-Victorian museums and their contexts, mid-Victorian militarism and its legacies have offered up rich materials for original research and cultural analysis. In the next few years, I will bring these inquiries to conclusion in a book that considers the enduring role of the Crimean War (1854-56) in producing collective identity and social community from the mid-nineteenth century to today.As in my research, I am devoted in my pedagogical and professional life to finding new ways to understand the nineteenth century, whether for academic audiences, for university students, or for the general public. I am engaged, too, in sustaining dialogue across disciplinary boundaries, particularly those of history and literature. To these ends, I have planned conferences addressing British history, Victorian society, and military culture. I have taught from untapped or overlooked sources like diaries of nineteenth-century girls, testimonies of Caribbean slaves, and memoirs of factory men. I have published not just in academic journals, but also in popular venues, including a children’s magazine. Currently, I serve as the Director of IU’s Victorian Studies Program and a co-editor of the journal, Victorian Studies. This last venture builds on my ongoing interest in scholarly editing, which I pursued in the recent past as the Associate Editor of the American Historical Review.
Professor, Department of History
Professor, Department of English
Director, Victorian Studies Program
Co-Editor, Victorian Studies
Department of History