Office: North Classroom 5014 C
Modern Britain, British History, Victorian History, History of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, History of Poverty and Welfare, History of Medicine and Health, and History of Citizenship
Ph.D., History, University of Iowa, 1997
M.A., History, University of Iowa, 1992
B.A., Honors History, Wesleyan University, Connecticut, 1989
My teaching areas are modern Britain; gender, women, and sexuality; and medicine and health; and poverty and welfare. My courses explore various historical methodologies and practices, and I am particularly interested in getting students to think about the ways that historical narratives -- or the stories we tell about the past -- are constructed. I teach interactively, meaning students don't learn predominantly from lectures in my classes, but rather from discussions about and engagement with reading materials. One of my favorite teaching experiences is my Maymester study abroad course, "The Victorian Metropolis," where I get to use the city of London as my classroom.
My research focuses on relationships among gender, class, health, and welfare in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century England. My first book Beyond the Reproductive Body (Ohio State University Press, 2004) explores competing understandings of the female body in the 1830s and 1840s, and the impact these understandings had on public policies and the ways poor women thought about their health and work. My current project, Unemployment, Welfare, and Masculine Citizenship: 'So Much Honest Poverty' in Britain, 1870-1930 (Palgrave 2015), examines the challenges that mass and chronic unemployment posed to the male breadwinner ideal, the assumption that self-sufficient men would work independently to support wives and children. As policymakers, welfare providers, and unemployed men developed strategies to address unemployment, they shaped new boundaries around what it meant to be a citizen. Most of my research takes place in the county and national record offices in England, and I try to get to the UK at least once a year. I am the editor for Pickering & Chatto's series, The Body, Gender, and Culture.
Unemployment, Welfare, and Masculine Citizenship: 'So Much Honest Poverty' in Britain, 1870-1930. London: Palgrave Macmillan (Genders and Sexualities in History), 2015.
"Gendered Roles, Gendered Welfare: Health and the English Poor Law, 1971-1911," in Bodily Subjects: Essays on Gender and Health, 1800-2000, eds. Tracy Penny Light, Barbara Brookes, and Wendy Mitchinson. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2014.
"'I always prefer the scissors': Isaac Baker Brown and Feminist Histories of Medicine," in Health Humanities Reader, eds. Tess Jones, Les Friedman, and Delise Wear. Rutgers University Press, 2014.
"The Politics of Preference: Masculinity, Marital Status, and Unemployment Relief in Post-First World War Britain," Cultural and Social History, 7:3 (2010): 233-252.
"From 'Relief' to 'Justice and Protection': The Maintenance of Deserted Wives, British Masculinity, and Imperial Citizenship, 1870-1920," Gender and History, 22:2 (2010): 302-321.
"The Gendered Economy of Family Liability: Intergenerational Relationships and Poor Law Relief in England's Black Country, 1871-1911," Journal of British Studies, 45:1 (2006): 72-89.
Beyond the Reproductive Body: The Politics of Women's Health and Work in Early Victorian England. Ohio State University Press (series on Women and Health), 2004.
"'Embarrassed Circumstances': Gender, Poverty, and Insanity in the West Riding of England in the Mid Victorian Years," in Sex and Seclusion. Class and Custody. Perspectives on Gender and Class in the History of British and Irish Psychiatry, eds. Jonathan Andrews and Anne Digby (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2004).
"Testing the Reproductive Hypothesis; or what made working-class women sick in early Victorian London," Women's History Review, 11:2 (2002): 175-200.
"Engendering Relief: Women, Ablebodiedness, and the Poor Law in Early Victorian England," Journal of Women's History, 11:4 (2000): 107-130.
"Dysfunctional Domesticity: Female Insanity and Family Relationships among the West Riding Poor in the Mid Nineteenth Century," Journal of Family History, 25:3 (2000): 341-361.
HIST 3031: Theory and Practice of History
HIST 4046/5046: Victorians and Victorianism
HIST 4051/5051: Britain and the Empire
HIST 4303/5303: Sex and Gender in Modern Britain
HIST 4307/5307: History of Sexuality
HIST 4345/5345: Gender, Science, and Medicine: 1600 to the Present
HIST 4839: History Seminar
6000-level courses including courses on citizenship and national identity, imperialism, World War I, and gender.