I am a cultural historian of early modern science, currently a doctoral candidate in History of Science at Harvard University. I specialize in the history of aesthetics, history of antiquarianism, and book history. I study in particular practices for the cultivation of aesthetic taste, techniques of observation, and the nature of connoisseurial experience and expertise. In my dissertation, "The Elgin Marbles and the Objectivity of Taste," I use the aesthetic discovery in the eighteenth century of the sculptures that adorned the Parthenon (until then little known), and their subsequent reception in Britain, to examine some of these issues, and to offer a new perspective to the historical study of discourse on taste that flourished during this period.
In addition, I have a long standing interest in understanding early modern European history in its larger context, particularly in relation to the history of the Middle East. I am in the course of developing this interest as two lines of inquiry: (i) early modern European ethnographic knowledge of Ottoman Turks, with a focus on visual regimes that guided the observation and the representation of their costumes and faces, and (ii) Ottoman knowledge of antiquities.
Before coming to Harvard, I studied at the University of Michigan, where I received a B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology, with a minor in Science, Technology and Society Studies.
I am a recipient of both an undergraduate and a graduate Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship, and my dissertation research has been supported by a Sheldon Traveling Fellowship (Harvard University). I serve as a graduate student coordinator for the Early Sciences Working Group.