I am a social historian, with a Ph.D. in African Studies (2011) and an M.A. in History (2007) from Harvard University, as well as a B.A. in History (2005) from the University of Chicago. My research centers on the politics of gender in modern African history, focusing on South Africa in comparative and transnational perspective.
My first monograph, A World of Their Own: A History of South African Women's Education, and an interdisciplinary co-edited volume, Ekhaya: The Politics of Home in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, will both be published with the University of KwaZulu-Natal Press in 2013. These books are rooted in archival and oral historical research from 2007 to 2010, supported by grants from Harvard University and the United States Department of Education. Information on my books may be found in the “Current Projects” list on this site's home page; a collection of my oral historical interviews for A World of Their Own appear under the “Inanda Seminary Oral History Project” tab. My next book project is a revisionist, gendered history of the making of African nationalism in South Africa, rooted in ongoing research with archival and print sources. My writing has also appeared in the South African Historical Journal, the Journal of Southern African Studies, the Journal of Natal and Zulu History, Safundi: The Journal of South African and American Studies, and the Dictionary of African Biography.
I hold a dual appointment at Harvard College. In the Committee on Degrees in History and Literature, I teach and advise students working in colonial and postcolonial studies, focusing on Africa and the Caribbean. In the Committee on Degrees in Social Studies, I teach and advise students working on issues of gender and development. I have supervised several honors theses, including the winner of two university-wide prizes. I also teach the research methods and writing proseminar in the Master of Liberal Arts program at the Harvard Extension School, focusing on the theme of education and gender inequality in comparative historical perspective. Course descriptions and teaching evaluations may be found under the “Teaching” tab.
I live with my husband and our beagle in Cambridge.