Biography

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Lake Forest College. I completed a PhD in History at Harvard University in 2017. My scholarship focuses on the historical construction of work, education, and labor markets in the modern U.S., and how these processes have given rise to a society with one of the highest levels of social inequality across the Global North.

My book manuscript, The Education Trap: Why Schooling Can't Solve American Inequality, under contract with Harvard University Press, examines how education became hailed as the primary road to opportunity in America, while simultaneously becoming a new basis of social inequality. While many analyses of inequality focus on the post-1970s period, this book takes us back to the transformation of education and the economy in the early twentieth century, exemplified in the city of Boston. While schools helped many working-class, second-generation immigrants achieve social advancement, elites used educational credentials to control access to the most lucrative professional jobs. Rather than the antidote to spiraling inequality, this book shows how a blind faith in education can obscure the ways it has legitimated concentrated wealth and power.

I teach courses on U.S. urban history, the history of education, immigration, gender and sexuality, and social movements and inequality. I received by A.B. from Harvard College in 2008 with a concentration in Social Studies. Before beginning graduate school, I was a high school history teacher in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. In 2011 I received an MPhil in Political Thought from the University of Cambridge.