I am an interdisciplinary historian specializing in politics, race, sex, and religion in the 20th- and 21st-century United States. I earned my PhD in US History from UC Berkeley, and before coming to Hist & Lit, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow in International Studies at Dartmouth College and a Postdoctoral Fellow in Global American Studies at Harvard.
I am currently revising the manuscript for my first book, The Missionary Majority: American Evangelicals and Power in a Postcolonial World, which shows how global missionary work by millions of Americans shaped the conservative resurgence in American society since the mid-twentieth century. The book demonstrates how globally engaged Americans took lessons from their international activism and applied them to political and cultural battles in the US. An article based on this research has been published in the journal Diplomatic History, and the dissertation from which the book manuscript stems won the 2020 Obama Dissertation Prize in Transnational American Studies. For this research, I have earned fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Henry Luce Foundation, the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, and the Louisville Institute for the Study of American Religion.
I teach courses on empire, the US and the World, civil rights and social movements, NGOs and humanitarianism, and religion and politics. My courses equip students to analyze how power functions in US society and culture. We accomplish that goal by connecting past conflicts to present events, discerning the links between local, national, and transnational networks, and scrutinizing historical memory and knowledge production as forms of power. The main takeaway that I want students to gain from my historical courses is that taking a longer view allows us to wrestle with the pressing question "how did we get here?" and unpack the larger contexts, antecedents, and patterns that created and shaped the present moment. This work is essential because 1) the news cycle moves so quickly that it is easy to forget what happened just last week or last month, much less what happened ten years ago or 100 years ago, and 2) if there is something in the present moment that you want to change, historical context can help us understand the elements that made this moment and thus the elements that you can take inspiration from or you can try to alter in order to change the current situation.
I have won four awards for my teaching in US History, Latin American History, and Ethnic Studies. In the fall of 2022, I am teaching the seminar "Race and Empire in the Americas."