A student of the past, I recently finished my dissertation, a history of the idea of a person in the intellectual, constitutional, and political history of the United States. It is a fascinating and very strange story. Make no mistake, the dead do return to us.
I entered Harvard after completing a BA at Vanderbilt and MPhil at Oxford. At the former, I met my mentor and friend, Colin Dayan, whose work continues to powerfully shape my own. At the latter, I studied with Andrew Ashworth to write a thesis arguing that the defendant's dock is a rights issue. At both, I read and wrote, and learned that being an intellectual means being a student my whole life long. Here at Harvard, pursuing my research and writing on the historical questions that have abided with me for a very long time, I would be remiss not to confess that my lot is an undeservedly happy one. For teaching me how to find the past, and what to say about the discovery, I am in the mighty debt of my supervisor, Jill Lepore, and under the obligation to do something good with what I’ve found here, I will remain.
After depositing my dissertation in January of 2018, I joined the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University as a postdoctoral associate. For the 2018-2019 academic year, I will be a research associate of the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University.