B.A., Yale University; Ph.D., Harvard University
Assistant Professor of History
Research interests: early American history; early modern travel and communications; Native American history; cultural encounter.
My research explores the challenges of early English colonization, principally through the lens of 17th-century New England. I am especially interested in knowing how barriers to communication shaped the English encounter with Native people. To that end, I am at work on a book entitled “Reckoning: The Communications Frontier in Early New England,” a tale of the power struggle between Native and English people to control the lines of communication in the colonial northeast. I am also interested in the origins of violence in American culture. I have recently presented research plumbing the violent legacies of early American warfare. A current project, for instance, tracks the aftershocks of early American wars of conquest by following soldiers and survivors through their postwar lives.
My teaching interests mirror my research. I teach introductory courses in early American and Native American history, as well as more specialized courses in colonial American history. I have recently developed a seminar, Fear and Violence in Early American History, which covers the many terrors—murder, war, slave rebellion, and others—that stalked the inhabitants of colonial and early national America.
I also have broad interests in pedagogy and have worked closely with the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning at Harvard University.
In spare moments, I cook, hike, watch sports, and love to explore the New England countryside.