About

UntitledHello! I live in Athens, Ohio, and write about history and culture for magazines, newspapers, and the Internet. You can see my clips—subdivided by publication, theme, and format—here.

I’m Slate.com’s history writer, covering new research; history in archives, museums, classrooms, and on the Web; and history in popular and public culture. Here’s a post that comprehensively describes the shape of the history beat as I see it.

I also run a blog on Slate called The Vault, where I post historical objects, images, and documents. (More on that project here.) You might like to browse the most popular Vault posts, or see a list of my favorites.

When I’m wearing my academic hat, I’m a cultural historian of the twentieth-century US, and my research interests include the history of American popular science, childhood studies, education, environmental studies, and visual and material culture. I hold a Ph.D and an MA in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, and a BA in American Studies from Yale University. I’m a visiting scholar in the Department of History at Ohio University. 

Publications, CV, and other academic materials are available on my Academia.edu page

My book project, Innocent Experiments: Childhood and the Culture of Public Science in the United States, is based on a dissertation written in the Department of American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. The book is about ways that twentieth-century American adults have tried to make science “fun” for kids, and what that effort can tell us about science as a public project in the twentieth-century United States. The book is under advance contract with the University of North Carolina Press, and will be published in 2016.  (Read much more about this project here.)

As I get older and time rushes, I find myself preoccupied with keeping track of the things I write, cook, listen to, read, and watch. One result is my weekly newsletter, with recommendations of books, articles, recipes, and podcasts, as well as links to the things I’ve published in the past week. The other is my reading list.