Historian telling the story of Civil War America’s opioid crisis
I’m a historian of the nineteenth-century United States, broadly trained but with particular research and teaching interests in the Civil War era, gender history, and the history of medicine. I received my PhD in history in 2020 from Binghamton University. Currently, I’m the inaugural Postdoctoral Scholar in Civil War History at Penn State’s George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center, where I am preparing my first book manuscript for publication. After Penn State, I’ll be joining the Department of History at Virginia Military Institute (VMI) as an Assistant Professor starting in August 2021.
My current scholarship investigates opiate addiction among veterans of the Civil War in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century U.S.—America’s original opioid crisis. Entitled “Opium Slavery: Veterans and Addiction in the American Civil War Era,” my book manuscript uncovers the causes of opiate addiction among veterans, the traumatic experience and great personal toll of addiction for veterans and their families, and the radical efforts of Gilded-Age physicians’ and the state to stem the tide of the addiction crisis. My research also illuminates the U.S.’s long, but forgotten, history of opioid crises, revealing many somber parallels between past and present. My book manuscript is based on my dissertation, which I defended in June 2020. You can read more about my research and access publications derived from my manuscript here. Interviews, podcasts, and public talks about my research are available here.
Alongside my scholarship, I’m deeply committed to dynamic, student-centered teaching. My teaching agenda includes a diverse range of topics in the histories of the U.S., medicine and science, gender, as well as “history communication” and teacher preparation. I’ve been fortunate enough to teach graduate, undergraduate, high school, and adult education students. You can read about my background in teaching and my teaching approaches and goals here.
Want to chat about my scholarship or teaching? I’d love to hear from you! Contact me here.