I am an environmental historian of Britain and the British Empire in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with broad research and teaching interests in Modern Europe and European Empires, colonial and post-colonial sub-Saharan Africa, Australasia, environmental history, history of science and technology, agrarian studies, maritime history, global histories of migration (human and non-human), and food history. I love teaching and thinking about history at the intersection of materials and ideas, where groundwork meets mindwork, where stuff meets politics, where ecology meets ideology.
BIO: I grew up in a rural community at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in upstate South Carolina, where I developed a deep and abiding affection for critters (great and small) and growing things, and a love of stories about the land. I found my way, by happy accident, to another beautiful landscape in New York’s Hudson Valley, where I spent a transformative few years at Bard College, studying literature, anthropology, and history (and oil painting, playwriting, folk dance, theology, and botany!). I spent a year working in New York City, before returning to my home county in South Carolina to teach English in a public high school for two years. A NEH-funded month-long teaching seminar at the Churchill Archives at the University of Cambridge reawakened the scholar in me and I left the next year to begin a Ph.D. in History at the University of Chicago. I did broad coursework in environmental history, history of science, European history, African history, and economic history, and completed research and teaching fields in Britain and the British Empire, European History, Environmental History, and African History. With the support of the Social Sciences Research Council, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Nicholson Center for British Studies, I conducted over 18 months of archival research in the UK, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, and received my PhD in August 2016. I now hold an A.W. Mellon “Climates and Natures” Postdoctoral Fellowship at UW-Madison’s Center for Humanities, and I teach in the Department of History.