I am a historian of the United States, focusing specifically on the decades between the Revolution and the Civil War. My research combines the history of the Atlantic World with women’s, economic, political, and legal history to explore the economic and political implications of the connections between the “private,” domestic world of the family and the “public” world of governance at the federal, state, and local levels. I focus on southern families to tell a national story with continued resonance—the creation of a governing system intertwined with the familial networks of the elite. Both my research and teaching are fundamentally concerned with questions of gender, race, and region, particularly how different facets of identity shaped the way that individuals experienced and interacted with the political, economic, legal, and cultural forces that shaped their lives.
I defended my dissertation, “Cultures of Emotion: Families, Friends, and the Making of the United States,” at Duke University in September 2018. “Cultures of Emotion” focused on prominent families centered in the South to explore the centrality of families to the new republic’s economy and its governing institutions. I also hold an M.A. (2012) and a B.A. (2011) in history from Mississippi State University.