I am an Assistant Professor in History at the University of North Texas, where I have taught since 2014. I am also affiliated with UNT’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program. I research and write on modern U.S. politics, health and medicine, and gender and women’s history. I completed my dual PhD in History and Women’s Studies at the Pennsylvania State University in 2013.
My first book, Governing Bodies: American Politics and the Shaping of the Modern Physique, is out with the University of Pennsylvania Press. The book explores how the United States government developed policies over time meant to quite literally ‘shape’ American citizens. I explore federal nutrition and exercise policy, and consider the overlap of citizenship, policy, health, and weight. From the height-weight tables of the Children’s Bureau to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness, I argue that managing and molding American bodies has long been an interest of federal agencies – an interest that has required unique political maneuvering. You can read more about the book from Nursing Clio, Somatosphere, Fat Studies, and H-Soz-Kult.
I have received support in this project from the Charlotte Newcombe Fellowship in Ethical Inquiry, a fellowship from the Miller Center for Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, and a Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant from the National Science Foundation’s program in Science, Technology, and Society. I have presented findings from this research at a number of conferences, including those of the Organization of American Historians, the American Historical Association, Policy History, and the History of Science Society.
My current research is on the construction of postpartum depression and maternal mental health amid the late-20th century “Culture Wars.”