(Photo courtesy of Martin Giraudeau)
Hello! I am an Associate Professor in the History Department at Brown University. I primarily work on the history of the life, earth, and environmental sciences, the history of museums, and the history of capitalism, especially in nineteenth and early twentieth century North America.
I am currently working on a number of projects. These range from Native American knowledge about vertebrate fossils to the cultural history of the Ice Age idea. I am also interested in how the concept of organization traveled between biology and political economy.
I recently published a book about dinosaurs entitled "Assembling the Dinosaur: Fossil Hunters, Tycoons, and the Making of a Spectacle." This project uses the history of paleontology as a means to examine how the ideals, norms, and practices of modern capitalism shaped the way scientific knowledge was made, certified, and distributed during America's Long Gilded Age. In addition, I have also co-edited the 2018 issue of Osiris (with Eugenia Lean & William Deringer) on the theme of "Science & Capitalism: Entangled Histories."
Finally, I have written several essays about the material culture of the earth sciences, the history of museums, the organization of a capitalist marketplace, the valuation of fossils, and the authentication of specimens. You can find pdfs of these in the publications page of this site.