BA Yale University, 1987 PhD University of Pennsylvania, 1994
My interests center on 19th and 20th century cultural and intellectual history. In particular, I am interested in how ideas are given physical form - in architecture, painting, museums and museum objects, landscapes and cities. I have explored the physical manifestation of ideas in several books and articles, including most recently, "Do Museums Need Objects Anymore," which came out this year.Currently I am working on a book examining anti-urbanism and the meaning of community across the 20th century.
The history department has several faculty whose interests include modern intellectual and cultural history, including Stephen Kern, Chris Otter, Alan Beyerchen and David Steigerwald. Prospective graduate students should check out their work as well.
My teaching includes introductory survey courses; upper-division course in 19 and 20th century intellectual history; undergraduate and graduate courses in urban history and public history.
Recently, I started the Public History Initiative in the History Department. In that capacity I am developing a variety of opportunities for undergraduates, graduate students and faculty to engage in projects off campus and outside the academy. These include a new undergraduate internship course, a new graduate course in Public History, and several less formal partnerships with the Columbus Public Schools.
In my own role as a public historian, I have written dozens of op-ed pieces for newspapers around the country and I am on the Advisory Board for the History News Service. In 2008 I entered the world of blogging as a regular contributor to the blog "Rust Belt Intellectual."
In 2007 we launched "Origins: Current Events in Historical Perspective," a monthly on-line feature magazine. Each month we focus on a pressing current issue and invite a scholar to put that issue in a broader historical context. "Origins" can be found at: http://ehistory.osu.edu/origins/. I encourage you to take a look at it.
My work has been supported by a number of fellowships and has given me the opportunity to speak all over the country and all over the world, most recently in Switzerland. Upcoming lectures: Denver Museum of Natural History and the Philadelphia Museum of Art in September, and the Cleveland Museum of Art and Oberlin College in October.
On March 9, 2010 I was the featured speaker at a Wexner Center event titled "Do Museums Still Need Objects?" With me on the panel were the heads of several Columbus cultural institutions. If you're interested in our discussion, you can see it here:http://www.ohiochannel.org/multimedia/media.cfm?file_id=124900