My scholarship literally spans centuries: from science fiction and fantasy media culture, through conventional history of sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth century England. The classes that I teach touch on 5500 years of history from the Ancient Near East to modern Europe, with particular focus on early modern England. Consistent throughout is an interest in gender, texts and world-building, whether it involves eighteenth-century London paupers or the women of the Star Wars galaxy.
- B.A. in European History, Purdue University, 1985
- M.A. in History, University of Toronto, 1986
- Ph.D. in History, University of Toronto, 1991
On The Web
I research in two related streams: history and popular culture as well as the history of women in early modern England. Currently working with the records of the Old Bailey, London's chief criminal court, early books, archival sources and other civic history sources to document the lives and stories of London women and family in the seventeenth and eighteenth century. Witchcraft, a crime closely connected to women, along with other historical themes such as politics and nobility, figure into studies involving popular culture series such as Star Wars, The Hobbit, Harry Potter and Twilight.
- British Academy Exchange
- Huntington Library/NACBS Dissertation Fellowship
- Waltmann Award, Purdue University
HIST 2506EL France, Renaissance to French Revolution (team-taught with Dr. David Leeson)
HIST 2686EL Games & History
HIST 3476EL Crime & Punishment in England, 1500-1900 (Criminology, Law & Justice elective)
HIST 3966EL Selected Topics: The Classical Legacy (Ancient Studies elective, team-taught with Dr. David Leeson)
- “Transience and Impoverished London Mothers, 1674-1750” Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal 14: 1 (Fall, 2019), 76-84.
- “Unbowed, Unbent, Unaccepted: Disputing Women’s Roles in Game of Thrones” in Fan Phenomena: Game of Thrones edited by Kavita Mudan Finn (Bristol: Intellect Books, 2017), 128-139.
- “Rocking Cradles and Hatching Dragons: Parenting in Game of Thrones” in Game of Thrones Versus History: Written in Blood edited by Brian A. Pavlac (New York: Wiley-Blackwell, 2017), 125-136.
- "Tales of Futures Past: Science Fiction as a Historical Genre" Rethinking History: The Journal of Theory and Practice 19:2 (2015), 285-299.
- “’Rather a Strong and Constant Man’: Margaret Pole and the Problem of Women’s Independence" in Women During the English Reformations: Renegotiating Gender and Religious Identity edited by Julie A. Chappell, and Kaley A. Kramer (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), 27-43.
- “’The Last Homely House’: Elf-Lords and the Rules of Medieval Nobility” in The Hobbit and History edited by Janice Liedl and Nancy R. Reagin (New York: Wiley, 2014), 61-79.
- “The Wizarding World Hidden in Muggle History: Witches, Wizards, and the Historical Clergy" in The Ravenclaw Chronicles edited by Corbin Fowler. (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 2014), 26-43.
- “Teen Queen: Padmé Amidala and the Power of Royal Women” and “’Part of the Rebel Alliance and a Traitor’: Women in War and Resistance” (co-authored) in Star Wars and History edited by Nancy R. Reagin and Janice Liedl (New York: Wiley, 2012)
- “Mary Broadbent, fl. 1726-1777”, London Lives,1690-1800: Crime, Poverty and Social Policy in the Metropolis http://www.londonlives.org/static/BroadbentMary1726.jsp
- "'Magic is Might': How the Wizarding Government Gained Its Power" and “Witches vs. Women: What Muggles Could Learn from Wizarding History” in Harry Potter and History edited by Nancy R. Reagin (New York: Wiley, 2011)
- "Carlisle Cullen and the Witch Hunts of Puritan London" in Twilight and History edited by Nancy R. Reagin (New York: Wiley, 2010).
- "The Battle for History in Battlestar Galactica" in Space and Time: Essays on Visions of History in Science Fiction and Fantasy Television edited by David C. Wright, Jr., and Allan W. Austin (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2010).