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Department of Anthropology
303 Eaton Hall
Medford, MA 02155
Ph.D., Tufts University
Tourism, museums, myth and ritual, cultural performance, culture-led redevelopment, mobilities, farm history/heritage
Scholarship & Research
I am an interdisciplinary scholar and practitioner working at the intersection of cultural anthropology and public history. My published work focuses largely on the uses of history, heritage, and culture in redevelopment projects, particularly in former industrial settings. I am particularly interested in foregrounding the presence and contributions of knowledge producers and cultural workers within processes of postindustrial transformation. My 2006 book The Lowell Experiment: Public History in a Postindustrial City explores the role of those who helped to reframe a New England textile city for the "new economy" of the late 20th century. My current research and writing asks about the potential for workers in these settings to engage productively with the realms of advocacy and activism, particularly around issues of energy use and food production. A book project in progress, co-authored with Michelle Moon and subtitled How History Can Help Reinvent the Food System, sets out a rationale and methodology for nudging historic sites and practice into closer dialogue with the contemporary "food movement," with the goal of bringing greater historical nuance and critical complexity to present-day understandings of the dominant industrial food system and other possible models.
As an engaged scholar, I have served as a consultant to the U.S. National Park Service's Ethnography Program for more than 15 years, producing a number of peer-reviewed, publicly-accessible book-length studies of military reenactments, farming, and ethnic, avocational, and seasonal communities associated with national parks. I also have an interest in digital scholarship and publication, mostly through my involvement with the National Council on Public History and its evolving digital publications (particularly its History@Work blog, of which I was the founding editor).
with Michelle Moon, "Public History and the Food Movement: Adding the Missing Ingredient" (Routledge, forthcoming)
"Between Pastness and Presentism: Public History and the Local Food Movement" in Oxford Handbook of Public History, James Gardner and Paula Hamilton, eds. (Oxford University Press, forthcoming)
"A Place of Quiet Adventure: An Ethnographic Study of the Peddocks Island Cottages" (for Boston Harbor Islands National Park Area/National Park Service, 2016)
"Keeping 'the Industrial': New Solidarities in Post-industrial Places" in Deindustrialization and Its Aftermath, Steven High, Lachlan MacKinnon and Andrew Perchard, eds. (University of British Columbia Press)
"More Than Just Inclusion: Race, Memory, and Twenty-First Century Cultural Industries," review essay in American Quarterly Volume 68, Number 3 (September 2016)
with Michelle Moon, "The First Course: A Case for Locating Public History within 'The Food Movement,'" The Public Historian, Vol. 36, No. 3 (August 2014)
"'Plant Yourself in My Neighborhood': An Ethnographic Landscape Study of Farming and Farmers in Columbia County, New York" (for Martin Van Buren National Historic Site/National Park Service, 2012)
"Re-Occupying Plimoth," Plenary session remarks, New England American Studies Association conference, Plymouth, MA, 2011
"Performing the Postindustrial: The Limits of Radical History in Lowell, Massachusetts," Radical History Review, Issue 98 (Spring 2007)
"The Lowell Experiment: Public History in a Postindustrial City" (University of Massachusetts Press, 2006); winner of the 2007 National Council on Public History Book Award
"Serving Up Culture: Heritage and its Discontents at an Industrial History Site." International Journal of Heritage Studies (Vol. 11, December 2005)
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