Teaching and Research Areas:
Nineteenth-Century American Intellectual History, Educational History, and the History of Civilizations
My research interests focus on American intellectual, cultural, and educational history during the Early Republic and antebellum period of the nineteenth century. I examine both the northern states and the Ohio Valley region and research antebellum- era journals, newspapers, educational tracts, school reports, and textbooks to map out changing notions of republicanism, romanticism, and nationalism. My research speaks to the following questions: What is the meaning of education and history in America during a time confronted with slavery, social inequality, western expansionism and rapid modernization? How have reformers and traditionalists used allusions to the past to support their own world views? One of my methods is to exam how nineteenth-century American educators, reformers, and activists have deployed stories of ancient Greece and Rome to promote their causes and how their opponents have invoked the same historical narratives to counter their arguments.