I am a scholar of the long nineteenth century with a focus on the Indigenous and American West. My in-progress monograph, Framed: Housing and Adult Education on the Crow Reservation, chronicles the Crow Nation’s engagement with American empire-building in the assimilation era. Just as government and missionary schools were key sites of assimilation for Indigenous children, houses were the key sites of cultural contestations for adults. My work on federal documents, ethnographic sources, and a unique cache of photographic collections suggests that the introduction of frame housing on the Crow Reservation was not just part of some material shortage for the tipi; rather, it was a state-sanctioned attempt at assimilation for the generations that boarding schools missed.

purple book cover for digital community engagement. graphic is a word cloud

Digital Community Engagment | University of Cincinnati Press

Together with the Jason A. Heppler and Paul Schadewald, I edited an open access volume called Digital Community Engagement: Partnering Communities with the Academy (University of Cincinnati Press, 2020) that explores model practices and the ethical challenges of academic-community partnerships. We assembled this book because, when we needed this book, it did not exist. And yet, scholars across a variety of disciplines were already involved in community-engaged digital projects. How were they navigating the fragile relationships between communities and the academy? This volume is a series of nine curated case studies focusing on projects that emerged through the creative engagement of community partners with academic faculty, staff, and students. Our academic contributors co-authored with their community partners (wherever possible) to describe their projects, "lift the hood" on the digital components, and examine what made the partnerships successful and meaningful. We believe that, when viewed as a whole, these exemplary projects form a cohesive practice of Digital Community Engagement, or DiCE. DiCE won the 2021 Book Award from the National council on Public History.

yellow field of gold with house in foreground

Homesteading the Plains | University of Nebraska Press

My co-authored book (with Richard Edwards and Jacob K. Friefeld), Homesteading the Plains: Toward a New History (University of Nebraska Press, 2017), uses newly-available digitized records to challenge and reassess long-accepted interpretations of the Homestead Act of 1862. During our investigation of community formation, I used network analysis to visualize the socio-legal relationships between rural Nebraska homesteaders. This allowed us to draw distinctions between insulated and integrated ethnic groups and map community formation on the plains. In 2018, Homesteading the Plains won the Nebraska Book Award for Nonfiction and the CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title for Nonfiction Award.

Select Articles and Chapters

  • with William G. Thomas, III, "Building Communities, Reconciling Histories: Can We Reach a More Honest History?," in The Handbook of Digital Public History, edited by Serge Noiret and Mark Tebeau. De Gruyter Press, 2022.
  • with Lindsay Passenger Weick, “The Great Syllabus Swap,” in History in Action: Essays on Teaching Public History, edited by Evan Falkenbury and Julia Brock. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2022.
  • "'The Forgotten Era': Dime Novels and Ann Stephen's Victorian West," Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies 33, no. 3 (January 2018): 121-140.
  • "Picturing Indian Health: Dr. Shoemaker’s Traveling Photographs, 1910-1918," Montana: The Magazine of Western History (Winter 2016): 23-43.
  • "Last Stands, Sabers, and Zulu Warriors: Custer and the Little Big Horn in Popular Culture," in A Companion to Custer and the Little Big Horn Campaign, edited by Brad Lookingbill. Hoboken: Wiley and Sons, 2015.

Select Digital Projects

  • Project Director, Virtual Wyandot Removal Trail, University of Cincinnati, 2022-present. *please email request for access*
  • Project Director, ReFramed: An Apsáalooke Archive, University of Cincinnati, 2021-present. *please email request for access*
  • Project Lead, A Journal of the Plague Year, 2020-present.
  • Project Manager, Bearcat Memory Project, University of Cincinnati, 2018-present
  • Project Manager, Homesteading the Plains, Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2016-2018.

Select Non-Mediated Articles & Blogs