I am a settler-scholar of the Indigenous and American West and the Director of Public History at the University of Cincinnati where I am also an Associate Professor of History. Broadly (and rather eclectically), I study houses: homesteads in the West, houses replacing tipis on the Crow Reservation in Montana, and the use of eminent domain to displace Black citizens for highway construction in the 1950s and 1960s. How we define house and home is a reflection of American architectural determinism — the belief that the structure of the house can shape the behaviors of the residents within, or that houses can be weaponized to destroy unwanted communities or cultures.

In addition to several articles and digital projects, I co-wrote an award-winning book, Homesteading the Plains: Towards a New History (University of Nebraska Press, 2017). I was also the lead editor of an open-access volume called Digital Community Engagement: Partnering Communities with the Academy (University of Cincinnati Press, 2020) that uses case studies to explore the ethical challenges of academic-community partnerships. DiCE won the 2021 Book Award from the National Council on Public History.

I have two in-progress manuscripts. Framed: Housing and Photography on the Crow Reservation uses historic photographs to argue that the Office of Indian Affairs designed their housing policy to restructure the relationships the Crows had to the house, to the land, and to each other. Lauren Tilton and I are also co-editing a volume called American History in 15 Photographs. Designed to pair with the second half of an American History Survey, the volume introduces new photographers and images into the photographic canon while simultaneously complicating our understanding and use of popular photographers like Dorthea Lange.

Learn more about my research, teaching, or speaking engagements.