PhD 2020 (History) New York University
MA (Social Thought) New York University
BA & BFA (Visual & Critical Studies) School of the Art Institute of Chicago
United States; transatlantic history; history of liberalism; capitalism; labor history; intellectual history; history of immigration; social reform; slavery and emancipation
I am a historian of political thought, trans-Atlantic intellectual history, and American society in the long nineteenth century. Before my PhD training at New York University, I studied Visual and Critical Studies at the School of the Art Institute Chicago, with a focus on Frankfurt School Critical Theory. I have taught at Barnard College, the Pratt Institute of Art, New York University, and lectured at the New York Public Library.
My research to date centers on three key issues that defined political life in nineteenth-century America: the transformation of the liberal tradition after the advent of mass democracy, the mass immigration of European exiles into American civil-society associations, and the social crisis of labor and property after the Civil War.
I am currently working on my first book, Reform in the Age of Capital, where I place U.S. political history within the transatlantic crisis of liberalism after the Era of Restoration that culminates in the Revolutions of 1848 and the American Civil War. I argue that the political and intellectual contributions by European émigrés in the nineteenth century fostered a social-democratic perspective within the American reform tradition and connected reformers to a lively movement of ideas across cosmopolitan networks, with nodal points in London, New York and Paris. Transatlantic social democrats were a diverse group of reformers who broke with republican solutions to the “social problem”— the declining condition of laborers and the emergence of systemic unemployment. Social democrats demanded new rights for laboring citizens, including the “right to land,” the right to “the fruits of [their] labor,” the right to “free time,” and the “right to work,” and called for the establishment of a novel “social republic” to supersede the limitations of political representation. Throughout the book, I explore the common aspirations across abolitionist and labor reformers, English Chartists, German revolutionaries, and French utopians, who sought to realize the ideals of the revolutions of the seventeenth & eighteenth centuries under the unprecedented conditions of industrializing nations. Funding for this project has been provided by the Fulbright, IIE, the Mellon Foundation, and by the Jerrold Seigel Fellowship in Intellectual and Cultural History. A chapter of the unpublished manuscript won the 2020 Bernard Bellush Prize in Labor History, from the New York Labor History Association.