My research seeks to understand how Americans have, over time, used objects to make sense of their pasts. I am particularly interested in the physicality of historical experience and our belief in the power of things to transport us through time. I like boats too.
(ed.) Born in the USA: Birth and Commemoration in American Public Memory (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2012). [view] [buy]
"The New Labor History Museum: A Status Report," Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas 9 (2012): 133-49.
"Reforming the Carceral Past: Eastern State Penitentiary and the Challenge of Twenty-First-Century Prison Museums," Radical History Review 113 (Spring 2012): 171-86. [view]
“The Shenandoah River Gundalow: Reusable Boats in Virginia’s Nineteenth-Century River Trade,” Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 118 (December 2010): 314-49. [view]
Here, George Washington was Born: Memory, Material Culture, and the Public History of a National Monument (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2008). [view] [buy] [review]
Recent Media Appearances
Kim Fischer, “Students Consider Historic Penitentiary's Haunted Attraction,” 31 October 2011.
Peter Crimmins, “Setting Sale: USS Olympia now on the market,” Newsworks, 31 March 2011.
Peter Crimmins, “Site of Historic Presidential Home Stirs Controversy,” All Things Considered, National Public Radio, 15 December 2010. [listen]
“Classes explore city history beyond the Liberty Bell,” Temple University News Communications, 29 October 2009. [watch]
Alex Schmidt, “Old Visitor Center is New Battle of Gettysburg,” Morning Edition, National Public Radio, 7 October 2008. [listen]