I am a Faculty Fellow at the University of Michigan Law School. My primary fields of interest are in social and legal history and include the study of place, local governance, gender and sexuality, and race. This spring I am teaching a seminar about law in rural America.
My current book project is transforming my dissertation, “Cows, Cars, and Criminals: The Legal Landscape of the Rural Midwest, 1920-1975,” into a monograph. I argue that the legal remaking of rural communities was a central feature of twentieth-century America. The project utilizes case studies to examine critical topics that historians and legal scholars have framed as quintessentially urban issues—land use and zoning, policing and prosecution, education equality, labor and economic opportunity, local community organizing and advocacy, and infrastructure and mobility—and reveals their manifestations in rural geographies, economies, and social norms. The result is a new legal history that tells not a story of rural decline but a story of the rural Midwest in a constant process of transformation along lines of class, race, and gender. Learn more about the book project here, and other current research projects and articles here.
I received my BA in history and art history from Indiana University, a MSc in comparative social policy from Oxford, a JD from the University of California, Berkeley, and a MA and PhD in history at Princeton University. I also clerked for Judge David Hamilton on the Seventh Circuit. My interdisciplinary background continues to inform my scholarship and interest in public history, as well as other research that is focused on recovering marginalized voices within twentieth century social movements.
Updated December 2019