Object Studies: Introductions to Material Culture (Palgrave-2023) This textbook introduces students to an interdisciplinary approach to material cultural study. It helps reveal how everyday objects from pens and coffee cups to our most cherished keepsakes help define our collective histories and personal narratives. Object Studies is organized around accessible and engaging chapters on objects with “model essays” that present original projects designed to engage students with a series of concepts and research activities. Each will demonstrate a key methodology tied to specific learning outcomes, but all chapters will be intertwined in their attention to the project of developing the core skills of “object studies”: careful viewing, writing detailed descriptions, setting out and testing research hypotheses, and telling stories through material artifacts. Aimed towards undergraduate students taking courses in material culture as well as postgraduate students embarking on independent research projects these chapter “studies” are practically oriented and demonstrate research projects that can be undertaken either in a course or even through personal study. Chapters in Object Studies conclude with research questions, suggestions on methodology, and a discursive bibliography designed to help students pursue their own projects based on these examples.
Romance on the Early Modern Stage: English Expansion before and after Shakespeare (Palgrave-Macmillan 2013) What is dramatic romance? Scholars have long turned to Shakespeare’s biography to answer this question, marking his “late plays” as the beginning and end of the dramatic romance. Romance on the Early Modern Stage identifies an earlier and more persuasive history for this important genre. This account reveals how stage romances imaginatively expanded audience interest in England’s emerging global economy from the earliest years of the commercial theater in London.
The Shakespeare Folios Project From 2016-2019 I worked with a team of scholars to compile the first comprehensive database of extant copies of Shakespeare’s Second (1632), Third (1663/64), and Fourth (1685) folios. Librarians and other scholars contributed to a survey we carried out that catalogued over 200 copies of these books, and with additional research into library catalogues and previous surveys we gathered data on nearly 700 unique copies. That data is now a part of the larger Shakespeare Census, the University of Pennsylvania project that seeks to catalogue all early modern copies of Shakespeare’s works in quarto and folio.
Storied Objects: A Material History of New Paltz In conjunction with my honors seminar for the spring 2013 semester, I directed a study of New Paltz history as told through objects and created this digital exhibition of our work. Students in the seminar performed research on materials in local archives. The project was carried out in collaboration with Historic Huguenot Street, the Haviland-Heidgerd Historical Collection, Sojourner Truth Library’s Special Collections, Hudson Valley River Heritage, and Prof. Joe Diamond of the SUNY New Paltz Anthropology Department.