Title: McCoy Professor of History
Department: History, Philosophy, and Religion
Education: Ph.D. in British History, Vanderbilt University, 2000; Master of Arts in History, Vanderbilt University, 1995; Bachelor of Arts with Honors in History, Davidson College, 1994.
Research Interests: English travel literature, history of race and gender, history of science, historical themes in Harry Potter
Recent Publications: “The Elfin Mystique: Fantasy and Feminism in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter Series,” Past Watchful Dragons, ed. Amy H. Sturgis; “Read Long and Prosper: Five Do’s and Don’ts for Preparing Students for College,” The Clearing House; “’Impure Flames’: English Travelers, Eastern Women, and the Problem of Female Desire,” Proceedings of the Ohio Academy of History
Courses (Fall 2015): History of World Civilizations (1815-Present), Harry Potter and the Liberal Arts and History Capstone
Courses (Spring 2016): History of World Civilizations (1815-Present), Early Britain (Prehistory to 1714), and History of Twentieth-Century Europe
Phone: (740) 376-4732
What can a student expect when taking one of your classes?
What’s most important in History is to understand the context in which people live out their lives, and then to read and see their first-hand expressions of their experiences through letters, speeches, cartoons and visual art, poetry and songs. My courses involve the reading of primary sources and a focus on how political and social events shape intellectual and cultural ideas.
What excites you about teaching at Marietta College?
The small class sizes allow me to get to know my students and really pay attention to their interests and educational needs. Seeing how their education transforms students as they grow more confident and knowledgeable year after year is rewarding. I also love being able to teach courses in my specialties, including European Feminism, British History, and Modern Europe, as well as the occasional experimental course, including Icelandic Sagas, Renaissance Culture and Literature, and Historical Fiction.
When you aren’t teaching, what other activities do you enjoy?
I enjoy music (especially piano), theater, and reading. I’ll read almost anything. I have three small children, so I can often be found on the playground with them.
Do you prefer flipping through the pages of a book or an e-book?
I resisted the e-book for a long time because I love the feel of a traditional book, feeling the weight of it, seeing it as a tangible object on my bookshelf, having it but also being able to pass it along to someone else. But then I got a Kindle for a birthday gift, and I’m almost never without it. Being able to carry around 250 books with me wherever I go . . . that’s pretty hard to beat.
What is your favorite location on campus and why?
I love The Christy Mall — a central, brick-paved path through campus, where you can see the lovely flowering trees in bloom in the spring and where you’ll encounter on any given day several students, faculty, and community members you know every time you walk along it. And I can hardly believe we have such a treasure trove as we do in the Special Collections Archive of the Legacy Library. It’s magical down there.
What is your favorite Marietta College event?
All Scholars Day is a favorite for me, because I so enjoy seeing all the work students have put into making creative, evocative, and important projects. The diversity of topics and presentation styles is amazing to see, and it’s rewarding to get a chance to highlight and encourage student achievements at the highest levels.