I am a historian of the post-World War II United States specializing in the histories of childhood, the Cold War, and America in the world. I’m particularly interested in the ways in which culture shapes politics, and this focus is at the center of both my research and my teaching. My book, Raising the World: Child Welfare in the American Century (Harvard University Press, 2015), explores the nexus of culture and politics by examining American efforts to assist children around the world during the three decades following the Second World War. Child welfare programs, I argue, were at once humanitarian gestures and political projects aimed at expanding the United States' global hegemony. Americans believed that U.S. methods of child rearing could prevent the rise of future dictators, curb the appeal of communism, and facilitate economic development around the world. At the same time, the prominence of international child welfare programs within the United States taught ordinary Americans—many of whom contributed funds and even built relationships with foreign children through sponsorship programs—to view their country’s forays overseas as acts of charity, not imperialism. I am currently at work on two book projects. The first, titled Growing Up America: Youth and Politics since 1945, is a collection of essays on youngsters and American politics co-edited with Susan Eckelmann Berghel and Paul Renfro. The second project is a history of American tourism, focusing on souvenir-hunting and shopping, that explores issues of consumption, commodification, and empire. At Seton Hall, my courses include America Since 1945, the History of New York City, and the History of the Family in America.
- Ph.D., Yale University
- M.Phil., Yale University
- B.A., Barnard College
- "Little Cold Warriors: Child Sponsorship and International Affairs." Diplomatic History 38:2, 240-250, March 2014.
- " Raising the World: Child Welfare in the American Century." Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2015.
- " The Now Forgotten Battlefield for Hearts and Minds in the Cold War." History News Network, 2015.
- Finalist, Berkshire Conference of Women Historians Book Prize (2015)
- George Washington Egleston Dissertation Prize, Yale University (2013)
- Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR) Dissertation Completion Fellowship (2012-2013)
- Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation Dissertation Fellowship (2011-2012)
- Phi Beta Kappa (2004), Barnard College