Current Research: Having written my undergraduate dissertation on John Quincy Adams, and my MA dissertation on his wife Louisa Catherine Adams, I am now very happily carrying on my fascination with the Adams family by examining the letters and diaries of Louisa Catherine Adams, Abigail Adams, Abigail "Nabby" Adams Smith, Catherine "Kitty" Johnson Smith, and Catherine Neuth Johnson. Through their written experiences as diplomatic wives, sisters and daughters in the courts of London, Paris and St. Petersburg, the aim of my dissertation is to better understand their sense of nationalism, cosmopolitanism, and republicanism as American and half-British women working unofficially as diplomatic agents of American empire. Through this study, I hope to shed a new light not only on their own remarkable experiences as very traveled women, but also how their experiences determined the unprecedented roles of diplomatic wives during the Early Republic, and how that role helped shape the international reputation of the new United States.
Before starting my DPhil here at Exeter College, Oxford, I earned my undergraduate MA degree in History from the University of Edinburgh, finishing with a 1st. I then completed my postgraduate MA in Eighteenth-Century Studies at the University of York, finishing with Distinction.
Museum and Editing Work: I worked for two years in history museums back in my home state of Texas where I engaged in public history, leading daily school tours and curating three small exhibits. I also have five years of experience in academic editing, notably by assisting Dr. Adam Budd (Edinburgh) on his recent book Circulating Enlightenment: The Career and Correspondence of Andrew Millar, 1725-68 (Oxford University Press). I also volunteer occasionally as a transcriber of the John Quincy Adams Diaries through the Massachusetts Historical Society.
I am currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the Oxford University History Society. I am also the Library Representative for Exeter College's MCR.
However, perhaps my proudest achievement is that I founded the University of Edinburgh's J.R.R. Tolkien Society in 2015!
Publications and Current Projects:
Forthcoming article: "Elysian Woods and Desolate Shores: Mary Wollstonecraft's Letters Written in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark and Her Perceptions of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Merits of Solitude." Graduate Inequality Review 1, no. 1 (2022).
Forthcoming chapter: "Fulfilling the Impossible: Louisa Catherine Adams and the Failure of Gender Roles as a Diplomat's Wife in St. Petersburg" for vol. 3 of 19th Century Women in Power: Trailblazers (London: Bloomsbury, 2025).
"Robinson Crusoe and the Missing Genre: Discovering Contemporary Interpretations of the Book's Literary Classification and Purpose in Pre-Novel English Society." Digital Defoe: Studies in Defoe and His Contemporaries 12, no. 1 (2020).
Two architectural history articles for the Scottish Historic Buildings Trust: A History of Projects (Edinburgh: SHBT, 2017).
Three student articles published for the University of Edinburgh's Retrospect Journal on 1930s aviation; Icelandic folk history; and the Franklin Expedition in the Arctic (2015-2017).
I am also currently writing a historical fiction novel on Jean-Jacques Rousseau's life in the 1740s-1750s.
Fellowships and Conferences:
Recipient of the 2022-2023 Marc Friedlaender Fellowship at the Massachusetts Historical Society.
I have presented at one international conference (Crusoe at 300 Conference in York, 2019) and at two postgraduate conferences (York's Distance Conference, 2020; and Bristol's EMS Conference, 2020). I will be presenting my current research at two upcoming conferences in the summer of 2022.
Academic Teaching Experience:
PLTO teaching trainee on the Haitian Revolution and the Louisiana Slave Uprisings, under Dr. Perry Gauci (1st year undergraduate optional course, Trinity 2022).
My Varied Research Interests: US Presidential Adams family, particularly John Quincy and Louisa Catherine Adams; Early Republic US history; Early American Diplomatic history; Travel history; Women's history; Print Culture and Book History; Arctic History; American and French Revolutions; and Enlightenment studies (particularly Rousseau).
I have also been an avid antiquarian books/engravings collector for over a decade. My collection of about 250 prints spans back to 1484, and was featured on the Bodleian Library's digital blog The Conveyor in June 2021.
I welcome comments and questions from anyone with an interest in these areas, or who are interested more generally in postgraduate study! My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org