My favorite moments as a historian and a researcher come when I experience the thrill of discovery, of making a new breakthrough or uncovering a link between two apparently disconnected historical phenomena. This is the joy and the excitement that I try to impart to my students, whether I encounter them in intro-level World Civ or an upper-level course. Central to this process of discovery and historical interpretation is the historian themselves: the unique background, ideology, idea of the past, and hopes for the future that each individual brings to their interpretation of history. History, at its most basic level, is the study of the human experience in all of its amazing diversity. As a historian, then, and as an educator of future historians, my overarching goal for every course I teach is to help my students uncover the questions about the human experience to which they are particularly attuned as a result of their experiences and talents. Throughout my courses, I aim to help my students confront their own assumptions and biases, while pursuing their own research interests.

I use a wide array of teaching tools to help students bridge the past and present both in the classroom and beyond it. Reacting to the Past games help to immerse students in historical contingencies and refine a sense of historical empathy. Hands-on experiences with material objects give them tangible access to the past and help develop tools to analyze sources beyond the text. Digital humanities classroom activities help students both analyze sources through new lenses and confront the opportunities and challenges posed by scholarship in the internet age. For examples of some of my digital humanities activities, take a look at my digital humanities portfolio.

Courses I’ve Taught

  • Introduction to Digital Humanities and Social Science
  • Origins of the Modern World to 1500 (taught as both Western Civ and World Civ)
  • Origins of the Modern World to 1500 (online)
  • Origins of the Modern World since 1500 (World Civ)
  • From Barbarians to Crusaders: The Early Middle Ages (co-taught)
  • Ancient and Medieval History
  • U.S. History since 1877

Courses I’ve Developed

  • Introduction to Digital History
  • Local/Global: Digital Microhistory
  • Moving Heaven and Earth: Travel in the Middle Ages
  • Conflict, Encounter, and Exchange in Medieval Borderlands
  • By the Book: A History of the Written Word, 1100-1700
  • Saints, Scholars, Swords: History of Medieval Ireland