I currently work as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette as a Visiting Assistant Professor, teaching courses in U.S. and Public/Digital History. I recently received my PhD in Early American and Women’s and Gender history from the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University in December 2016. I earned my MA in United States history and Women’s and Gender history from Villanova University in 2012, and my BA in History from Boston College in 2010. In the past, I have taught courses in Western Civilization and World History in the Department of History and Art History, along with courses in American Cultures and Graduate Studies for the INTO Mason Program at George Mason University.
My dissertation and current manuscript project, “In Dependence: Women’s Protection and Subordination as Power in Early America, 1750-1820,” explores the ways in which early American women in Boston, Philadelphia, and Charleston manipulated their legal, social, and economic positions of dependence and turned these constraints into vehicles of female empowerment. Although the law and social custom established restrictions on women’s rights and behavior, early American women were not completely powerless in their dependent state. By using women’s petitions to state legislatures, divorce cases, almshouse records, newspapers, magazines, and novels, I argue that many women in this period were able to achieve a more empowered role not in spite of their dependent status but because of it. They thus exposed the paradoxes of their legal and social subordination by using the very terms of their dependence to undermine the system that was meant to keep them in submission. This project was a finalist for the 2017 SHEAR Dissertation Prize.