Professional and Biographical Information


Ph.D., Rutgers University 
B.A., University of Pennsylvania

Digital Humanities

"The Performance of Transgender Inclusion," Public Seminar, 2018

"Why do you call us Ladies?" Public Seminar, 2017

“Histories of Sexuality and the Carceral State," Notches: (Re)marks on the History of Sexuality, 2016 Part One Part Two Part Three

Prison Sex & Solitary Confinement,”, 2015

When White Liberals (and Black Elites) Make things Worse,” Guernica Magazine, 2015

Transgender Children in Antebellum America,”, 2014



Female Husbands: A Trans History, 1740-1910 (Cambridge University Press, 2020).

Liberty's Prisoners: Carceral Culture in Early America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015).

Taking Back the Academy: History of Activism, History as Activism, eds., Jen Manion and Jim Downs (Routledge, 2004).


“Gender Expression in Antebellum America: Accessing the Privileges and Freedoms of White Men,” in U.S. Women’s History: Untangling the Threads of Sisterhood, eds. Leslie Brown, Jacqueline Castledine, and Anne Valk (Rutgers University Press, 2017), 151-170.

“Gendered Ideologies of Violence, Authority, and Racial Difference in New York State Penitentiaries, 1796-1848,” Radical History Review, Reconsidering Gender, Violence and the State, 126 (Fall, 2016).

“The Queer History of Passing as a Man in Early Pennsylvania,” The Historical Society of Pennsylvania Legacies, special issue, "Pennsylvania Pride: LGBT Histories of the Commonwealth," 16, no. 1 (Spring, 2016), 6-11.

“Transbutch,” TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, 1 no. 1-2 (2014), 230-2.

“The Absence of Context: Gay Politics Without a Past,” QED: A Journal in GLBTQ World Making, 1 no. 2 (2014), 115-131.

“Historic Heteroessentialism and Other Orderings in Early America,” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 34 no. 4 (2009), 981-1003.  

Awards and Honors

Mary Kelley Book Prize by the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, 2016
National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, American Antiquarian Society, 2012-13
Massachusetts Historical Society, Andrew Mellon Foundation Fellowship, 2012-13
One of the Top-25 Significant Queer Women of 2013 by Velvetpark Media, New York City
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Service Award, Connecticut College, 2011
Library Company of Philadelphia / Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Andrew Mellon Foundation Fellowship, 2005-06
McNeil Center for Early American Studies, University of Pennsylvania, Dissertation Fellowship, 2004-05
The Institute for Research on Women, Rutgers University, Seminar Fellow, 2003-04

Scholarly and Professional Activities

Steering Committee, The Schlesinger Library / Massachusetts Historical Society Boston Seminar on the History of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, 2016-2019

Program Committee, Society for Historians of the Early American Republic Meeting, 2015-2016

Advisor, “That’s so Gay: The Not-So-Hidden History of Gayness in Early American Culture,” An Exhibition at the Library Company of Philadelphia, February 2014

Governing Board, Committee on LGBT History, American Historical Association, 2008-11

Invited Lectures 

“Sexual Orderings: The Uneven Criminalization of Sex and Gender in the 19th c. United States,” Humanities Action Lab and Department of History, The New School

“Historicizing the Carceral State: Race, Sex, and Power in Early America,” Feinberg Family Lecture Series, Department of History, University of Massachusetts Amherst

“Against ‘Passing’: Language and Identity in Early American Transgender Histories,” Yale Research Initiative on the History of Sexualities, Yale University

“The T in LGBT,” LGBT History Month, Library Company of Philadelphia and William Way LGBT Community Center, Philadelphia

“Female Husbands and the Use of Gendered Pronouns in Early America,” Summer Seminar Series, McNeil Center for Early American Studies, University of Pennsylvania