I am an Assistant Professor of History at Penn State Altoona where I teach courses in the histories of modern Europe, Latin America, and Western medicine. Tending towards the comparative and transnational, my research focuses on Europe’s global connections. Areas of special interest to me include borderlands, colonialism, nationalism, migration, religion, environmental history, and medical history.
I am currently working on my second book project, which is titled The Sword Outside, the Plague Within: Influenza, War, and Religion, 1918-1920. It compares rural and religious interpretations of the 1918 “Spanish flu” pandemic in Europe. In support of this work, I have secured grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies, and will hold a Marie S. Curie Fellowship at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies in Freiburg, Germany during the 2020-21 academic year.
In February 2020, my prize-winning dissertation was published as a book titled Exiled Among Nations: German and Mennonite Mythologies in a Transnational Age, with the German Historical Institute’s Cambridge University Press series. This book concerns how groups of people fashion collective narratives as nations, religions, and diasporas. My work has also appeared in the peer-reviewed Comparative Studies in Society and History, German Studies Review, Journal of Mennonite Studies, Indiana Magazine of History, and the periodicals In These Times and Mennonite.
From 2014-2017, I served as a research associate for the global oral history project titled “Seven Points on Earth” that investigates the environmental and religious factors affecting seven Mennonite farming communities around the world. This project was funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. From 2016-2017, I was the Postdoctoral Fellow in the History of Migration at the German Historical Institute, Washington D.C. and before that I was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa where I taught courses for the German Iowa and the Global Midwest public humanities initiative.