Ph.D. May 2019
Internships & Career Advisor, Department of History
Fields: Late Antiquity, Ancient Religions, Memory and Identity
Faculty: Carlin Barton, Jason Moralee, Anna Taylor, Richard Lim (Smith College), Kevin Corrigan (Emory University)
Education: B.A., Wesleyan University (1987); M.A. Spirituality and Psychology, Holy Names College (1991); M.A. History, UMass Amherst (2012).
Interests: Roman Egypt, Neoplatonism, Hermetism, Esotericism.
I work on intellectual and cultural history in Late Antiquity and recently defended my dissertation on reading, imagination, and personal divinity in Neoplatonic and Hermetic texts. I entered the UMass Public History Certificate Program with an interest in the intersection between public history practice and the “presentation” of antiquity in museums, popular culture, and heritage. I continue to wonder about "numinous objects" and why people love really old things.
In 2007, I worked on Mount Holyoke College’s “Excavating Egypt” show and, in 2012, interned with the museum education director there during the “Reconstructing Antiquity” exhibition. Using the “Reconstructing Antiquity” collection, I produced a professional development workshop on teaching with objects for high school teachers of Greek and Roman civilization along with a guidebook for use in and out of the classroom. In 2012, I co-designed and mounted an exhibit on sericulture “The Thread That Connects”) for Historic Deerfield. More recently, I’ve co-facilitated two rounds of the Applied Humanities Learning Lab (Five College/Mellon), a public humanities intensive for Five College undergraduates. If public history can be defined as “how history works in the world,” then I consider the work I do in the UMass History Department as a career advisor for history majors a public history practice. I want my students to know how much the world needs the important skills and perspectives they bring to it. Finally, I’m always looking for new ways to share my enthusiasm for the humanities and explore human thought, experience, and creativity across time and place.