I write about environmental history through a frame that links research on industry, urban history, and labor with new writing about visual imagery and visual practices in modern society. I am particularly interested in the rise of the alkali and gas industries in Britain.
Academic Awards and Research Fellowships
Media Interviews and Opinion
Talks and Invited Lectures
Wesleyan University, affiliated member of College of the Environment
- Andrew W. Mellon Foundation “Humanities for All Times” Awards $1,064,500 to Wesleyan University for its “Carceral Connecticut Project,” Exploring the Past and Contemporary Resonances of Slavery, Race, and Industrialization in New England
- Durham University Library Residential Fellowship, June 2022.
- Raquel and Arthur Seidel Fellowship in the History of Intellectual Property and Patents, Science History Institute, Philadelphia, February 2020.
- Visiting Research Fellowship, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, January 2020.
- Senior Visiting Scholar, Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, May–July 2015.
- ““Over London at Night”: Gasworks, Ballooning, and the Visual Gas Field,” British Art Studies, Issue 22 (2022).
- “Dangerous Exposures: Work and Waste in the Victorian Chemical Trade,” International Labor and Working-Class History 95 (July 2019): 130-165.
- “Photography/Science/Wonder,” Focal Plane: A Journal for Photographic Educators and Students 8 (April 2019): 18-23.
- “The Hidden World of Science: Nature as Art in 1930’s American Print Advertising,” Spontaneous Generations: A Journal for the History and Philosophy of Science 6:1 (Fall 2012): 90-105.
- “A View of the Ocean, Between the Tropics (1765-1800),” in Martina Droth and Nathan Flis, eds, Britain in the World: Highlights from the Yale Center for British Art (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019), pp. 64-67.
- “Visual Ecologies,” in Marvin Heiferman, ed. Seeing Science: Photography, Science and Visual Culture (New York: Aperture, 2019). [Previously published online, 2017].
- “Visual and Material Studies,” in Sasha Handley, Rohan McWilliam, and Lucy Noakes, (eds.) New Directions in Social and Cultural History (London: Bloomsbury Academic Press, 2018), pp. 129-42.
Works (Articles and Book Chapters) in Progress
- “‘Over London at Night’: Gasworks, Ballooning and Seeing the Thames,” British Art Studies: “Thames River Works: Art, Industry, and Environment”(March 2022, in press).
- History News Network: It’s No Downton Abby, But It’s Just as Much a Part of English History June 12, 2018
- Visual Ecologies January 24, 2017
- Boston Globe: What the Clean Air Act Can Teach Us About Reducing Gun Violence October 6, 2015
- Panel speaker, conference organized by The University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China on “New Perspectives on the History of British Science from the 17th to the 19th Centuries,” May 29–30, 2022.
- Keynote lecture, “Camera Atmosphaera,” Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies (INCS) conference: “Strata,” University of Utah, March 24-27, 2022.
- Panelist, “Salt, Silver, & the Arctic,” for the panel “Photography and Slow Violence,” College Art Association meeting, March 3, 2022.
- “Dangerous Exposures,” Research presentation,Consortium for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine (September 17, 2021).
- Beinecke Library Visiting Scholars Research Brownbag Lunch Presentation, Yale University (January 27, 2020).
- Environmental Humanities Breakfast Conversation, Yale Environmental Humanities Program (January 24, 2020).
- “Health Hazards of Victorian Photography,” History Department, Brown University (September 26, 2019).
- Presenter, Department of the History of Science, University of Oklahoma, “Victorian Environmentalism and Labor History” (February 1, 2019).
- Presenter, “Dangerous Exposures: Work and Waste in Victorian Photography and the Chemical Trades,” Department of Art History and Communication Studies, McGill University (Canada): (November 15, 2018).
- Keynote, “Cultural Histories of Air and Illness” conference, University of Warwick (UK), “Dangerous Exposures: Work and Waste in the Victorian Chemical Trade” (June 7–9, 2018).
- Invited speaker, History of Medicine Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Colloquium Speaker, “Chemical Exposure: The Victorian Akali Industry and the Future of Photography” (October 5, 2017).
- Invited speaker, “Visual Ecologies” conference, California Institute of Technology, “Picturing Pollution: Photography in Environmental Law Suits in Victorian Britain” (May 11–12, 2017).
- Invited speaker, Center for History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, University of Manchester (UK), “Imagining the Future, Collecting the Past” (November 22, 2016).
- Presenter, Yale Environmental Humanities Workshop: “Aerial Imagination” (April 26-27, 2019).
- Panelist, American Society for Environmental Society 2019 Conference, “Weapons of Mass Pollution: Health, Hazards, and the British Environment, 1850-1950” (April 13, 2019).
Beckman Center Fellowship Committee, Philadelphia, PA. Spring 2022.
- Consultant, Visions of the Arctic: Entanglements, Paradoxes, and Conflict Lines, Univ. of Bergen, Norway (Proposed Centre of Excellence).
Internal Research Grants and Fellowships
- Center for Pedagogical Innovation Grant from the Davis Foundation to develop a project-based course at Wesleyan. Funds used to cover expenses for Rosie Dawson, Senior Producer of BBC 4 Radio, to run a week of workshops focused on training undergraduates in HIST 262 “Environmental History and Visual Studies” how to write and present their research on WESU student radio (March 28–April 6, 2017).
- Wesleyan Project Grant awarded for article-related research in Liverpool and Manchester, England for “Science Against Industry,” a study of the visual culture of 19th century air and river pollution reform (Summer 2015).
- Creative Campus Initiative, Andrew W. Mellon-funded Wesleyan grant awarded for designing a curricular module including an artist for “Victorian Environmentalism” (Spring 2015).
- Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-supported “Arts Across the Curriculum Grant,” awarded by Wesleyan’s Center for the Arts for collaboration with an artist in the development of a new course, “Picturing Environmental Damage: Visual Media, Investigation and Reform from the Industrial Revolution to the 1960s” (Spring 2015).
- Faculty Fellow, College of the Environment, Wesleyan University (2014–15).
- Wesleyan Project Grant for book research in the UK ($2000), 2013.
Campus and Departmental Talks
- “Collecting the Future: Photography, Waste, and the Second Industrial Revolution,“ Center for the Humanities (Nov. 11, 2019).
- Chair, Discussion of “Containment,” film screening and public lecture by Professor Peter Galison, co-sponsored by History, College of Environment, Science in Society Program and Center for Fine Arts (March 1, 2017).
- Faculty Moderator, symposium on “Risk,” a day-long interdisciplinary critique to exchange ideas and methods between students and faculty across the curriculum and serve as a platform for juniors to develop senior research topics (May 2, 2015).
- Presenter, “Seeing a Bigger Picture: Integrating British Environmental History and Visual Studies,” College of Social Sciences (October 3, 2014).
Undergraduate Courses Taught at Wesleyan
College of the Environment
- Instructor, Group Research Tutorial in Industrial Revolution and Environmental Law (2018).