I am a historian of the modern United States, with a focus on the relationship between religion and politics. My dissertation, "Garden of the Gods: Colorado Springs and the Origins of the Culture Wars," explores this relationship through a close study of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Colorado Springs was the capital city of the culture wars of the 1980s and '90s. Home to dozens of evangelical Christian ministries, including the enormously influential Focus on the Family, the city was nicknamed "The Evangelical Vatican" for its significance to the Christian Right. My dissertation explores the economic factors that drew Christian organizations to Colorado Springs and the political factors that made the city so influential. But it also demonstrates the limits to the Christian Right's power, limits evident even in the movement's ostensible capital.
At Princeton, I have taught courses on United States history from 1920 to 1974 and from 1974 to the present, as well as on gender and sexuality in modern America. I have also served as a fellow at Princeton's Writing Center. My research has been supported by the Center for the Study of Religion, the Center for History and Economics at Harvard, the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies, and the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals
Before coming to Princeton I earned my B.A. in History and Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.