I have long been fascinated with the past – both for its own sake and for the often unexpected ways it shapes contemporary societies, institutions, cityscapes, and even ways of thinking and seeing the world. However it was another, ultimately complementary interest that animated my initial studies at college: international relations.
I began my university education at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service analyzing the diversity of different societies and the complex ways in which they interact. While deeply interested in a variety of humanistic and social science methodologies, I nonetheless found myself repeatedly explaining international processes and situations with reference to the past. It was a trend reinforced by a year studying at St. Peter’s College of the University of Oxford and two years working as a healthcare best practice researcher and consultant in the private sector.
I thus enrolled in the joint MA/PhD program in history at the University of Chicago. After broad studies (and examinations) in the fields of Western European, Central European, and African history, I specialized in the study of colonialism and migration in the western Mediterranean, under the direction of Prof. Leora Auslander. My master’s thesis examined how tourist guide books in French North Africa in the early-twentieth century taught readers and tourists a particular vision of race and French colonialism. My doctoral dissertation, in contrast, examined migration in France and the western Mediterranean during the approximately thirty years between the resumption of wide-scale migration after World War II and the moratoriums on migration at the time of the First Oil Crisis. It was precisely during this time of unprecedented economic growth, failed imperial reforms followed by decolonization, and European integration that migrants and policymakers from across the Mediterranean Basin established the policies and discourses that make migration one of the most contentious issues in Europe today. I remain thankful not only for the advice and encouragement of numerous mentors and friends in making this research possible, but also to the Mellon Foundation, the Tinker Foundation, Spain’s Ministry of Culture, and the Institut des Etudes Politiques-Paris (better known as Sciences Po), where I spent a productive year researching and teaching as a visiting doctoral fellow.
During my time in Chicago, I also discovered my joy in teaching, first as a teaching assistant and a teaching intern, and later as an instructor. Over the years, I have been privileged to teach undergraduate and/or graduate students at four different universities, but have always learned tremendously from all my students and from all these experiences.
After completing my degree in Chicago, I was awarded a Max Weber Fellowship at the European University Institute in Florence, where I collaborated with scholars in other disciplines on issues of migration and citizenship. In the summer of 2015, I was appointed Instructor of Modern and Contemporary European History at the University of Colorado Denver. Since that time, I have also accepted a co-appointment as Instructor of International Studies.
In addition to teaching at CU Denver, I continue to pursue my active research agenda. I am also seeking ways to “translate” my research across time periods and disciplines, speaking about the relevance of historical study to contemporary issues, not least of which is the current migration crisis in Europe.
Outside of the university, I am passionate about classical music and the visual arts, but also enjoy a walk in the Rocky Mountains or a Saturday afternoon baseball game. From my research and professional life, I maintain a deep interest in issues of health care and migration policy. Over the years, I have also been fortunate to have lived in several countries and take from these experiences a commitment to enhancing international studies and international opportunities for students.