A critical analysis of the intersection of material culture theory and disability.
Ph.D. American History, Temple University, 1991
M.A. American History, Temple University, 1990
B.U.S. Media Studies and Mass Communication, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, 1976
History of the body, disability, ethnic and folk medicine, integrative and alternative medicine, ophthalmology, plastic surgery and dermatology, medical technology, prosthetics and rehabilitation, sexuality, visual and material culture, ephemera.
Tweeting @: https://twitter.com/amhistcurator
Associate Professorial Lecturer of American Studies, The George Washington University, 2007-present
Understanding Material Culture: a Primer in Material Literacy;book project under contract with Routledge, Taylor and Francis, Publishers. This introduction to working with material culture describes the basic qualities of objects.
Research and exhibition project on the history and culture of skin in the United States
Research project on the history of hematology
Research on aspects of the history of disability, universal design, prosthetics, medical technology and the body, and the visual culture of medicine
“EveryBody: an Artifact History of Disability in America,” project director and lead curator, online exhibition, launched June 2013. http://www.everybody.si.edu
"The Tooth Fairy File," 2013.
"30 Years of HIV-AIDS," project director and co-curator, exhibition and web site, June-December 2011. http://americanhistory.si.edu/exhibitions/hiv-and-aids-thirty-years-ago
“Inventing Ourselves,” co-curator, exhibition and web site, 2004-2005.
“Whatever Happened to Polio?” project director and curator, exhibition and web site, 2003–2006. www.americanhistory.si.edu/polio
"Acupuncture: A Transnational Tale of Medical History," project direrctor and curator, exhibition, 2002–2003.
Smithsonian's installation of Gallaudet traveling exhibition "History Through Deaf Eyes," liaison, Arts and Industries Building, May–September 2002.
“The Disability Rights Movement,” project director and curator, exhibition and web site, 2000–2001. www.americanhistory.si.edu/disabilityrights
“About Faces: The Post-War Boom in Craniofacial Knowledge,” co-curator, exhibition, 1997–1998.
- American Association for the History of Medicine
- American Association for State and Local History
- American Historical Association
- American Studies Association
- National Council on Public History
- Organization of American Historians; Committee on Public History (2013-2017)
- Society for Disability Studies
Describes interdisciplinary ways of analyzing and comprending prosthetics.
Explains how understanding the history of the tank respirator, or iron lung, relates to its interpretation in a museum exhibit.
Analysis of the role of models in understanding the body, using three different medical objects.
A discussion of the politics and implications of disability content in exhibitions.
Analyzes the relationship of the graphic representations of the dermatological conditions of scabies and favus (ringworm) to the beginning of professional public health work.
A collection of essays examining the origins and different uses of scrapbooks through analysis of a variety of albums. Winner of the Allen G. Noble Book Award for best edited volume on material culture.
Examines the role of scrapbooks in the lives of physicians and nurses.
An overview of the antecedents to scrapbooks and analysis of different ways of using them as primary sources.
An overview of the influence of the military on the development and use of prosthetics.
A special issue of the journal that explores the intersection of disability studies and public history.
An overview of the evolution of understanding of prosthetics.
Examines development of the making of artificial eyes in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including discussion of techniques, materials, training of the makers, and the internal politics of eye-making.
A collection of essays examining aspects of the history of prosthetics, such as Civil War soldiers’ petitions for limbs, the Jaipur foot, and the artificial hip.
Nominated for the Longman-History Today Book of the Year Award.
By examining the technologies used to diagnose and treat tuberculosis, this book explains how the material culture of medicine influences the conceptualization of a disease as much as the medical textbook definitions.