Bio

I received my Ph.D. in 2005 from Louisiana State University and hold an M.A. from the University of Toronto and a B.A. from Indiana University.  My teaching field covers European history from the Renaissance up through the French Revolution–the era of Early Modern Europe.  My research encompasses a much more focused era: the late-eighteenth century Enlightenment as it spread to Vienna, the capital of the Habsburg Monarchy.  Over ten years Vienna witnessed intensive publishing and associational activity as the emperor Joseph II instituted extensive reforms freeing censorship, restricting the power of the Catholic Church, tolerating other religions, and rationalizing the monarchy.  The opportunity for reform and the excitement over freedom of expression generated an enthusiastic response as intellectuals joined in pamphlet debates about reforms, embraced freemasonry as a means to create improving intellectual sociability, and advocated the social responsibility of the intellectual to work towards the improvement of society, state, and the intellectual culture of the city of Vienna.  During the 2013-2014 academic year, I will be on sabbatical working on a narrative retelling of the challenges encountered by a botanical expedition that left Central Europe for North America in 1783.

 

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