My work is driven by two guiding questions: How have histories of the past created the contemporary world we live in? And what lessons can we learn from history to build a more peaceful and just future? By thinking and caring deeply about our shared past, we become empowered to make sense of our everyday lives and chart a path toward our unwritten future. History, for me, is our north star: through history we can learn how to navigate the stormy waters that surround us.
I am drawn to histories that are hidden in plain sight and histories that are made by those who have been forgotten, erased, or ignored: women of color; queer, trans, and nonbinary people; and poor people. My first book, The Streets Belong to Us: Sex, Race, and Police Power from Segregation to Gentrification
, is a history of sexual policing between Prohibition and the rise of broken windows policing in the 1980s. My second project, Going Ballistic: Feminism and Guns Since the 1970s,
traces the genealogy of women’s gun politics from the armed feminist Left to the Second Amendment mobilization that shapes contemporary debates over the meaning of violence, self-defense, and armed protection in the U.S.
In my classroom, I hope to kindle a sense of the excitement and relevance of historical work. I encourage students to seek out hidden histories and to ask how they connect to contemporary events and conditions. Practicing historical curiosity does not just enrich our everyday lives; students will also develop a toolkit of critical methods of inquiry and communication that is readily transferable from the classroom to their future careers.
I am committed to engaged mentorship. I strive to cultivate a sense of institutional and intellectual belonging so that students feel empowered to claim their identities as both responsible scholars of the present and engaged historical actors of the future. You are always welcome to visit me during office hours, or email me to make an appointment.
I'm originally from Los Angeles. Before joining the faculty at UT Dallas, I taught at Indiana University. When I'm not working, I love to read and take my dog for long walks around White Rock Lake.