Assistant Professor, American Studies
312 Stager Hall
Franklin & Marshall College
Lancaster, PA 17604-3003
I arrived at Franklin and Marshall in 2001, after teaching in Canberra, Australia for 5 years. I teach classes in American cultural history, contemporary popular culture and women's studies. My research explores the history of American popular culture, with particular focus on social groups struggle for equal access to theatrical space and to what they consider favorable representation on stage and screen. My book, Rank Ladies: Gender and Cultural Hierarchy in American Vaudeville (University of North Carolina Press) was published in 1999.
My current research project is Paddy, Shylock and Sambo: Irish, Jewish and African American Protests against Mass Culture, 1890-1930. It explores how racial and ethnic groups rose up against stereotypes of themselves. These groups often advocated race-based censorship (or what we refer to as hate speech codes today). This work has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Students in my senior seminar in American Studies have produced two collaborative research projects about popular entertainment in Lancaster. The first was an exploration of racial division in the audience and the racial representation on stage a the Fulton Opera House; the second was an examination of the 100-year history of Lancaster's now-defunct amusement park, Rocky Springs. In the 1960s F&M professors and alumni were involved in the legal campaign to desegregate the swimming pool at this park.
I live with my husband, two children and cocker spaniel in Hamilton Park, just a few minutes from campus.