Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
State University of New York at Fredonia
Website URL
US cultural history, domestic gift giving, material culture, consumer culture, Gilded Age/Progressive Era, American public holidays
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I am a professor of history and coordinator of museum studies at the State University of New York at Fredonia. I have also been a Fulbright Scholar in Hungary. I serve as co-editor of the new H-Net sponsored online Journal of Festive Studies (with the inaugural issue planned for November 2018). I teach courses on American cultural history, American holidays, research methods, public history, and digital humanities.

My research interests center on cultural rituals, particularly those related to holidays and festive occasions. My publications include America’s Public Holidays 1865-1920 (2000) and articles on American holidays and gift giving. My current research project is a cultural history of gift giving in the United States.

Recent Publications
  • “Defining the Gift: From Emerson to the Gift Registry.” Americana E-Journal of American Studies in Hungary 11 (Fall 2015),
  • “’Liberty Regulated by Law’: Civic Instruction on the George Washington Inaugural Centennial in Chicago.” In Commemoration in America: Essays on Monuments, Memorialization, and Memory, ed. David W. Gobel and E. G. Daves Rossell, 114-129. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013.
  • “George’s Story: Dolls and the Material Culture of Christmas.” Object Lessons. Common-place 12:3 (April 2012),
  • “From the ‘ornamental and evanescent’ to ‘good, useful things’: Redesigning the Gift in Progressive America.” Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 10 (October 2011): 467-505.
Media Coverage
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
19th century, 20th century
Expertise by Topic