Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of Alabama
Website URL
early America, Native American studies, colonialism, violence, tattooing, history of the body, constructions of race, representations of Native Americans in literature and pop culture
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I specialize in early American and Native history, with particular focus on the history of the body and cross-cultural engagements. I’m also interested in the role of narrative and memory-making in colonial projects (as well as in Indigenous resistance to those projects).

I earned my BA from Swarthmore College and my PhD from New York University. Prior to joining the Department of American Studies at the University of Alabama, I held a pre-doctoral fellowship at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. My recent book Under the Skin (Penn Press, 2022) explores how cross-cultural body modifications in early America not only remade individuals’ physical appearances, but altered their ideas about cultural and racial identity. Focusing on Indigenous practices of tattooing and scalping, the book traces how these practices were adopted and transformed by colonial powers.

Recent Publications


Under the Skin: Tattoos, Scalps, and the Contested Language of Bodies in Early America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2022)

Articles and Book Chapters

“‘Pownced, Pricked, or Paynted’: English Ideas of Tattooing as Indigenous Literacy,” in Stigma: Marks on Skin in the Early Modern World, eds. Katherine Dauge-Roth and Craig Koslofsky

“‘We are all savages’: Scalping in The Revenant,” Common-place: The Journal of Early American Life (December 2016).

“Indelible Ink: The Deep History of Tattoo Removal,” The Appendix: A Journal of Narrative and Experimental History, vol. 1, no. 4 (October 2013), 47-52. Reprinted online by The Atlantic.

“Buried in Plain Sight: Indian ‘Curiosities’ in Du Simitière’s American Museum,” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, vol. 136, no. 4 (October 2012), 499-502.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
North America and U.S.
Expertise by Geography
Atlantic, North America, United States
Expertise by Chronology
17th century, 18th century, 19th century, Early Modern
Expertise by Topic
Colonialism, Gender, Indigenous Peoples, Race