Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of Cambridge
Website URL
media history, newspapers, popular culture, United States history, American history, Chicago, New York, Milwaukee, urban history
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I am a social and cultural historian of the United States, with particular interests in media, urban history, and popular culture.  Born and raised in California, I am now a lecturer at the University of Cambridge.

My book, Newsprint Metropolis: City Papers and the Making of Modern Americans (University of Chicago Press, 2017) is a history of mainstream daily newspapers and the cities they served.  This history looks beyond newspapers’ front pages to much-loved features such as the sports page, the metropolitan section, the Sunday magazine, and the comic strips.  As these features commercialized the news, they also drew in new audiences, including women, immigrants, and working-class readers.  I show that newspapers did not just report on cities, but truly helped to build them by hosting marketplaces, waging civic campaigns, and teaching readers new urban habits.  In other words: cities made newspapers, but newspapers also made cities.

While I am interested in urban history across the U.S., my newspaper research has brought me deeply into the histories of New York, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia.  As a graduate student, I got to know New York City history in a different dimension when leading tours of the Lower East Side and the Brooklyn Bridge for Big Onion walking tours.

I continue to write on the history of media in the U.S.; I am working on an article on the women’s pages in turn-of-the-century newspapers, and I am researching the history of the Hearst newspaper chain.  I have also written on the history of childhood in the American city.

Recent Publications

Newsprint Metropolis: City Papers and the Making of Modern Americans (University of Chicago Press, 2017)

“Progressive Political Culture and the Widening Scope of Local Newspapers, 1880-1930” in Media Nation: The Political History of News in Modern America, ed. Bruce J. Schulman and Julian E. Zelizer (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017)

“Popular Culture” in A Companion to the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, ed. Christopher McKnight Nichols and Nancy Unger (Wiley-Blackwell, 2017)

“Changing Strategies for Child Welfare, Enduring Beliefs About Childhood: The Fresh Air Fund, 1877-1926,” Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, Vol. 11, No. 1 (January 2012): 27-70.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
19th century, 20th century
Expertise by Topic
Book History, Capitalism, Gender, Urban History, Women