Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Penn State Harrisburg
Website URL
Needlework, antislavery textiles, suffrage, material culture, gender history, abolitionist movement, property, first wave, race, gender, craftivism
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I am Assistant Professor of American Studies & Public Heritage at Penn State Harrisburg, where I teach courses in material culture, public history, museum studies, American art history, visual culture, and US women’s and gender history. My scholarship examines the political uses and resonances of American women’s decorative needlework in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. I research core themes of the developing women’s movement in the United States from 1820 to 1920—the abolition of slavery, women’s property ownership, education, political identity, and the franchise—through a textile lens. I read the stitch as a key medium through which women visually and materially articulated their relationship to these concerns.

Bringing a particular attention to the racialized construction of idealized femininity, I focus on the intimate entanglements between white supremacy, colonialism, nativism, and white women’s work to materialize their own authority through textiles.  My research recaptures the significant contributions that needleworkers made to women’s cultural and political activism and reconsiders gender itself as a crafted form, materially produced in the repetition of the stitch.

Recent Publications

Nursing Clio, The Little Suffragist Doll: Cotton, White Supremacy, and Sweet Little Dolls 

Material Culture Review, Materiality, Affect, and the Archive: The Possibility of Feminist Nostalgia in Contemporary Handkerchief Embroidery

Winterthur Portfolio, May the points of our needles prick”: Antislavery Needlework and the Cultivation of the Abolitionist Self


Media Coverage
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
19th century, 20th century
Expertise by Topic
Art & Architectural History, Gender, Material Culture, Race, Slavery, Women