Participant Info

First Name
Kasey
Last Name
Sease
Affiliation
DEA Museum / DC History Center / Smithsonian Institution Archives (Institutional History Program)
Website URL
Keywords
Modern United States, American Capitalism, History of Science, History of Technology, Public Science Education, STEM, Women in Science, Class and Education, Science and Race, Museums and Displays, Virginia History, Revolutionary America, Loyalists, Intellectual History
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

Photo
About Me

Kasey Sease is the Historian and Writer at the DEA Museum in Arlington, Virginia, and the Managing Editor of Washington History magazine, the DC History Center’s flagship publication. She is also a Research Associate with the Institutional History Program of the Smithsonian Institution Archives. She draws from her wide-ranging interests and experiences to tell inclusive stories that engage new audiences and keep them coming back for more. She serves as a resource for the public, scholars, fellow writers, and her neighbors in and around Washington, DC, who seek to share their insights about the past and affect meaningful change.

Primarily she studies the history of science and medicine; the intersection of American capitalism and public science education, especially in museums; and federal institutions and agencies in the United States, like DEA. However, she also enjoys exploring Washington, DC’s local history; the loyalist diaspora following the American Revolution; and Virginia’s political and intellectual history from colony to statehood. Kasey received her PhD in history from the College of William & Mary in 2021. Her dissertation, “Marketing Agencies for Science: Nonprofits, Public Science Education, and Capitalism in Modern America,” compares the activities of public-serving, not-for-profit organizations, like the Smithsonian Institution and the Science Museum of Virginia, across nearly 200 years. When considered together, the case studies reveal common trends in, and unique transformations to, the ways that Americans teach each other about science. Her master’s thesis, completed at the College in 2015, probed the relationship between property, status, and identity formation in colonial Virginia.

At William & Mary, Kasey served as an editorial apprentice, fellow, and freelancer with the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture. The Virginia Academy of Science also selected her to write a history of the Science Museum of Virginia. This online, open-access project propelled her scholarly focus into the modern United States. Kasey completed a predoctoral fellowship with the Smithsonian Institution Archives and the National Museum of American History; wrote the final chapters of her dissertation as a Michael Halleran Dissertation Completion Fellow; and received department awards and honors, including the Ed Carpol Award in Modern U.S. History and the John E. Selby Teaching Prize.

Before graduate school, Kasey received her BA in history and government from the University of Virginia in 2014. She graduated with highest honors from the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics Distinguished Majors Program as an Echols Scholar and member of Phi Beta Kappa. Her history thesis, “Provincial Influences on Loyalist Writings,” was the Humanities Division Winner at the 2014 Undergraduate Research Network Symposium at UVA and was published in the Michigan Journal of History. Her distinguished majors thesis, “John C. Calhoun and Majority Tyranny: An Exploration of a Theoretical Problem in American Politics,” was nominated for the Emmerich-Wright Prize for outstanding politics thesis in 2014. Kasey enjoys exploring her broad research interests in various settings and, since high school, has interned for several institutions, such as the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, VA, the University of Virginia Center for Politics, and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Recent Publications

Journal Articles and Essays

“Innovating Nightmares: Ray Bradbury’s Elliott Family and the Horror of Technology in Modern American Capitalism.” Exploring the Horror of Supernatural Fiction: Ray Bradbury’s Elliott Family. Eds. Miranda Corcoran and Steven Ellerhoff (New York: Routledge, 2020).

“‘The Practical Value of Science’: Philanthropy, Capitalism, and the Origin of Public Science Education in the Nineteenth-Century United States.” Journal of Philosophy and History of Education 69 (2019): 73-91.

Book Reviews

“Cutting through All the Signal: A Review of Damon Krukowski’s The New Analog.” H-Podcast, H-Net Reviews. October 21, 2019.

“Learning to Love Science: Rebecca Onion’s Innocent Experiments and the History of an American Cultural Tradition.” Nursing Clio Blog. December 27, 2016.

Selected Blog Posts

“Depression-Era Pen Pals: A Correspondence Between Two Hard-Working Women.” The Bigger Picture (Smithsonian Institution Archives Blog). January 7, 2020.

“Fishing for Collections at the U.S. National Museum.” The Bigger Picture (Smithsonian Institution Archives Blog). December 10, 2019.

“Paper Archives in a Digital World: Researching at the American Association for the Advancement of Science Headquarters.” SuRGe Blog. March 25, 2019.

“Prologue to Glory: Abraham Lincoln in the 1930s.” Civil War Connections: The Mariners’ Museum Sesquicentennial Blog. June 7, 2012.

 

Media Coverage
William & Mary news profile on predoctoral research fellowship with the Smithsonian Institution: https://www.wm.edu/news/stories/2019/the-venerable,-educational-smithsonian-institution-feejee-mermaids-need-not-apply.php
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
18th century, 19th century, Modern, 20th century, 21st century
Expertise by Topic
American Revolution, American Founding Era, Capitalism, Economic History, Gender, Government, Higher Ed, Museums, Public History, Race, Science, Technology