Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Rochester Institute of Technology
Website URL
monuments, memorials, museums, public history, history of museums, collections, Kentucky history, Kentucky culture, Enid Yandell, women sculptors, AR, VR, storytelling, museum exhibits
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I am an associate professor of museum studies in the college of liberal arts at RIT. My research is anchored in three areas.

I am interested in excavating and critiquing histories and functions of museums, primarily in the U.S., as part of the process of understanding constructions of knowledge via museums—specifically cabinets of curiosity, museum computing, and museum tech.

A second trajectory is monuments, memorials, and public memory in the U.S., which is related to my acute studies of singular monuments, for instance, the Confederate Monument (formerly in Louisville, KY) and the representation and identity laid bare through monuments and memorials in public spaces throughout the U.S. This research and scholarship are based in my position as Conservation Program Manager for the city of Cleveland from 1998-2002 and my early professional work in public art and public sculpture as part of public history practice. Combining theory and praxis, this facet of research led me to investigate particular sites throughout Kentucky and, specifically, the life and work of Enid Yandell (1869-1934) who was commissioned to create the monument to Kentucky’s Civil War dead in Louisville in 1894. With this subject of monuments, memorials, and public memory, I also take the macro view, developing a typology of monuments and memorials and launching a crowdsourced initiative to document monuments and memorials in the U.S.

Third, I research, develop, and apply museum technologies to visitor experiences, particularly related to authenticity, museum interpretation, and visitor engagement. For this, I am currently collaborating with an interdisciplinary team to utilize AR/VR as lenses for authenticity and enhanced experiences.

In addition, I have  curated exhibitions focusing on visual arts, material culture, and public history and has served as a consultant to public art projects and programs in the US. I co-curated an exhibition focusing on fiber arts and democracy in 2019 which traveled to five venues in 2019-2020.

I earned my Ph.D. from the joint program in art history and museum studies at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Recent Publications

I serve as editor of the peer reviewed journal Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals (SAGE) and the four-volume series Innovative Approaches for Museums (2015, Rowman & Littlefield). Recent publications include my revision of Museums in Motion: An Introduction to the History and Functions of Museums (2017); a biography of Kentucky sculptor, Enid Yandell: Kentucky’s Pioneer Sculptor (2019, University Press of Kentucky); and the exhibition catalogue Crafting Democracy: Fiber Arts and Activism (2019, RIT Press).

I am currently working on an edited volume focused on monuments and memorials in the age of #TakeItDown. I am also preparing a manuscript on Kentucky monuments and memorials.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
United States, US
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
19th century, 20th century
Expertise by Topic
Material Culture, Museums, Public History