I’m in the third year of my PhD at Columbia University. I am a historian of modern Britain. My dissertation is about how educators, researchers, administrators, and donors—along with the odd student or two—constructed university communities in the hundred years or so before the 1944 Butler Education Act. I wrote an article about the early theorist of male homosexuality John Addington Symonds, and maintain an active research interest in the history of sexuality, particularly male homosexuality since its inception as an identity category. I have taught modern British history and intellectual history, advised undergraduate thesis research, and generally cared deeply about the Youth of Today. I am equally excited about university communities, gender and sexuality, liberal subjectivities, and personal relationships in the present day. I’m a good cook, an adequate amateur musician, the most I’ve walked in a day is 22 miles, I have an inexplicable attachment to the Church of England, and I mostly live in the past, against my better judgment.
I began to keep this blog in the spring semester of my first year of university, and since then I have erratically posted long personal essays about what I’m doing with my life. To a reader, they might often seem unnecessarily self-absorbed. But I think there’s a certain value to thinking through in the public sphere one’s reasons for living as one does, and that many of us don’t acknowledge as much as we perhaps should how much of the human condition is irrational and emotional, and how much of our supposedly dispassionate academic work comes from something impulsive and vulnerable within us. If this blog is about anything, it’s about why the communitarian and self-bettering ideals of liberal-arts education matter, what they have taught me about myself, and why I believe enough in their social good to occupy my life with doing what I can to help them endure and flourish.
Comments, questions, criticisms, corrections, greetings, or queries about B-list Victorians? Contact me.