Playing Catch-Up

The New Year brought with it a new job.  I'm now Curator of History at the Michigan State University Museum.  Two months into the job, and I'm already planning several exhibitions while familiarizing myself with the extensive collection.  Total immersion:  it's the only way! I was able to publish several articles despite a lengthy daily… Continue reading Playing Catch-Up


Mad as a Hatter: The Danbury Shakes

Here's my essay, for, on the problem of mercury poisoning among hatters in Danbury, Connecticut: The Danbury Hatters case (Loewe v. Lawlor, 1908) was a staple in high school and college U.S. history textbooks throughout the twentieth century. But fewer and fewer college history textbooks including this landmark case. More's the pity, given… Continue reading Mad as a Hatter: The Danbury Shakes

Globalization and Material Culture Studies

How to engage students in the study of their material lives and the consequences of their choices, from The Chronicle of Higher Education: "Anthropology Course Explores the Life Cycle of, Say, Your Pen" What I find interesting is that  we use "life" and "lifespan" to refer to an object's usefulness. Arjun Appadurai discusses the "social"… Continue reading Globalization and Material Culture Studies