Research interests

  • Commemorative behavior, culture-led redevelopment, food and farm heritage, museums, myth and ritual, public humanities, tourism

Teaching and consulting

  • 2004-present – Senior Lecturer, Anthropology Department, Tufts University
  • 1998-2016 – Consultant, Northeast Region Ethnography Program, US National Park Service
  • 2001-2012 – Affiliate Faculty, BA in Liberal Studies/Union Institute & University

Selected publications, reports, and conference papers

  • “Reenactment: Performing the Past” in Seth C. Bruggeman, ed., Commemoration: The American Association of State and Local History Guide (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017)
  • “A Place of Quiet Adventure: An Ethnographic Study of the Peddocks Island Cottages” (for Boston Harbor Islands National Park Area/National Park Service/Northeast Region Ethnography Program, forthcoming)
  • with Michelle Moon, Public History and the Food Movement: Adding the Missing Ingredient (Routledge, 2017)
  • A Quabbin Farm Album (Haley’s)
  • “Keeping ‘the Industrial’: New Solidarities in Post-industrial Places” in The Deindustrialized World: Confronting Ruination in Postindustrial Places, Steven High, Lachlan MacKinnon and Andrew Perchard, eds. (University of British Columbia Press, 2017)
  • “Between Pastness and Presentism: Public History and the Local Food Movement” in The Oxford Handbook of Public History, James Gardner and Paula Hamilton, eds. (Oxford University Press, 2017)
  • “This Land is Your Land: Parks and Public Spaces,” digital project review, The Public Historian, Vol 38, No 4 (November 2016), 324-26
  • More Than Just Inclusion: Race, Memory, and Twenty-First Century Cultural Industries,” review essay, American Quarterly, Vol 68, No 3 (September 2016), pp 815-22
  • with Denise D. Meringolo, ““Monuments, Memorials, and Politics” entry in Encyclopedia of American Political Culture (ABC-Clio, 2015)
  • with Michelle Moon, “The First Course: A Case for Locating Public History within ‘The Food Movement,’” The Public Historian, Vol 36, No 3 (August 2014), pp 109-29
  • “Deep Roots or Youthful Indiscretion? Locating Activism within Public History,” keynote address, “From Engagement to Activism: Public History as Civic Responsibility” conference, North Carolina State University, April 2014
  • Editor, “Public History in a Changing Climate,” digital publication of the National Council on Public History, March 2014
  • “Why We Need ‘the Industrial’: Toward a Broader Perspective on Resistance in Postindustrial Places,” keynote address, “Deindustrialization and Its Aftermath: Class, Culture and Resistance international conference, Concordia University, Montréal, May 2014
  • “How Can Civil War Sites Offer a Usable Past during a Time of War?” Keynote address, The Future of Civil War History: Looking Beyond the 150th conference, Gettysburg, PA, March 2013
  • “From Sustenance to Relevance: Reinterpreting Food, Place, and Local History” panel, American Association for State and Local History conference (October 2012)
  • Plant Yourself in My Neighborhood”: An Ethnographic Landscape Study of Farming and Farmers in Columbia County, New York (for Martin Van Buren National Historic Site/National Park Service/Northeast Region Ethnography Program, 2012)
  • Review of Enacting History, Scott Magelseen and Rhona Justice-Malloy, eds., Journal of American History, Vol 99, No 3 (Dec 2012), pp 884-5
  • Re-Occupying Plimoth,” Plenary session remarks, New England American Studies Association conference, Plymouth, MA (November 2011)
  • Review of “Tangible Things” exhibit, Journal of American History (December 2011)
  • “When Polonia met Americana: Polish Americans in Salem, Massachusetts,” Polish American Historical Association/American Historical Association conference, Boston, MA (Jan. 2010)
  • Review of Edward Slavishak, Bodies of Work: Civic Display and Labor in Industrial Pittsburgh, Anthropology of Work Review, Vol 31 No. 2 (Fall 2010)
  • Review of John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, The Public Historian, Vol 31, No 4 (Fall 2009)
  • Review of Andrew Dolkart, Biography of a Tenement House in New York City: An Architectural History of 97 Orchard Street for H-Urban (August 2009)
  • with Jane Becker, “In the Heart of Polish Salem: An Ethnohistorical Study of St. Joseph Hall and Its Neighborhood.” Special Ethnographic Study produced for Northeast Ethnography Program, National Park Service and Salem Maritime National Historic Site
  • “Driven to the Past: History in a Changing Climate,” Keynote address, Mass.History conference “With Power for All: Energy and Social Change in Massachusetts” (June 2009)
  • “The Past as a Public Good: The U.S. National Park Service and ‘Cultural Repair’ in Postindustrial Places” in People and Their Pasts: Public History Today, Hilda Kean and Paul Ashton, eds. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008)
  • Performing the Postindustrial: The Limits of Radical History in Lowell, Massachusetts,” Radical History Review Vol 98 (Spring 2007)
  • The Lowell Experiment: Public History in a Postindustrial City (University of Massachusetts Press, 2006)
  • with Myrna Breitbart, “Touring Templates: Cultural Workers and Regeneration in Small New England Cities.” In Tourism, Culture and Regeneration, Melanie K. Smith, ed. (CAB International, 2006)
  • Cultures in Flux: New Approaches to ‘Traditional Association’ at Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site.” Ethnographic Overview and Assessement produced for Northeast Ethnography Program, National Park Service.
  • Serving Up Culture: Heritage and its Discontents at an Industrial History Site,” International Journal of Heritage Studies, Vol 11, Dec 2005
  • Outside the Frame: Assessing Partnerships between Arts and Historical Institutions,” The Public Historian, winter 2005
  • with Stephen Belyea, “‘Their Time Will Yet Come’: The African American Presence in Civil War Reenactment” in Hope and Glory: Essays on the Legacy of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, Martin Blatt, Tom Brown, Donald Yacovone, eds. (University of Massachusetts Press, 2001)
  • “Historians and the Web,” review essay, The Public Historian Vol 23, No1 (2001), pp 119-25
  • “Battle Road 2000,” review article, Journal of American History Vol 87, No 3 (2000), pp 992-5


  • “Teaching with Technology” award, Tufts University, 2013
  • Excellence in Consulting Award from the National Council on Public History for “Plant Yourself in My Neighborhood: An Ethnographic Landscape Study of Farming and Farmers in Columbia County, New York (2013)
  • National Council on Public History book award for The Lowell Experiment: Public History in a Postindustrial City (2007)
  • Honorable mention, Alliance for Community Media, for documentary video “An Evening with Howard Zinn,” 2004
  • Graduate student paper award, Northeastern Anthropological Association, 2003
  • Finalist, Judge’s Special Merit Award, Alliance for Community Media, for documentary video “Music for the People: The Life and Times of the Orange Community Band,” 1998