curriculum vitae

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Assistant Professor of History, Brown University, Providence, RI (2012- )

Junior Fellow, Harvard Society of Fellows, Cambridge, MA (2009-10, 2011-3)

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital History, Department of History, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL (2008-9, 2010-1)


PhD History, University of California, Berkeley, 2004-2008.  Dissertation: The Road to Rule: The expansion of the British road network, 140-1850.  Primary field: British History, 1688-1950.  Secondary fields: Urban History, Architecture. Advisor: Professor James Vernon, British History.

PhD Architecture, University of California, Berkeley, 2002-2003.  Secondary fields: History, Anthropology (incomplete; transferred to History)

MLitt Historical Geography, Trinity College, Cambridge 2001-2002 (deferred)

AB Literature, Magna cum Laude, Harvard College, 1996-2000.  GPA: 3.83.  Phi Beta Kappa.  Thesis director: Gregory Nagy, Francis Jones Professor of Greek Literature.


Selected Awards and Honors

Brown India Initiative Grant (2013)

Google Summer of Code Grant, Berkman Center/Metalab, Harvard University (Summer 2012)

William F. Milton Fund, Harvard University, 2012  

Fellow, Harvard Metalab, 2012-3

Short-term Fellowship, Huntington Library, January 2009

University DNT Fellowship, 2007-2008.  Departmental fellowship, 2006-2007

Anglo-California Dissertation Research Fellowship from the Center for British Studies, UC Berkeley and Pembroke College, Cambridge, 2005

Fellow, Paul Mellon Centre for British Art, 2005

Fellow, Yale Center for British Art, 2005

Fellow, Institute for Humane Studies, 2004-2008

Fellow, Center for Landscape at Dumbarton Oaks, Harvard University, 2004

John Scholes Prize for Best Essay in Transportation History, 2004

Kostof Fellowship in Architectural History at Berkeley, 2002-2003

Gates Fellowship at Cambridge, 2001-2002

Eben Fiske Fellowship at Trinity College, 2001-2002


Selected Publications

Paper Machines: Visualize Thousands of Texts With a Click of a Button (Software/Webpage, coauthored with Christopher Johnson-Roberson, 2013)

Roads to Power: Britain Invents the Infrastructure State (Harvard University Press, 2012).

“Methods for Landscape History," chapter, Simon Gunn, ed,  New Methodologies in History (New York: Columbia University Press, 2011)

"Words for Walking: Digital Search, Strolling and Lounging in London, 1800-1840," Journal of Modern History, forthcoming,

Working Paper, “The Origins of Expert Rule: British Liberalism, the Engineer, and the Local Poor, 1808-1850,” 2007 Breslauer Graduate Student Symposium, UC Berkeley.

“A Map of the Virtual Territory: Individual and society in the 21st century,” chapter in Wikiklesia: Voices of the Virtual World (Lulu, 2007),, winner of the Award of Merit from the Society for New Communications Research.

“The Uses of Planning and the Decay of Strategy,” Contemporary Security Policy, 27:2 (April 2006), pp. 239-286. (lead article)

“Chaos Creation and Crowd Control: Models of riot regulation, 1700 to 2005,” Critical Planning 12 (2005)


Digital Publications

The entries on my blog reflect experimental work in the digital humanities.  At least one of the blog entries has been cited in a scholarly publication by Martin Wattenberg, a visualization researcher at IBM Labs.  The entry on the future of digital publication was adopted by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals as a position piece on the future of the journal, and featured on their blog

Other initiatives from the blog form the basis for an NEH grant being submitted by the Chicago nonprofit organization Beyondmedia Education for its work on the participatory mapping of ethnic Chicago. 

I am also responsible for a scholarly podcast of papers relating to the emerging subfield of Landscape Studies, featuring presentations on her own work and the work of her colleagues.  The main site can be found at and is also available on iTunes.


Selected Presentations

“Front Lines: Early-Career Scholars Doing Digital History,” American Historical Association, January 4, 2013,,


"Infrastructure for a revolution,” Media Places Conference, Umea University, Sweden,,

"Digital Methods and the Long Land War," University of Gothenburg, Sweden, 4 December 2012,

Seminar, "Mapping Time, Mapping Space," University of Gothenburg, Sweden, 4 December 2012,

"The Long Land War: A Global History of Land Reform, c. 1860-Present" Harvard International & Global History Seminar, Harvard University November 28, 2012 

Paper Machines Seminar, Rice University, Houston, Nocember 19, 2012.,

“International Finance and the Rise of Global Squatterdom,” Histories of Land, Economy, and Power Conference and Workshop, Harvard University, November 10, 2012

Topic Modeling Workshop, MITH, University of Maryland, College Park, November 3, 2012 

“Mapping the Spaces of Subaltern History," Society for Textual Scholarship, Penn State, March 2011.

"Britain Invents the Infrastructure State," Harvard STS Circle, February 2011.

“A History of the Boundary Line,” in artists’ panel, “Natural Histories of the Boundary Line,” to accompany film work by Sarah Kanouse and Thomas Comerford, Mess Hall, Chicago, January 2011.

“Infrastructure and Social Connection,” Social Computing Seminar, New York (January 2011).

"Keywords for the Infrastructure State," Early Modern Reading Group, November 2010

"Mapping the Spaces of Subaltern History," DHCS Conference, Northwestern, November 2010

"The City Made of Words: Mapping the Spaces of Subaltern History," University of Virginia Library, September 2010

“Learning Not to Speak to Strangers,” Anglo-American Conference, Institute for Historical Research, London (July 2-3, 2009).

“Landscape History and Modern History” to the Social History Workshop in the Department of History at the University of Chicago (April 2009)

“The Invisibility of Scotland,” Mellon Conference on the Social Sciences, University of Chicago (March 2009).

“Citizenship and Connectivity: How Government Pioneered the Shape of Public Space in Modern Britain, 1803-1811”  Panel on Landscape, North American Conference on British Studies, Cincinnati, Ohio (October 2008).

"The Origins of Eminent Domain in the English Transport Revolution, 1740-1800: Impermanent Architecture and Permanent Infrastructure,”  Permanence and the Built Environment of the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World, the Huntington Library, San Marino, California (November 3-4, 2008).

“Technology, State, and Society in the Building of the British Road Network, 1810-1850,” invited paper at the Technology, Politics, & Culture Seminar, the Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois (April 4, 2008).

“The Road to Rule: Technology, the State, and Britain’s interkingdom highways, 1740-1850,” in panel, Pathbreaking in the Nineteenth Century: Roads as a product of statecraft and representation, The American Society for Environmental History, Boise, Idaho (March 12-16, 2008).

“The Mobility Revolution: British migrant communities in the first age of transport, 1740-1850,” The European Social Science History Conference, Lisbon, Portugal (February 26 - March 1, 2008).

“The Fellowship of Travelers:  Migrant Communities on Britain’s Roads, 1740-1850,” California World History Association, Fullerton, California (November 11-12, 2007).

 “Scottish Technocrats, the Highway Commission, and Postcolonial Nationalism: The Administrative origins of the Transport Revolution, 1810-1840,” Western Conference on British Studies, Albuquerque, New Mexico (November 1-3, 2007)

“The Transport Revolution, Reimagined:  Visual technology, governmentality, and mobility on Britain’s Roads, 1740-1850,” Fifth Annual Conference of the International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic & Mobility, Helmond, the Netherlands (October 25-28, 2007)

“Paving the Way to Nationhood: Parliament and the British Interkingdom Highway System,” Midwest Conference on British Studies at Wright State University , Dayton, Ohio (October 28, 2007).

“Learning Not to Talk to Strangers: Interactions in London’s Public Streets, 1810-1840” Rocky Mountain Interdisciplinary History Conference (RMIHC), Boulder, Colorado (September 7-8, 2007).

“The Origins of Expert Rule: British Liberalism, the Engineer, and the Local Poor, 1808-1850,” Breslauer Graduate Student Symposium, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, California (March 2007).

“The Expansion of the British Road Network, 1740-1850,” Mellon Graduate Student Conference at the National Association for British Studies, Boston, Massachusetts (November 2006).

“Connecting the Social Body: The Expansion of the British Road Network,” Conference on Culture and Society, the Center for British Studies, Berkeley, California (Jan. 28-29, 2005).

“Regulating Riot: Architecture and Terrorism at the End of the Coffee-house,” CRASSH: Graduate Student Conference on Urban Conflict, University of British Columbia, Vancouver (March 2004).

“Looming Conflict: London Street Scenes and Satire, 1780-1810,” Meeting of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, St. Hugh’s College, Oxford (January 2003)

Selected Teaching Experience

Teaching Competencies: Digital History; British History, 1540-1982; Landscape History; History of Technology; European History since 1688; History of the State; History of Cities

History 62303, “Digital History” University of Chicago (Winter 2011) (new syllabus, co-taught as a lab with researchers from IBM and Google Books, emphasis on visualizing and text-mining historiography).


HISTORY  28904, “Modern History and the Landscape: Land use and the political imagination, 1350 to the present,” University of Chicago (Fall 2010)


HIST 62303, “Digital History: Information Revolutions Since Gutenberg and New Methodologies in the Digital Archives,” University of Chicago (Spring 2009)

HIST 28903, “The Birth of the Modern City: Paris, London, and Chicago in the Nineteenth Century,” University of Chicago (Spring 2009)

Graduate Student Instructor experience: History 7b, American History, 1865-2000, Leon Litwack, Instructor (Spring 2007); Architecture 170, Architecture History, 2000 B. C. E.  to 1300 A. D.,  Stephen Tobriner, Instructor (2003-2004); Environmental Design 169a and 169b, The History of the Built Environment in America, 1600-1900 and 1900-the present; Paul Groth, Instructor (2002-2003)

Various readerships in post-1865 American History (2004-2007)


Other Professional Activities

Participant, THATCamp Collaborative Conference in the digital humanities at GMU, Northwestern (June 2009, May 2010, November 2011)

Consultant to various digital publishing and database initiatives at the Newberry Library, Plebeian Lives Project, and Old Bailey Online.

Coordinator, professional working groups.  Coordinator for working group of dissertation writers in History (2007-2008), Coordinator for reading group on “Spatial Practice” at the Townsend Center for the Humanities (2003-2004).

Conference organizing. Organizer, Conference on Religion, History, and Social Values, October 13-15, 2005 - , National Cathedral, Washington, DC.  Panel organizer, panel on infrastructure and the environment, American Society of Environmental Historians, Boise, Idaho, March 2008.

Literary journals: Prose Editor (2006-  ) Absent Magazine; Founder and Editor-in-Chief (2001-2002), Topic Magazine, now publishing in New York to a circulation of 25,000,