I am in the final year of my PhD (History) at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, completing a dissertation on the rise of vernacular “practical books,” their readers, and the myriad effects of a changing media environment in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century England. Using both broad quantitative analysis and close study of individual books and texts, the project compares over 150 manuscript miscellanies to over 200 printed practical books whose contents were culled directly from manuscript traditions. I argue that even minor changes to the presentation, transmission, and circulation of mundane information rippled outward, transforming how English people conceived of their roles as readers, writers, and consumers of knowledge. I have been fortunate to receive training at the Rare Book School, as a recipient of their Director’s Scholarship, and at the Folger Shakespeare Library, as a participant in their year-long Researching the Archive seminar. My research has been supported through grants from the Rutgers School of Arts & Sciences, the Schallek Award from the Medieval Academy of America and the Richard III Society, and a 2018-19 Dissertation Completion Fellowship from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies.
You can catch me writing about recipes and posting all over the place as co-editor of social media for The Recipes Project. And if you’re so inclined, visit The Making and Knowing Project, where you’ll learn about craft techniques in sixteenth-century France through a digital critical edition of BnF MS Fr.640, produced in part by yours truly (as one of a whole team of paleographer/translators).
When I’m not thinking about early modern England, I’m sometimes producing graphics and publicity materials for academic events on commission. You can view that work here.