Current Projects

ReImagine Lefferts

As Project Manager for the ReImagine Lefferts initiative at the Prospect Park Alliance, I am working with descendent communities to further focus interpretation and programming at Lefferts Historic House in Prospect Park on exploring and honoring the lives, resistance, and resilience of the Indigenous peoples of Lenapehoking, whose unceded land the house and park rests upon, and the Africans enslaved by the Lefferts family. This work involves substantial new research into early Brooklyn history to inform an ongoing collaborative design process to build an empowering museum descendent families will want to bring their children to visit. 

Battles of Brooklyn

As Scholar-in-Residence at the Old Stone House, I am developing fun new and inclusive forms of commemorating the Battle of Brooklyn, the first and largest battle of the American War for Independence. The Battle is important history as well as a metaphor for the ongoing fight for life, liberty and and the pursuit of happiness for all Brooklynites. As part of this work, I have revived a play written by a Brooklynite loyal to the British  in 1776 mocking the American Revolution.

Fighting Chinese Exclusion in Greenwich Village, 1880-1905

As a Visiting Scholar at the Asian/ Pacific/ American Institute at NYU, I researched how Chinese American activists in New York City in the late 19th century allied themselves with sympathetic churches to combat discriminatory policies. Watch an excerpt of a walking tour of Greenwich Village I gave based on some of my findings.

Benevolent Empire: Evangelical Politics in the Early Republic, 1790-1840

For this book-in-progress, based on my dissertation, I analyze the evangelical organizing of the Second Great Awakening as a political movement to show how many Americans in the Early Republic advocated their policy goals in explicitly religious terms.  Doing so reveals how debates over separating church and state were inextricably tied to conflicts over taxation, regulation, education, and most importantly: slavery. These early policy battles were far more important than most historians recognize and they established the core American political culture still with us today.