I am a legal historian of the young United States. My research focuses on the entangled subjects of slavery, constitutionalism, and governance between the Revolution and Reconstruction. Currently, I am completing a book manuscript that studies the career of the Founding in constitutional culture over this period. At its heart, the project tells how Americans, in the course of struggles over slavery and state power, produced a constitutionalism that locates vast authority in narratives of original meaning. I am also working (very gradually) on a second project that examines American slavery as a "public institution," a regime of governance in which private rule was sustained and circumscribed by layers of state power. Prior to joining the History Department, I was a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell University.
- PhD: History, University of California, Berkeley
- JD: Law, Harvard Law School