As an historian of modern America, my research focuses on the intersections of gender, race/ethnicity, and sexuality. In examining the development of racial ideologies, my work is also in conversation with the growing field of transpacific history, examining the flows of people, goods, and ideas between the United States and China from the late nineteenth century through the twentieth century.
My first book project, Mahjong: A Chinese Game and the Making of Modern American Cultureexplores the American history of the Chinese parlor game mahjong in the first half of the twentieth century. This book follows the history of one game to think about how, in their daily lives, individuals create and experience cultural change. Understanding the complex history of mahjong provides crucial insights into the formation of American ethnic identities, the role of women in transnational consumerism, and the significance of leisure as a source of cultural meaning and identity. My next project turns to LGBTQ history and examines the history of domestic space and queer economies in lesbian feminist communities of the late .
At the University of Oregon I teach courses on women's history, gender and sexuality, ethnicity and immigration, and consumerism, and I work with graduate students in related fields. Whether taking an introductory survey course on U.S. women’s history or an advanced seminar about gender and ethnicity, students in my courses learn how to employ the intellectual tools of historical thinking, building critical thinking, historical knowledge, and writing ability.
I joined the UO faculty and returned to the West Coast in fall 2018, after three years on faculty at the University of Texas at Dallas. I earned my doctorate at Stanford University in 2015. Before beginning graduate work, I lived in Southwest China 2007-2008, teaching English to graduate students at Yunnan University. Previously, I worked in education and social work in Washington State. Originally from Southern California, I first lived in the Northwest when I was an undergraduate at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA, where I graduated as a history major in 2003.
Mahjong: A Chinese Game and the Making of Modern American Culture, Oxford University Press, 2021.
“Introduction,” co-authored with Elizabeth LaCouture for roundtable “Unsettling Domesticities: New Histories of Home in Global Contexts,” including Antoinette Burton, Julie Hardwick, Victoria Haskins, Abigail McGowan, and Kathryn Kish Sklar. American Historical Review. Vol. 125, No. 4 (October 2019), pp. 1246-1248.
“’Maid’s Day Off’: Leisured Domesticity in the Mid-Twentieth-Century United States.” American Historical Review. Vol. 125, No. 4 (October 2019), pp. 1316-1331.
“Performing Mahjong in the 1920s: White Women, Chinese Americans, and the Fear of Cultural Seduction.” Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies. Vol. 37, No. 1 (2016), pp. 32-65.
Associate Producer, “Allan Bérubé: No Red-Baiting! No Race-Baiting! No Queen-Baiting!” OutHistory.org, July 2016.
“Reevaluating Teaching Evaluations.” Inside Higher Ed, August 16, 2016.
“Writing out of the Box.” Teaching Commons, February 3, 2015.
“Jumpstarting the Writing Process.” Teaching Commons, May 15, 2014.
“Mahjong, Memory, and Hidden Histories.” Dissertation Reviews, October 16, 2012.
My work was featured on NPR in the episode “Picking Up the Pieces of Mahjong,” from To the Best of Our Knowledge, by PRX and Wisconsin Public Radio.
You can learn more about my book and my thoughts on history in this interview with Paul Peppis, director of the Oregon Humanities Center: http://goo.gl/xM1dZi