U.S. Social and Cultural History
Ph.D., University of California Los Angeles, 1997
Office: HSSB 4232
Phone: (805) 893-2646 Fax: (805) 893-8795
I am a cultural historian of the twentieth-century United States, with research interests that span a variety of subfields, including the histories of consumption, family and childhood, business, gender, and food and alcohol. One unifying thread in all my research is the broad question of how new markets are created, challenged, and legitimized. My book, Raising Consumers: Children and the American Mass Market in the Early Twentieth Century (2004), examines how the alternately competing and complementary agendas of advertisers, parents, child experts, educators, and children themselves shaped and defined a distinctive children’s consumer culture in the early twentieth century. My new project—a comparative study of vintners, brewers, and distillers—examines how alcohol producers, advertisers, popular media, tastemakers, and consumers forged distinctive (and sometimes antagonistic) cultures of drink in the four decades following Prohibition’s repeal in 1933. Alcohol may seem far afield from children’s consumer culture, but both represent morally ambiguous markets that test social and cultural boundaries and continually face challenges to their legitimacy.
Research and Teaching Interests
Undergraduate and Graduate Courses
Honors and Professional Activities