I am a cultural anthropologist at the University of Mary Washington, a public liberal arts university in Fredericksburg, Virginia. I teach an introductory course on cultural anthropology as well as advanced courses on race, memory, tourism, Europe, urban anthropology, and public and applied anthropology.
My academic work focuses mainly on the ways ethnic, racial, and national groups create identities, particularly through representations of the past. I spent two years in a city in Eastern Germany during the mid-1990s learning about how issues of local, Eastern, and German identity found expression in local struggles over the historic cityscape. I published a book based on this research in 2012 entitled Preservation and National Belonging in Eastern Germany: Heritage Fetishism and Redeeming Germanness.