Professor of History, Chair of History Department


BA, Louisiana State University; MEd , MA, University of Georgia; PhD, Rutgers University

My students will tell you I’m obsessed with digging up documents in the archives (and they’re right!). I search out documents that help students learn historical empathy. In my courses, I ask them to engage in great acts of imagination across time and culture, so I give them documents that help them learn that practice. Letters home from medical students that offer some commonality with Millsaps students, or documents describing cures for familiar diseases that differ from modern-day therapies are good for igniting students’ sense of justice in the classroom. Documents that spark outrage—reports of government sponsored testing on minorities, for example—help students to think about the complexities of historical understanding.

“History is largely about telling stories, and we do a lot of oral history in my classes. My students interview all kinds of people from family members to pioneering doctors at UMMC to ordinary folks to each other. They turn their interviews into short films or presentations about the people and issues they are passionate about.

“If you haven’t guessed, I teach classes about medicine, culture (including classes on the History of Black Markets, of Political Scandals, and of New Orleans), and the French-speaking world. I also teach classes in women’s and gender history.

“When I’m not working, you may find me swimming or paddling a kayak somewhere. I love traveling, and would like to help you do that, too. I also direct an internship at the NIH for history students. If you’re interested in history, shoot me an email and let’s talk.”