I am interested in the human and historical sciences, linguistics in particular. My doctoral dissertation, Language Science and Orientalism in Imperial Germany, provided an integrated analysis of these two sub-fields to account for a shift from textual evidence to spoken language in the decades around 1900. This research forms the basis of my manuscript in progress, Voices of the People: Transforming the Language Sciences in Imperial Germany. My postdoctoral research follows this comparative-historical tradition into the twentieth century, attending to controversial long-range proposals of language relationship and prehistorical reconstructions of linguistic ancestry. Looking at phenomena from lexicostatistics to the hypothesis of "Proto-World,“ I hope to tackle a number of closely related questions: what is the conceptual relationship between linguistic breadth and historical depth? How have social and political factors helped or hindered broad linguistic sampling? How have historical linguists defined the frontier of scientific knowledge? And how has the epistemological status of work on that frontier related to data practices over time?
Presentations, Talks, & Teaching Activities
MPIWG seminar series, "Studying Human Variation in the Twentieth Century"
German Studies Association Seminar, "Global History, Literature, and Culture from a German Base"
History of Science Society Annual Meeting