Washington University in St. Louis
Campus Box 1062
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
I am interested in the many ways that science, medicine, culture, and politics have intersected since the late eighteenth century. My specialty is German history, but my curiosity stretches far beyond Europe. I have become a campus leader in introducing Medical Humanities to Washington University.
My first book A Science for the Soul: Occultism and the Genesis of the German Modern asked why Germany, a scientific powerhouse in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, also hosted one of the Western world's most vibrant and influential occult movements. German occultists made major contributions to twentieth-century art, psychology, literature, medicine, and what we now call "New Age" spirituality. Their efforts were also an excellent example of a larger historical trend that scholars of popular culture are beginning to study: the use of scientific language, concepts, and habits to enchant the "disenchanted" modern age anew.
My current research concerns the history of food and nutrition in Central Europe. I have written on the German nutritional physiologist Max Rubner, a now forgotten but key figure in the cultural history of the calorie. In September of 2008, I organized a conference with Rafia Zafar and Glenn Stone at Washington University on "The Ethics of Diet." Most importantly, I am now working on a new book exploring the history of natural foods and farming in German-speaking Europe from the early nineteenth century to the present. As it turns out, the German story has much to teach us about our own fascination with all things natural and "organic."
I teach courses in European history, the history of science and medicine, and medical humanities. In addition, I co-founded the Medical Humanities Minor with Rebecca Messbarger in 2015.
Eating Nature: Food, Agriculture, and Environment in Modern Germany (in progress).
A Science for the Soul: Occultism and the Genesis of the German Modern. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004.
Feminist Research Methods: An Annotated Bibliography, with Connie Miller. Greenwood Press, 1991.
"Artificial or Biological? Nature, Fertilizer, and the Origins of German Organic Agriculture" in New Perspectives on the History of Life Sciences and Agriculture (Cham: Springer, 2015), eds. Denise Phillips and Sharon Kingsland
"What the Occult Reveals," Modern Intellectual History, 6,3, (2009): 611-625
"Nature and the Nazi Diet," Food and Foodways, 17 (2009): 1-20
"Max Rubner and the Biopolitics of Rational Nutrition," Central European History 41 (2008): 1-25
"Food Science/Food Politics in Fin-de-Siècle Berlin," Food and the City in Europe since the Late Eighteenth Century: Urban Life, Innovation and Regulation, eds. Peter Atkins, Derek Oddy, and Peter Scholliers. London: Ashgate, 2007.
"The Culture of Knowledge in the Metropolis of Science: Spiritualism and Liberalism in Fin-de-Siècle Berlin" in Wissenschaft und Öffentlichkeit in Berlin, 1870-1930/Science for the Public in Berlin, 1870-1930, ed. Constantin Goschler. Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2000.
Humanities Center Faculty Fellowship, Washington University in St. Louis, 2015
National Endowment for the Humanities Faculty Award, 2011-2012
Center for the Study of Ethics and Human Values, Washington University in St. Louis, 2007-2008
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies Fellowship, Harvard University, 2004-2005
Faculty Research Award, Wellesley College 2003-2004
Bernadotte E. Schmitt Grant, American Historical Association, 2000
Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, 1998-99
The Art of Medicine
Health and Disease in World History
Western Civilization II
The First World War
Modern European Women
Science and Society since 1800
The History of the Body
Food in History
Advanced Readings in Modern German History