Doctoral Candidate

Entered 2014

330 Claudia Cohen Hall



M.A, Columbia University
B.A., George Washington University


My dissertation uses anatomical collections of "monstrous births" to examine the intersection of obstetrics, embryology, disability, and natural history between 1697-1849. I focus on the preservation of human fetuses with congenital abnormalities, looking both at the history of these bodies-- their births, their mothers, their collectors-- as well as their scientific use as objects of evidence for those pursuing the mysteries of generation and nature's order. Lastly, my work interrogates the consequences of these scientific rationalizations on the socio-political identity of those living in "monstrous" bodies.  

Prior to coming to Penn, I completed a master's degree in Museum Anthropology at Columbia University. I have worked as a docent at the Museum of Mathematics in New York and the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia. I served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Republic of Macedonia from 2008 until 2010. 

I will be in Amsterdam on a Fulbright Award in 2018-2019 working with Dr. Manon Parry at the University of Amsterdam and Dr. Laurens de Rooy at Museum Vrolik. In early 2019, I will be a Junior Research Fellow at the Descartes Center (Universiteit Utrecht).

Research Interests

museum studies; embryology; midwifery; material culture; biology; life sciences; medical collecting; disability studies; teratology; anatomy; public history; taxonomy; posthumanism

Faculty Bookshelf