In our digital age, the contagion metaphor is often part of the language we use regarding the exchange of information. The most popular videos go “viral” online. We share culturally-relevant “memes” via social media that spread like the common cold. But such metaphors are nothing new, especially when applied to migration. As medical knowledge developed in … More Emigration as Epidemic: Perspectives on the Eighteenth-Century Scottish Highlands
I am a reader. Since I was very young, I’ve had an affinity for libraries, for the smell of books, the crispness of their pages, and the music made by the words inside. As a historian, my career as a scholar compels me to read – both widely and deeply – in order to understand … More Reading early America (for fun!)
On a stifling, late summer evening in September, I sat with my family in my parents’ living room in the wake of Hurricane Florence. We had been without electricity for nearly a week. Windows were raised in an effort to take advantage of any breeze, light traffic on the main road nearby and evening insects … More Chilling tales from the Lower Cape Fear
Earlier this year, delegates from around the world met in Geneva, Switzerland for the World Health Assembly. Debates emerged around the topic of promoting maternal breastfeeding and sparked a heated confrontation between the United States and the nation of Ecuador. Looking for some historical context to the “Breast is Best” campaign? Read my latest article … More Whose Milk? Changing US Attitudes toward Maternal Breastfeeding
When I left North Carolina in 2014 for my Ph.D. adventure in Scotland, a new trend was on the rise. Like many other cities in the state, and indeed the country, my hometown of Wilmington also became the home of several new microbreweries as the trend of home brewing and craft brewing swept the US. … More “Beer is a good family drink”: Women and Craft Brewing in early North Carolina
This year I am finishing up my final semester as a graduate student. In the coming weeks, many postgraduates (as we are called in the UK) will be looking toward the submission of dissertations, defenses, and graduation. Other students will be looking, with anticipation, to the start of their graduate school career in the … More Five on a Friday: Helpful links for graduate students at all stages
In 1966 historian Gordon Donaldson wrote that, in essence, Scotland’s “greatest export” was its people.  Over the course of five centuries, Scots migrated to every corner of the world. They are, in many ways, a very mobile population. My own research has looked at Scottish families (from both the Highlands and Lowlands) who settled … More Five on a Friday: It’s Tartan Day!