In His Own Words
For me, studying the past is a key toward understanding the human condition. So whether I'm reading or teaching, all history — be it the study of ancient Persia, medieval Europe or the US Civil Rights Movement — is relevant.
My own experience studying the past has been diverse: after finishing my doctorate I taught in Fort Worth for several years before moving overseas. For a decade I lived in places like Moscow, Yerevan and Kuwait City.
Living and traveling outside the US provided the opportunity to study the history of different places up close and provided me with a sense of "history of place." That is, whether I'm hiking the mountains outside of Bishkek, Kygryzstan, visiting the Basilica of Francis of Assisi in Italy, falconing in the Arabian Desert or traveling down the old Route 66, I have a desire to know how the history of those places tells us something about ourselves and the world today.
- Ph.D. Humanities, University of Texas at Arlington
- M.A. History, University of Texas at Arlington
- B.A. History, Texas Wesleyan University
- B.A. Mexican American Studies, Concordia Lutheran College
Until 2014, I was an academic nomad and my wanderings informed my research interests. I lived in Kuwait for 8 years, teaching at the American University of Kuwait. Before that I was a Senior Fulbright Fellow at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations where I spent nearly three years gathering life histories which focused on the end of the Soviet period.
My most recent publication is a chapter entitled ‘You are simple and stupid:’ Francis of Assisi and the rise of merchant capitalism, in The World of St. Francis: Essays in Honor of William R. Cook, ed. Bradley Franco and Beth Mulvaney (Brill, 2015).
I am currently working on an edited volume dealing with memory and trauma related to the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. My articles have been published in Franciscan Studies, Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture, History and Anthropology and Journal of Educational and Social Research.