I am a Professor of Philosophy at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, where I teach courses on moral philosophy, aesthetics, and the history of modern philosophy. For most of my career, I have written on nineteenth-century German philosophy, including two books on G.W.F. Hegel and an edited volume on the philosophy of humor in the nineteenth century.
In early 2017, I decided it was time to turn my attention to my own country and to women. Thanks to an obliging librarian at the Schlesinger Library at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute, I discovered the work of American abolitionist Lydia Maria Child: a woman whose philosophical thinking and moral courage made her one of the most important voices among white Americans fighting to end slavery. My biography of Child, entitled Lydia Maria Child: A Radical American Life, was published by the University of Chicago Press in fall 2022. It has been reviewed in the New York Review of Books, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Wall Street Journal, and other venues. You can find some of my writing and speaking about Child, including in the Wall Street Journal, The Paris Review, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, The American Scholar, and on National Public Radio, here.
I am the grateful recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the German-American Exchange Service, and the American Academy in Berlin. In 2019 and 2022, I had the honor of interviewing Michael Schur, the creator of the NBC sitcom “The Good Place,” at WBUR’s CitySpace in Boston.
I live in Maine with my husband, the historian James Johnson. The best thing I did on my last sabbatical was to take trapeze lessons.