My Research Approach: I am a PhD candidate researching the socio-cultural intersection of religion, science, environment, and society through how people have encountered, experienced, and attempted to explain extraordinary things. Such things are often referred to as religious, spiritual, the supernatural or the paranormal. I am inspired by the approach of interdisciplinary networks such as the Esalen Institute's Center for Theory and Research, Exploring the Extraordinary, and scholars who combine disciplinary methodologies. I approach historical encounters with environmental and metaphysical phenomena as being within the broader realm of extraordinary experiences. I focus especially on how such experiences bring about personal and collective ontological transformations. Since my focus is on the past century or so, I draw from both archives and interviewing people in my scholarship.
Mischievous Forces: For my doctoral research, I am focusing on shifting explanations of the poltergeist phenomenon in the twentieth century between the spiritual and the psychological. The poltergeist refers a recurrent, spontaneous preternatural physical phenomena in which people report hearing anomalous sounds, objects moving wiht no apparent reason, spontaneous fires, and other unusual events. These physical manifestations tend to last for a month or two before stopping as mysteriously as they began. They have been reported throughout history and around the world. My focus is on how parapsychological concepts that the physical manifestations originated from living people through psychokinesis in twentieth-century America and Britain. In addition to archival research, with the approval of UBC's Research Ethics Board, I have been interviewing living eyewitnesses, researchers and critics of this phenomenon. Advisor: Dr. Joy Dixon. Committee: Dr. Robert Brain, Dr. Carla Nappi, Dr. Leslie Paris.
I organized Multimedia Histories, a four-part seminar series in February and March 2011 that explored alternate media through which scholars disseminate their research. Mentor: Dr. Carla Nappi. I compiled content for an online resource, Careers for Historians, working with the head of the Department of History, Dr. Anne Gorsuch.
I am a member of the American Academy of Religion, the American Society for Environmental History, and the Society for Psychical Research.
Multimedia presentation @ Exploring the Extraordinary, York, England
Multimedia presentation @ History Slam, University of British Columbia
Sessional Lecturer. HIST 106: Global Environmental History, The University of British Columbia (Summer 2015)
Sessional Lecturer. HIST 104: Topics in World History, The University of British Columbia (Winter 2014)
Guest Lecture. "The Suburban Environment." HIST 106: Global Environmental History, The University of British Columbia (March 2011)
Teaching Assistant. HIST 106: Global Environmental History, The University of British Columbia (Winter 2011)
Teaching Assistant. HIST 3080: The United States in the World, University of Guelph (Winter 2009)
Teaching Assistant. HIST 1250: The History of Science & Technology, University of Guelph (Fall 2008)