I am a historian of the nineteenth-century United States, with interests in the Civil War era, religion and politics, as well as slavery and emancipation. My first book, Religion, Race, and the Making of Confederate Kentucky, 1830-1880 (Cambridge University Press, 2014), showed the significance of debates over Christian “orthodoxy” in shaping pro- and antislavery politics. It tracked the fate of gradual emancipation and colonization movements, southern abolitionism, and proslavery religion before, during, and after the Civil War.
I have also published on the “long life” of proslavery religion after emancipation in The World the Civil War Made (University of North Carolina Press, 2015), and I have an essay forthcoming on the significance of the Civil War and emancipation to the making of conservative American evangelicalism in Turning Points in the History of American Evangelicalism (Eerdmans, 2016). Previous work has appeared in Slavery and Abolition, Ohio Valley History, and the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society. I was co-editor, with Mark A. Noll, of Religion and American Politics: From the Colonial Period to the Present (Oxford University Press, 2007). I am currently researching the Republican Party, religion, and the fate of moral reform movements in the period of Reconstruction after the Civil War.
I regularly offer undergraduate and graduate courses on the Civil War and Reconstruction, the early American republic, slavery and emancipation, American religion, and the American South.
Ph.D., Rice University, 2009