From the University Press of Kansas. The mythmakers of US expansion have expressed “manifest destiny” in many different ways—and so have its many discontents. A multidisciplinary study that delves into these contrasts and contradictions, Inventing Destiny offers a broad yet penetrating cultural history of nineteenth-century US territorial acquisition—a history that gives voice to the underrepresented actors who significantly complicated US narratives of empire, from Native Americans and Anglo-American women to anti- and non-national expansionists. The contributors—established and emerging scholars from history, American studies, literary studies, art history, and religious studies—make use of source materials and techniques as various as artwork, religion, geospatial analysis, interior colonialism, and storytelling alongside fresh readings of traditional historical texts. For more information see the Inventing Destiny page
The Massachusetts Historical Society generously awarded me the Malcolm and Mildred Freiberg Fellowship to support research in their collections. I will use the opportunity to dive into the Society's rich holdings on the literary culture of the early nineteenth century United States. I hope that will be able to uncover conversations between authors, poets, artists, and other creatives about the consequences of their nation's territorial conquest and about their use of the gothic to question and subvert that imperial project. COVID has obviously hindered our usual forms of archival research. I may divide my time between in-person and remote access, but I am confident that my work with the MHS will be productive and meaningful.