Welcome. I am Curator in Public Humanities and Director of the Winston Tabb Special Collections Research Center at Johns Hopkins University. In this capacity, I cultivate an exchange of knowledge between the university and greater Baltimore region through participatory action research, oral history, performances, and courses taught through the Program in Museums and Society. My research and teaching combine archival, oral history, and public humanities methods to examine the world-making practices of marginalized publics in the United States, with a focus on intersections of gender, sexuality, and race.
My current book project, Kids on the Street: Queer Kinship and Religion in San Francisco’s Tenderloin (forthcoming, Feb. 2023, Duke University Press) explores the social worlds that abandoned and runaway street kids, their patrons, and their protectors have created over the last fifty years in San
Francisco’s Tenderloin district. I draw on interdisciplinary methods to investigate the trauma inflicted on street kids and the ways they have worked, collectively and creatively, to reinterpret and those experiences through religious ritual, performative storytelling, migratory circuits, and queer kinship networks. My academic writing has appeared in Radical History Review, The Public Historian, The Abusable Past, Kalfou: A Journal of Comparative and Relational Ethnic Studies, and a forthcoming issue of GLQ.
My public humanities projects bring together diverse publics as partners in research and education. The Peabody Ballroom Experience is a collaboration with the queer and trans people of color who make up Baltimore’s ballroom scene. I am the lead oral historian for Inheritance Baltimore: Humanities and Arts Education for Black Liberation. In 2010, I was awarded the American Historical Association’s Allan Bérubé Prize for Polk Street: Lives in Transition, a project that drew on oral histories to intervene in debates about gentrification, homelessness, queer politics, and public safety in the polarized setting of gentrifying San Francisco.
I completed my PhD in American Studies at Yale University with a Certificate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. My work has been supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.