Research: I study 20th century cultural history and history of science with an emphasis on the histories of biology, psychology and education in post WWII US. I’m interested in particular in the changing definitions of “intelligence”—what it was purported to be, where it allegedly came from. To track the evolution of this set of ideas I am studying debates about IQ and ability grouping as they were filtered through popular and professional literatures, and through policy initiatives as well. Of primary importance to my research is how ideas about–and related measures of–”intelligence” functioned to regulate opportunity in a society organized increasingly around meritocratic ideals. My research has been supported by an MSU University Distinguished Fellowship, a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, and most recently by a National Academy of Education/ Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship.
Primary Advisor: Dr. John Waller