BA, History major, DePaul, 1998
MA, Tufts University, 2001
PhD, U.C. Irvine, 2006
Currently an Associate Professor of Transnational History at Creighton University, at Creighton since 2006.
Graduating with a degree in history from DePaul gave me the tools I needed to pursue an advanced degree in the field. Although I didn’t follow my advisor’s suggestion to go into Slavic studies, I did continue to explore nationalism, albeit in the context of the Spanish-speaking world, and followed through on issues and debates that Professor Jim Krokar first introduced me to in his classes on national identities in the former Yugoslavia. And I recently published my first monograph on the subject on Louisiana State University Press titled Preaching Spanish Nationalism across the Hispanic Atlantic, 1759-1823 (2012).
Transnational in scope, my book analyzes the confluence of religious, regional and national identities across the Spanish Monarchy during a period of turmoil and warfare precipitated by Napoleon’s invasion of Spain in 1808. The book examines an array of sources overlooked by many scholars of identity, empire and postcolonialism. Finding continuities in the language of sermons, catechisms, political pamphlets and newspapers has allowed me to challenge the idea that nations were constructed out of the ashes of confessional society. I demonstrate that nationalist idioms emerged in conjunction with religious discourses on the nature of both spiritual and secular forms of sovereignty.
I conducted research in a dozen local and national archives as a Fulbright Fellow in Spain and during subsequent research trips to Mexico. I found that nationalists in Spain and New Spain built upon an extant trope of religious particularity, which quickly morphed into the language of popular sovereignty. Indeed, the entangled identities of Spain and Mexico, grounded in a shared history and culture, only diverged insomuch as nationalists argued their primordial roots and essential traits drew upon distinct and separate cultural traditions. A common political and religious landscape served as the foundational blueprint upon which national identities were constructed in the Hispanic Atlantic world.
While attending DePaul as an undergraduate, in addition to outstanding classes taught by Professor Krokar, I particularly enjoyed Professor Mockaitis’s surveys of nineteenth-century Europe and World War I, subjects that I now teach each semester in my own classes at Creighton. One opportunity I especially appreciated at DePaul was a December semester in Morocco led by Professor Warren Schultz. I am now beginning a second book project that examines Spanish imperialism and the invasion of northern Morocco in 1859.