I’ve taught at the University of Texas at Arlington since 1993. I received tenure in 1998 and was promoted to the rank of full professor in 2010. Since 2008, I’ve served as the director of the Center for Greater Southwestern Studies.
While working on my Ph. D. in the 1980s, I taught U.S. and European History at the Kinkaid School in Houston, Texas.
My areas of research interest are the Early American Republic, 19th century Texas, and the American Southwest. I’ve written three book-length monographs and co-authored and edited several other texts (see publications page). In the broadest sense, my work tries to situate both the United States and Texas in the larger frameworks of transnational and borderland studies. My third book, for example, Unfinished Revolution: The Early American Republic in A British World (2010), examined the extent to which Great Britain shaped American life in the Jacksonian era. Similarly, my work on Texas tends to place the region in a geopolitical context, focusing on the struggle for power between peoples and nation-states on the North American continent.
I’m currently working on a book on Texas in the early decades of the nineteenth century. More than a synthesis of existing scholarship, this project seeks to reconceptualize the traditional narrative we know so well, recasting the region during this period as a complex world of overlapping borderlands. I’m also working on an article that looks at the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and role of gender in shaping the state’s historical memory.
At the undergraduate level, I regularly teach Texas History to 1850 (HIST 3363), both as a face-to-face class and on-line. I also teach, on a fairly frequent basis, the New Nation (HIST 3323), Hollywood and the West (HIST 3370), U.S. History and Film (HIST 3344), and Presidential Personality (HIST 3359). At the graduate level, I teach colloquia and seminars in my fields of research, as well as Introduction to U.S. Historiography (HIST 5340).
I was born in Shreveport, Louisiana but spent much of my early life in England (London) and Switzerland. I came back to the United States for college, receiving my B.A. from Columbia University and my Ph.D. from the University of Houston. I’m a lifelong supporter of West Ham United Football Club.