I’m a Ph.D. candidate in American intellectual history at Syracuse University, where I’m writing a dissertation on articulations of national identity in early-republican and antebellum New York City. My dissertation focuses on the so-called Knickerbocker circle and the writers of Freedom’s Journal. It reinterprets their work as part of a body of public thought that placed national identity at the center of private selfhood in urban America. The nation was, as I argue, a crucial third term at the intersection of private and public spheres in early nineteenth-century American thought. My dissertation project is directed by Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn.
I grew up near Houston and Austin, and I hold bachelor’s degrees in history and business from LeTourneau University in East Texas. This year, I have a fellowship from the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University, and I’m living and working in Philadelphia, where I’m teaching a U.S. history survey at La Salle University. I contribute occasionally to the blog of the Society for U.S. Intellectual History, blog informally at my own site, Melted Whales, and tweet immoderately as @jnthnwwlsn.