Scholarship

I am training to become an early modern historian of science. However, before this I was trained as a biblical exegete and taught middle school and high school, teaching anything from middle school math and science to high school history and literature. As such my scholarship inhabits a variety of worlds.

Current Projects

1) Early Modern Optics and Theories of Vision (Dissertation)

The topic of my dissertation is optical illusions during the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries in Europe. Specifically, I will analyze how optical illusions, with the related topics of light and cognition, participated in cultural, philosophical, and religious dialogues about the nature of reality and its uncertainties.

Here is a link to a short summary of it – Dissertation Proposal

2) Early Modern Theories of Mathematics

My master’s thesis focused on a sixteenth-century Italian debate regarding the ontology of mathematics. I have presented portions of it at conferences, and am working to prepare an article-based version of it.

3) Lynx Open Ed – lynx-open-ed.org.

Since the Summer of 2014 I have been working with the curator of the History of Science Collections at the University of Oklahoma, Kerry Magruder, to jumpstart an educator group associated with exhibits in the history of science at the University of Oklahoma. Our stated aim is “collaborating in exhibit-based learning” and as a result we work with K-12 teachers, university faculty, and the interested public. Initially organized as a simple WordPress website, in the summer of 2016 we launched a Drupal-based website (the current one) to better facilitate the hosting of OER’s (open educational resources) as well as the interaction among members.

4) The Sky Tonight – skytonight.org.

A “cultural archaeology of the stars”, The Sky Tonight is a work in progress, to piece together the many layers through which humanity has viewed the night sky. It is a project completed in collaboration with Kerry Magruder, utilizing the rich star atlases of the OU History of Science Collection. The project is currently undergoing significant development, but should hopefully launch more fully in the second half of 2017.

5) T. F. Torrance Bibliography Project

In collaboration with Kerry Magruder and Gary Deddo, the bibliography project provides two downloadable bibliographies, one of Torrance Sources and the other of Torrance Studies. They are research tools to promote scholarship related to the Torrance tradition. Citations from these bibliographies may be copied into word processing documents or imported into bibliographic management software without requiring laborious data entry, proofing, or manual formatting. Although not currently online, it will eventually be an open digital bibliography.

Kerry Magruder, Brent Purkaple, Gary Deddo, editors, T. F. Torrance Bibliography Project (The T. F. Torrance Theological Fellowship, forthcoming, 2017); tftorrance.org