Born in the heart of the Bluegrass in Lexington, I grew up in Paducah, Kentucky. As a child I visited Nashville many times so when I joined the Belmont faculty in 1987 it was sort of a homecoming. Between Paducah and Belmont I attended The Ohio State University receiving my doctorate in History in 1989. My major field in history is Modern France and I researched my dissertation on criminal justice in nineteenth century France in Paris and in Brittany while on a Fulbright Research grant in 1983-1984. I also have a secondary field in the history of Modern Japan. At Belmont I teach courses in the history of both nations including ones on the French Revolution, Modern France, The Samurai, and Modern Japan. World History, Modern China, and a Survey of East Asian history are also part of my teaching repertoire.
I have published book reviews, an article on Napoleon Bonaparte for Humanities Tennessee, and contributed entries to a historical dictionary on World War II France. Besides giving papers at history conferences such as the American Historical Association, French Historical Studies, and AsiaNetwork, in 1993 on behalf of Humanities Tennessee I traveled around the state presenting the life of Napoleon. My horizons as a teacher expanded when in May 2008 I took my first trip to Japan as part of Belmont’s Study-Abroad program. Since then I have led three study abroad trips to that country. One of my greatest joys as a teacher is to take students on these trips and watch everyone learn more about Japan, the Japanese, and themselves. Moreover, in 2010 through a Japan Foundation grant I was able to spend time in Uji and Kyoto conducting research into Japanese Tea Culture. Currently I am reading about French views of Japan’s culture during the Meiji Era in an effort to combine my interests in Japan and France.
When I am not doing history, I enjoy reading classic novels, gardening, watching foreign films -- primarily French and Japanese ones -- and listening to jazz. Most of all, I enjoy the time spent with my husband (a heartless Anglophile), our son, Richard, and with parents, siblings, friends, and students.