About

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I am a professor of history, a writer, a devoted dog mama, minor-league yogi, and serial oversharer. 

 

I was born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, bounced around the country in my 20s but, after many years of planning and scheming, moved to New Orleans in 1997. I now live in Baton Rouge and consider myself a Louisianan through and through. I love the state’s tragicomic history and have the great privilege of teaching a Louisiana History survey at LSU most every semester.

 

Though I blog about human foibles (mostly my own) and teach about this beloved but benighted state, I also write about New Orleans and the history of sexuality. My first book, The Great Southern Babylon: Sex, Race, and Respectability in New Orleans 1865-1920 examines the history of the city’s Storyville vice district (1897-1917) and explores the lives of the women and men who worked and lived in the environs of one of the nation’s most notorious prostitution districts.

 

My forthcoming book Cruising for Conspirators: How a New Orleans DA Prosecuted the Kennedy Assassination as a Sex Crime focuses on the 1960s and the intertwined lives and legacies of Clay Shaw, the defendant in the only prosecution ever undertaken in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and Jim Garrison, the New Orleans DA who led an investigation that was animated by the presumption that homosexuals were pathological and likely to commit all manner of crimes – up to and including murder. You’ll be able to read it for yourself in September 2021.