My name is Kristin O’Brassill-Kulfan and I’m a public historian and scholar of early American social and legal history. My public history work is deeply influenced by my academic research and writing about poverty, mobility, crime, and punishment in early American history. I’m always looking for new ways to bring difficult histories to a wider audience, hoping to foster awareness, dialogue, and policy change.
My book, Vagrants and Vagabonds: Poverty and Mobility in the Early American Republic, was published by New York University Press in 2019. You can find other examples of my work here, here, here, and here.
Since 2016, I have been the coordinator of the undergraduate Public History Program at Rutgers University, in addition to teaching in the History Department there.
I am also series editor for the Routledge Global Perspectives on Public History series. Pitch your and book ideas in public history to me via email at kristin dot obrassillkulfan at rutgers dot edu!
I completed a PhD in US History at the University of Leicester in 2016, and an MA in Modern History from Queens University Belfast in 2012. I’ve also worked as an archivist and research analyst for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Archives, and with museums, archives, and libraries in the US and the UK curating exhibits, managing archival collections, and creating inclusive public programming. My research and work have been supported by the Library Company of Philadelphia, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, Association of British American Nineteenth Century Historians, and other similar organizations. I am co-chairing the New Jersey Historical Commission’s Advisory Council on the state’s semiquincentennial commemoration, and recently received the Commission’s Award of Recognition for Outstanding Service to Public Knowledge and Preservation of the History of New Jersey.