Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich is the author of Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Early New England, 1650-1750 (1982) and A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 (1990) which won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1991 and became the basis of a PBS documentary. In The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in the Making of an American Myth (2001), she has incorporated museum-based research as well as more traditional archival work. Her most recent book is Well-behaved Women Seldom Make History (2007). Her major fields of interest are early American social history, women’s history, and material culture.

Sarah Carter

Sarah Anne Carter is the Curator and Director of Research of the Chipstone Foundation, a Milwaukee-based organization devoted to the study of material culture and known for its innovative museum exhibitions. She has taught as a lecturer at Harvard in the History and Literature program and in the History Department. Her book, Object Lessons: How Nineteenth-Century Americans Made Sense of the Material World is forthcoming from Oxford University Press. Her work explores the varied meanings of material things, museum practice, and American social and cultural history.

Ivan Gaskell

Ivan Gaskell is Professor of Cultural History and Museum Studies at the Bard Graduate Center. His work on material culture addresses intersections among history, art history, anthropology, and philosophy. His principal scholarly concern is to mobilize non-written traces of the past to illuminate aspects of the lives of human actors that would otherwise remain obscure. As well as writing individual historical case studies on topics ranging from seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish paintings, to Roman baroque sculpture, Native American baskets, and Congo textiles, Gaskell works on the philosophical plane of second order questioning. While on the faculty at Cambridge University, he collaborated with the late Salim Kemal to edit a ten book series of multi-author volumes, Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and the Arts. He has also organized numerous experimental exhibitions at Harvard University, where he taught and curated between 1991 and 2011. He is the author, editor, or co-editor of eleven books, and have contributed to numerous journals and edited volumes in history, art history, and philosophy.

Sara Schechner

Sara Schechner, Ph.D. is the David P. Wheatland Curator of the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, Harvard University. She is a historian of science, specializing in material culture and the history of astronomy. At Harvard, she is a member of the History of Science Department and has been on the faculty of the Museum Studies program. She brings over thirty years of museum and academic experience to the Harvard community.