I’m Erin N. Bush, a doctoral candidate at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. I study late 19th/early 20th century United States history with minors in digital research methods and pedagogy; legal history; and women and Gender Studies.
My research focuses on how constructions of gender, race, class, and sexuality influenced the institutional and social responses to crime at the turn of the 20th century. My dissertation, “Under the Guise of Protection: Sex, Race, and Eugenics in Virginia’s Reformatories for Wayward Girls, 1910-1942,” explores the child saving movement in Virginia as it related to other eugenic efforts to stabilize the social order and race relations in the New South. My research focuses on Virginia’s two female juvenile reformatories–then segregated by race–and their management and rehabilitation of wayward girls between 1910 and 1942. My other academic interests include the history of crime and punishment in the United States, specifically the social and cultural responses to crimes committed by women and/or children.
Prior to returning to academia, I built a career in technology companies managing Web sites and products, and the creative and technical people responsible for building them. My technology background has influenced both my scholarship and my approach to teaching. Digital research methods and tools help me ask (and answer) diverse questions about the past in the context of my own projects. As an instructor, I help students explore a wide variety of current and emerging digital technologies in the service of answering their own questions about the past.
I received a bachelor’s degree in United States history and journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and received my master’s degree in United States history and New Media from George Mason University. I received a Graduate Certificate in Women and Gender Studies from George Mason University in 2014. I expect to defend my dissertation in 2019.
You can follow me on Twitter @HistoriErin or contact me at erin [at] erinbush[dot] org.