The Pennsylvania State University, B. A., American Studies, 2007; University of Delaware/Winterthur
Museum, M.A., American Material Culture, 2009.
Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American cultural and social history, material culture, history of the body, everyday life, gender, labor, print culture, and public history.
“The Material Culture of Physical Mobility Impairment in America, 1700-1861”
My dissertation probes how early Americans with physical mobility impairments (loss of a physical function of the body due to an amputation or a chronic illness, for example) used objects such as gout cranes and go-chairs to manage their bodies. She is investigating who made these early American objects and how Americans used them within private and public spaces in an era featuring far fewer material “accommodations” than we are accustomed to today. More broadly, Belolan is investigating how the objects, along with their associated impairments, shaped ideas and practices related to gender roles, citizenship, and identity. She is interested in how people experienced living with these impairments as opposed to how society sought to cure them.