I am an assistant professor of sociology at New Mexico State University. I earned my Ph.D. from the Department of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame, where I was also an affiliate in the Center for the Study of Social Movements (CSSM).
My research focuses on questions of cognition and measurement in the sociology of culture. Specifically, I (1) theorize and examine how cognitive processes interact with social contexts to influence individual and collective behavior in a variety of settings, and (2) develop new computational tools for measuring culture. I have used this guiding interest in culture and cognition to study how journalists respond to innovative protest strategies, the evolution of family metaphors in U.S. State of the Union addresses, how neural binding operates as a meaning-making and meaning-maintenance practice, the different moral schemas that consumers use to evaluate the fairness of price changes, how gender biases manifest discursively in student evaluations of teaching, and why and when white nationalist organizations divert attention to the grievances that they do, among other topics in the sociology of culture, politics, and social movements. My research makes use of a wide range of computational and quantitative methods, and I have a particular interest in developing tools for computational cultural analysis—especially (semi)automated text analysis.
My current and forthcoming work can be found in Sociological Theory, Poetics, Socio-Economic Review, Sociological Science, Socius, American Journal of Cultural Sociology, Journal of Computational Social Science, Deviant Behavior, and the Stata Journal, among other peer-reviewed outlets. My scholarly activities have been funded, in part, by the National Science Foundation, the Center for the Study of Social Movements, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, and the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts.