Timothy Kent Holliday

Ph.D. Candidate

M.A., History, University of Pennsylvania (2016)
B.A., History, Gender and Diversity Studies, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Xavier University (2014)




"Contagious Vice: Public Health and Carceral Culture in the Early Republic" (working title)


About Me:

I'm an historian of gender, race, and the body in early America. In the past, I've also worked on projects regarding the history of language revitalization among the Klallam people of the Pacific Northwest, as well as the history of African-American (especially Gullah) medical practices post-Civil War. Currently, my research examines intersections between epidemic disease, public health, and carceral institutions in Philadelphia between about 1790 and 1835. When I'm not in PhD-mode, I run an international film blog, which I update embarrasingly unreliably. My first book of poetry, Sonnets for the Eschaton, was published by Displaced Snail Publications in 2018.

Finally, I'm happy to talk to prospective students and answer any questions you might have about the program and my experiences as a Penn grad student!

Research Interests: 

Early America to 1865, with a focus on histories of: women, gender, sex/uality, race, the body, public health, intimacy, carceral institutions, popular religion, medicine, medical jurisprudence, bodily fluids, and sexual violence.

Kathleen Brown (Advisor)
Daniel Richter
Robert St. George

Selected Publications: 



Online Publications: "Burlesque", Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia "Allen Temple AME", Antebellum Cincinnati: Social Intersections in the Queen City



Courses Taught: 

Teaching Assistant:

  • Deciphering America (Fall 2015)
  • American South, 1861-Present (Spring 2016)
  • American Origins (Fall 2016)
  • The American West (grader, Spring 2017)
Other Affiliations: 

Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies—candidate for graduate certificate