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)




"Morbid Sensations: Intimacy, Coercion, and Epidemic Disease in Philadelphia, 1790-1850" (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: language revitalization among the Klallam people of the Pacific Northwest; post-Civil War Gullah medical practices; and slander and social networks in seventeenth-century Marblehead. Currently, my research examines the role of intimacy in public health and carceral institutions during epidemics, specifically in Philadelphia between about 1790 and 1840.

When I'm not in PhD-mode, I run an international film blog, which I update embarrassingly unreliably. My first book of poetry, Sonnets for the Eschaton, was published by Displaced Snail Publications in 2018.

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!

CV (file): 
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 (Spring 2017)
Other Affiliations: 

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