I am an associate professor in the Department of History at the University at Albany, State University of New York. I received my PhD in American History from Cornell University. My first book, Shirts Powdered Red: Haudenosaunee Gender, Trade, and Exchange Across Three Centuries argues that Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) women used the Atlantic world of goods to shape their communities’ engagement with settler colonialism and reject colonialist constructions of civility and savagery.
My second project, The Capacious Sacrament of Necessity: Community Formation in Early American Baptismal Networks, is a born-digital analysis of networks formed by godparentage across early America. This book-length project uses social network analysis to examine how American racial and political identities formed during the years leading to the American Revolution, and assess the active roles played by women and marginalized people of color in forming the American nation.
I am also working on a book about the construction of authenticity in reenacting and living history portrayals of early America. This book will be one part oral history of Revolutionary-era reenacting between the 1976 200th anniversary and the 2026 250th anniversary of the American Revolution, and one part examination of how reenactors and museum publics understand authenticity, especially with regard to the inclusion of families and children in the hobby. If you’re a reenactor or living historian who’d like to be interviewed about your experience or have me come to an event with your group, please do reach out.
My research focuses on questions of community and identity formation and uses material culture, archaeology, economic history, and digital history to examine Indigenous women’s agency. I teach courses on Indigenous history, early America, race and consumer culture, public history, and digital humanities methods. I also give talks for public audiences, senior learning groups, and National Endowment for the Humanities Teachers’ Institutes on women’s history, New York history, early American history, and Indigenous history. I am available for K12 curriculum development/consultation and classroom Zoom visits with no fee for public schools.
Please email mkane2 @ albany.edu if you’d like to arrange a talk for your class or group!