I am a historian of law, technology, labor, public policy, and American cities. I received my BA from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and later earned a PhD in History from Columbia University, where I worked with Elizabeth Blackmar and Barbara Fields. My first book, Democracy of Sound: Music Piracy and the Remaking of American Copyright in the Twentieth Century, was published by Oxford University Press in 2013 (paperback, 2017), and my work has appeared in Salon, Al Jazeera, The Conversation, the Journal of American History, the Journal of Urban History, and Southern Cultures, among other publications. My second book, Brain Magnet: Research Triangle Park and the Idea of the Idea Economy, was published in April 2020 by Columbia University Press as part of its Studies in the History of U.S. Capitalism series. In collaboration with Romeo Guzmán, Carribean Fragoza, and Ryan Reft, I am also an editor of the innovative public history anthology, East of East: The Making of Greater El Monte, which was published by Rutgers University Press as part of its Latinidad series.
I am also a trans Arab-American woman and socialist who tweets too much, to the extent that any of that matters.
I am a professor in the History Department at Georgia State University, where I teach about the history of American politics, cities, intellectual property, and technology, as well as public history and digital humanities. I am also senior editor of the history blog Tropics of Meta.