Melissa is a historian of late 18th and 19th century North America, with a particular emphasis on the history of settler colonialism, slavery, women and gender and religion. She holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Virginia and a B.A. and M.A. in History and English Literature from McGill University. Melissa is currently working on a book about President and General Andrew Jackson's wife, Rachel, which charts how Rachel's conservative evangelicalism proved a critical tool of her husband's imperialist warfare and empire-building. She's also a regular contributor to BackStory Radio, a nationally-syndicated podcast about American history.