Katherine Grier

Kasey_Grier_Headshot2015 copy

Professor, Department of History
Director, Museum Studies Program
208 Munroe Hall
Newark, DE 19716
(302) 831-2388

Katherine C. (Kasey) Grier is professor in the Department of History and director of the Museum Studies Program, a certificate program available to University of Delaware graduate students. She also directs the American Civilization track of the Department of History’s doctoral program (http://www.udel.edu/amciv/).

A graduate of the Cooperstown Graduate Program in Museum Studies (M. A.) and the American Civilization Program in the University of Delaware Department of History (Ph.D.), Kasey Grier’s career integrates work in museums and in the academy, including curating exhibitions and consulting on matters of interpretation and digital access to collections.   She is the author of Culture and Comfort: Parlor-Making and Middle-Class Identity, 1850-1930 and Pets in America: A History, along with articles and several exhibition catalogs.

Kasey Grier’s current research continues to explore the relationships between people and non-human animals, including the practice of reshaping animal bodies through “fancy breeding” for competitive exhibition; the development of the market for pet equipment and supplies; and the material culture of the modern animal shelter. Her blog The Pet Historian (http://www.thepethistorian.com) explores the material and visual culture associated with keeping pet animals; it has an international readership.

Kasey Grier’s teaching incorporates material culture-based pedagogy. A recent project, Disposable America (http://www.disposableamerica.org) uses digital artifact biographies to explore the history of disposability and the complex relationship of Americans to their trash.  The product of a graduate writing seminar in 2014, Disposable America continues to grow as both graduate and undergraduate students contribute to its content through coursework.

Founded in 1972, the Museum Studies Program (http://www.museumstudies.udel.edu/) offers graduate students another way to engage with artifacts, building fundamental skills in collection assessment, handling and care for both artifact and archival collections through course practicums and internships. Students undertaking the certificate also are introduced to the practices, ethics and legal requirements of public collecting and collection management.