Timothy Kent Holliday

Timothy Kent Holliday

Ph.D. Candidate





"Morbid Sensations: Intimacy, Coercion, and Epidemic Disease in Philadelphia, 1790-1850"


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 1850.

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!


M.A., History, University of Pennsylvania (2016)
B.A., History, Gender and Diversity Studies, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Xavier University (2014)

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



Courses Taught


Teaching Assistant:

  • Deciphering America (Fall 2015)
  • American South, 1861-Present (Spring 2016)
  • American Origins (Fall 2016)



  • The American West (Spring 2017)
Selected Publications


Online Publications:
"Burlesque", Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia
"Allen Temple AME", Antebellum Cincinnati: Social Intersections in the Queen City




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

CV (file)