Ph.D., American Culture, University of Michigan, 2010

Dissertation: Empire of Culture: U.S. Entertainers and the Making of the Pacific Circuit, 1850-1890

Master of Arts, History, University of Colorado­–Boulder, 2001

Bachelor of Arts, University of Colorado­–Boulder, 1999


Professional Experience

Curator, Harvard Theatre Collection, Hougton Library, 2016–

Assistant Curator of American Coins and Currency, American Numismatic Society, 2014–2016

Visiting Fellow, United States Studies Centre, University of Sydney, 2014–2015

Postdoctoral Fellow, Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Material Culture, Design History, 2010–2013

New Zealand Fulbright Scholar, Victoria University of Wellington, Pacific Studies Programme, 2006–2007

Graduate Student Instructor and Researcher, University of Michigan, 2001–2009

Teaching Assistant, University of Colorado­–Boulder, 1999–2001



Barnum’s Imperium: American Entertainers and the Nineteenth-Century Pacific (forthcoming).

Coining Liberty: The 1794 US Silver Dollar,” in A Superpower is Born: the Rise of the Dollar. Samlerhuser Group B. V., 2016. 80 pp. ISBN: 9788299945325

Circus and the City: New York, 1793-2010, by Matthew Wittmann. New Haven: Published by Yale University Press for the Bard Graduate Center, 2012. 208 pp. ISBN: 9780300187472

The American Circus, ed. by Susan Weber, Kenneth L. Ames, and Matthew Wittmann. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012. 459 pp. ISBN: 9780300185393



Circus and the City: New York, 1793–2010. Bard Graduate Center Gallery, September 21, 2012 to February 3, 2013. This exhibition used New York City as a lens through which to explore the extraordinary history of the circus in the United States, bringing together over 225 objects and images from museums and collections around the country. For reviews and media coverage, go here.


Awards, Fellowships, and Grants

Numismatic Literary Guild Award (Best Blog: Pocket Change), 2015

Choice Outstanding Academic Title (The American Circus), 2013

Victorian Society New York Exhibition and Catalogue Award (Circus and the City), 2013 

Dissertation Fellowship, Sweetland Writing Center, University of Michigan, 2008

Fellow, Global Ethnic Literatures Seminar, University of Michigan, 2007

Fulbright Award, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, 2006–2007

Research Fellow, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas, 2006

W.M. Keck Foundation and Mayers Fellow, The Huntington Library, 2005

Kate B. and Hall J. Peterson Fellow, American Antiquarian Society, 2005

Regents Fellowship, University of Michigan, 2001–2004