PhD, University of Maryland, College Park
Rachel Walker is an Assistant Professor of History in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Hartford. In 2018, she earned her PhD from the University of Maryland in College Park. As both a scholar and a teacher, Dr. Walker specializes in the history of gender, race, and popular science in early America. She is currently working on her first book project, which uncovers the history of physiognomy: a once-popular but now-discredited science, rooted in the idea that people’s facial beauty reveals their moral and mental character. Dr. Walker’s research has garnered long-term fellowships from the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, and the Library Company of Philadelphia. Her dissertation was a finalist for the SHEAR Dissertation Prize in 2019. This project was also supported by short-term research fellowships from numerous archives and institutions, including the American Antiquarian Society, American Philosophical Society, Massachusetts Historical Society, and Winterthur Museum. Since joining the faculty at the University of Hartford, Dr. Walker has been awarded a Richard J. Cardin Research Grant from the College of Arts and Sciences, a Davis Fellowship to enhance student writing, and a Critical Thinking “Micro-Skills” Grant to facilitate critical inquiry in the classroom. By offering courses in U.S. History, Women’s History, and the History of Sexuality, Dr. Walker regularly encourages students to examine structures of power, privilege, and inequality in the American past. She will serve as a Faculty Fellow in the University’s Humanities Center for the 2019-20 academic year.