Laura Carpenter

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Laura is a first-year Ph.D. student in American Studies. She received her B.A. in History and Political Science at Gustavus Adolphus College and her M.A. in Public History at The University of Northern Iowa.

Prior to her time at Iowa, she worked at the UNI Museum for two years managing the Rural School Oral History Project, developing the Rural School Digital Story Map, and assisting with the management and curation of the Rural School Collection. At Iowa, she hopes to use the next chapter of her academic career as an opportunity to contribute to the field of American working-class studies in both scholarship and activism. Additionally, she plans to continue building the historical scholarship of the American hobo and working to preserve the culture of hoboing alongside the National Hobo Museum in Britt, Iowa.

Currently, Laura serves as an instructor in Rhetoric and enjoys closely supporting student experiences from diverse backgrounds and academic interests. She also manages to enjoy a cup of tea and Wheel of Fortune during the small amount of downtime that she has these days

Research Interests: 
  • U.S. labor history
  • Scholarship and activism related to American working-class life and cultures
  • Subcultural origins and theory
  • Museum representation and identity
  • Oral history research and methodology
  • Exhibition development