BA, Hollins College; MA, University of Georgia; Ph.D., Rutgers University
Dr. Scales is a historian of twentieth-century Europe, with a special focus on the social and cultural history of modern France. Her scholarship reflects her wide-ranging interests in the history of the body and the senses, global and imperial history, and the history of science, medicine, and technology. Her first book, Radio and the Politics of Sound in Interwar France, 1921-1939 (Cambridge, 2016, 2018) examines the democratization of radio in France, illustrating how broadcasting became a new platform for political engagement by transforming the act of listening into an important, if highly contested, practice of citizenship.
She is currently working with a seven-member international research team to study the origins of transnational broadcasting through a project entitled “Connecting the Wireless World: Writing Global Radio History,” funded by the UK-based Leverhulme Trust. Learn more about the project here: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/arts/research/global-radio-history/.
With the support of a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, Dr. Scales has begun a new book project entitled Polio’s Hidden History: Epidemic Disease and Disability in Twentieth Century France, the first scholarly study of polio and its survivors in France. Although polio has largely disappeared from public memory, mid-century polio epidemics claimed the lives of thousands and left many people with permanent disabilities. Weaving together histories of epidemic disease, public health, and medicine with the social and cultural history of disability, this interdisciplinary book will examine how polio restructured France’s welfare state and health care systems, fueled vaccine development and biomedical research, and mediated France’s geopolitical status during an era of decolonization and rising American predominance. Moreover, by charting the lives of polio survivors across the tumultuous political landscape of the twentieth century, this book will uncover the complex and shifting intersections between disability, able-bodiedness, and citizenship, providing a new framework for understanding the history of inclusion and exclusion in modern France.
Dr. Scales’s research has been supported by a wide range of national and international agencies, including grants from the Social Science Research Council, the Embassy of France in the United States, the American Philosophical Society, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Société des Professeurs Français et Francophones d’Amérique. Dr. Scales regularly presents her research at conferences around the U.S. and in Europe.
At RIT, Dr. Scales teaches courses on twentieth-century Europe, European imperialism, the world wars, urban history, and the history of travel and tourism, and media history. Her courses contribute to the International Studies curriculum as well as the Digital Humanities and Social Sciences degree.