Dr. Kirsten L. Paine is an educator and researcher with more than a decade of experience working in higher education. Originally from Falconer, a small town in Chautauqua County, New York, Kirsten moved to Pittsburgh in 2011 for graduate school. In addition to the PhD she holds from the University of Pittsburgh, Kirsten holds a BA in English and History from Baldwin Wallace University and an MA in English from the University of Virginia.
She started working for Rivers of Steel in 2017 as a tour guide at the Carrie Blast Furnaces National Historic Landmark and was inspired by the mission to preserve such a national treasure held in public trust. Kirsten is committed to the work of public humanities education in her role as Site Management Coordinator and Interpretive Specialist. By creating and facilitating public programs that make the National Heritage Area’s history come alive for the community, she believes in archival study and teaching from primary sources as vital community resources. Prior to coming to Rivers of Steel full time, she taught a variety of undergraduate literature and composition courses at the University of Pittsburgh.
In addition to public history work related to 19th-century industrial labor, she specializes in 19th-century American literature, especially women’s writing and the Civil War. Kirsten currently is working on two research projects; she is revising her dissertation, Not According to the Regulation of War: Intimate Civil War Writing by Female Nurses, Soldiers, and Spies, into a book, and she is transcribing the Civil War-era diary of a young transcendentalist and reformer named Lilian Freeman Clarke.
In her free time, Kirsten enjoys discovering the delights of Pittsburgh’s bakeries and craft breweries and hiking in the region’s forests. She has recently discovered the meditative pleasures of gardening and hopes to spend many evenings pottering around in the dirt.
Kirsten can often be reached in her office at the Bost Building by calling 412.464.4020 ext. 222 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.