Current PhD Students by Primary Field of Study

Ancient | Africa | Atlantic World | East Asia | Europe (MedievalEarly ModernModern) | Latin America | Middle East | South Asia | History of Science, Technology, Environment, and Medicine (STEaM) United States

Ancient
 

large_Qizhen Xie.pngQizhen Xie
Ph.D.  Student 
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Advisor: Graham Oliver
My main interest lies in the Hellenistic world, particularly in the development of administration and bureaucracy from early to mid Hellenistic period (300-150 BCE). I am currently exploring questions concerning how the romance of “spear-won land” (δορίκτητος χώρα) was grounded in and realized through fiscality and day-to-day management.
 

Africa
 

large_Devon Newhouse.jpgDevon Newhouse
Ph.D.  Student
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Advisor: Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali Zamindar
Devon Newhouse studies migration within the Portuguese empire with a focus on the movement from Portuguese India to Africa.

 

Atlantic World
 

large_Sherri.jpgSherri Cummings
Ph.D.  Candidate
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Advisor: 
I am interested in the African Atlantic, early African American history and Africana intellectual thought, during the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries,  intersecting themes (but not limited to) of trauma, slavery, childhood and law.


large_Brooke Grasberger .png(Anne) Brooke Grasberger
Ph.D. Candidate
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Advisor: Linford Fisher
My interests are in the spiritual lives of sailors, and particularly what combinations of what is deemed superstition or folklore and what is deemed religion occurred in the unique physical and metaphysical space of the ship at sea. More succinctly: what does the sea do to people, and what do people see in it?

 

large_Marley-Vincent Lindsey.jpgMarley-Vincent Lindsey
Ph.D. Candidate
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Advisor:
Marley-Vincent Lindsey primarily works on the transformation of class consciousness among the Nahua in sixteenth-century New Spain, and is secondarily interested in the connections between fifteenth-century Iberia and its influence on the religious and political formation of Spanish colonial society.

 

large_Michael Simpson.jpgMichael Simpson
Ph.D.  Student
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Advisor: Linford Fisher
Michael’s work builds on earlier research by Sibylle Fischer and Marcy Norton on disavowal--the cultural sterilization or ‘bio-prospecting’ often perpetrated by European and American explorers and settler-colonists in the early years of the Atlantic period of discovery. This project will work to examine this intersection between Indigenous traditional knowledge and American and European Enlightenment thinkers, with the intention of reassessing the role of Indigenous people in the creation of modernity, and as a result, the modern world. You can find him on Twitter: @HiddenHistoryRI 
 

East Asia
 

large_Yu-chi Chang.jpgYu-chi Chang
Ph.D.  Student
Email
Advisor: Rebecca Nedostup
Fields of Interest: Nation-building and nationalism of China, Intellectual History, Political Culture, Book History.
Dissertation: "Imagining the Loss: Maps, Geographic Knowledge, and the Formation of Modern Chinese Nation-State"

 

large_Keegan Cothern .pngKeegan Cothern
Ph.D. Candidate
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Advisor: Kerry Smith
Fields of Interest: Modern Japan and East Asia as a whole; environmental history and natural disasters; science and technology; urbanization; GIS
 

large_Yu-cheng Shih.jpgYu-cheng Shih
Ph.D.  Student
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Advisor: Rebecca Nedostup
Yu-cheng Shih specializes in modern East Asian history, focusing on maritime community, immigration, local historical memory, folk religion, and cold war, as well as the legacy of Japanese colonization in China and Taiwan.

 

large_Aaron Stark.pngAaron Stark
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Ph.D. Student
Advisor: Kerry Smith

My work revolves around modern Japan and East Asia, and my research interests include modern empire, the social creation of space, and differential mobilities. My current research examines the establishment of the national park system in the Japanese Empire and seeks to show how the accompanying identification, preservation, monumentalization, and subsequent modernization of select spaces created an imagined “natural” order from which the nation/empire sourced its legitimacy.
 

large_Lillian Tsay.jpgLillian Tsay
Ph.D.  Student
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Advisor: Kerry Smith
Lillian Tsay studies the history of food industry in modern Japan with a focus on sugar and sweets businesses. She is interested in the transition of how “sweetness” was embodied with new cultural meanings since Japan’s Westernization movement in early 20th century and how the consumption culture in the empire’s metropole was connected with the sugar industry in Japan’s colonies.
 

Medieval Europe
 

large_Leland.jpgLeland Grigoli 
Ph.D. Candidate
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Advisor: Amy Remensnyder
I am interested in paleography, medieval monks, mapping, and the links between religious institutions and secular power within Europe in the long twelfth century.

 

 

large_Picture2.pngSarah Christensen
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Ph.D.  Student 
Advisor: Jonathan Conant
Fields of Interest: Gender and migration in the Viking diaspora; womens’ roles in ethnic conflict and assimilation in the Irish Sea Region and Iceland.
I am interested broadly in the relationship between gender and migration in the medieval world, and the lives of women in borderlands and frontier societies. My MPhil research focused on the western Viking diaspora, particularly the impact of Celtic migrants in Iceland and the development of new ethnic identities and gender roles in the Irish Sea region. I am also interested in the role of myth and storytelling in historical narrative.
 

large_Stacey Murrell.jpgStacey Murrell
Ph.D. Candidate
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Advisor: Amy Remensnyder
Stacey works on the western Mediterranean during the high middle ages (c.900-1450), with a particular emphasis on the relationship(s) between gender, sexuality, and power. Her dissertation examines concubinage from the perspective of its role in rulership--particularly processes of power consolidation--in the kingdoms of Iberia, North Africa, Sicily, and Naples. She is also concerned with concubinage’s later representation in visual culture, which draws on her museum background and interest in the ways that the public engages with the past. Other interests of hers include: medievalism, the intersection(s) of race and gender, the history of the family, burials, and memory.
 

Ayse Topaloglu
Ph.D. Candidate
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Advisor: Amy Remensnyder
Fields of Interest: Italy, History of Violence and Crime
 

large_Dillon Webster.jpgDillon Webster
Ph.D. Student
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Advisor:
My interests are rooted in the ethno-religious make up of the western Mediterranean, specifically the Iberian Peninsula and the Maghreb.


 

Early Modern Europe
 

large_Tamar Golinsky .pngTamar Golinsky
Ph.D. Student
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Advisor: Tara Nummedal

 

 

large_Mayer.jpgMayer Juni
Ph.D. Candidate
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Advisor: Tara Nummedal
Mayer Juni studies changes in early modern knowledge practices and the role that these played in shaping the culture and politics of Europe and the Atlantic World. His dissertation examines Spanish Inquisitors’ systematic collection of personal data and their use of biographical discourse within their trial procedures. In doing so, he hopes to shed light on the intersection of renaissance culture, empire-building, the origins of modern modes of governance, and the construction of new kinds of identities for Amerindians, Africans, Conversos, and other marginal subjects within Hispanic society.
 

large_Elizabeth Nielsen.pngElizabeth Nielsen
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Ph.D. Student
Advisor: Harold Cook

I am interested in studying the intersection of early modern medicine and maritime culture. To that end, my research interests include medical exchanges and commerce, vernacular science and medicine, and the creation of expertise and cultural authority. Specifically, it is my aim to explore the ways in which the medical and scientific innovation and cross-cultural translation can be fostered in environments such as in an ocean-going vessel and in ports of call.
 

large_Jongkook.pngJongook Yoon
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Ph.D. Student 
Advisor: Tim Harris
I’m interested in how British commercial expansion into the Atlantic during the seventeenth and early eighteenth century led to the growth of domestic industries and colonial agriculture, especially those that relate to textile production, thereby creating necessary and favorable conditions for the economic takeoff of the later eighteenth century that ushered in modernity. I’m also
intrigued by the history of state administration and policy that promoted or restrained such developments.​

 

large_Yekai Zhang.jpg

Yekai Zhang
Ph.D. Student
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Advisor: Tim Harris
Yekai Zhang studies early modern Britain and Ireland, with particular focus on people’s experience of crisis and conflicts, the changes and continuities, and the global expansion under the Stuarts.

 

Modern Europe
 

large_Jisoo Hong.jpgJisoo Hong
Ph.D.  Student
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Advisor:
Jisoo Hong studies the history of oil in the former Soviet Union. Particularly, she is focusing on the rise of oilmen since the 1960s, in which oilmen reimagined the political economy of the Soviet Union through oil and transformed their country into a global “petro-state.”
 

large_s200_harry.merritt.jpgHarry Merritt
Ph.D. Candidate
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Advisor: Omer Bartov
Harry's research interests center nationalism, collective identity, interethnic relations, and the impact of war on society, with a current research focus on the Latvian experience of World War II.
Dissertation: "For the Homeland, Against Each Other: Latvian Soldiers in Nazi German and Soviet Service in World War II"

 

large_Alexandra Morehead .pngAlexandra Morehead
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Ph.D. Student
Advisor: Omer Bartov
Fields of Interest: Critical Genocide Studies; Aesthetics of Violence; 20th century Continental philosophy & critical theory; intellectual history of Central & Eastern Europe; Science, Technology, & Society Studies (STS); legal history; environmental history.​

The goal of my project is to bring together in one narrative the history and memory of mass atrocity in the Soviet Union. I hope to situate my scholarship squarely at the point where contested memories of genocide meet grand narratives—and probe how memories of ethnic conflict in East European borderlands were negotiated in Soviet Russia, Poland, and Ukraine. I would like to examine the continuous transformation of Soviet state policy of historicizing ethnic violence from 1943 to present, and to interrogate the means by which Moscow triangulated victim consciousness through state policy.
 

large_Emily Julia Roche.jpgEmily Julia Roche
Ph.D.  Student
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Advisor: Omer Bartov
Emily works on the history of architecture and war in twentieth-century Poland. She is particularly interested in writing about the experiences of Jewish architects in Warsaw during and after the Holocaust. Her interests include Jewish history, memory and place, Polish-Soviet relations, communist aesthetics, theories of urbicide, and intellectual history.
 

Judith Smith
Ph.D. Candidate
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Advisor: Omer Bartov
My research interests include the history of Internationalism (especially in the late 19th century through interwar period), Interethnic Relations and Nationalism, Legal History, War and Political Violence.
 

large_Jtsundu_profile photo.jpgJenny Lhamo Tsundu
Ph.D. Candidate
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Advisors: Holly Case and Bathsheba Demuth
My dissertation examines the twinned projects of a planned city and hydroelectric station in Soviet Siberia. 
Themes: 20th century Russia; hydroelectric development; place and poetics; literary representations of the economic
 

large_James.jpgJames Wang
Ph.D. Candidate
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Advisor: Omer Bartov
I am broadly interested in the political and economic history of modern East Central Europe. My research focuses on transformation of the German idea of Mitteleuropa during the First World War and particularly how it relates to parliamentary opposition to German occupation policies in Eastern Europe.

 

Latin America
 

large_Thamyris.jpgThamyris Almeida
Ph.D. Candidate
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Advisor: James Green
Thamyris Almeida’s research interests include popular culture, national identity, and Cold War-era cultural politics. Her dissertation focuses on the history of Brazilian television from its inauguration in 1950 through the Brazilian military dictatorship. She is particularly interested in popular and intellectual discourses regarding television’s place in Brazilian society during a moment of political transition.


large_Juan B-G.pngJuan J. Bettancourt-García
Ph.D. Candidate
Email
Advisor: Roquinaldo Ferreira
Juan Bettancourt is a PhD student specializing in Colonial Latin America in the context of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. Juan's current research project explores the connections between early 19th century medical practice in the Viceroyalty of Río de la Plata  and the expansion of the slave trade with Portuguese ports in Mozambique.
 

large_René Cordero.jpgRené Cordero
Ph.D.  Student
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Advisor: Jennifer Lambe
René Cordero works on Latin American social movements and politics during the Cold War. He is particularly interested in examining the left and right wing political narratives of the nation during the 1960s and 1970s in the Dominican Republic and how these narratives opened up new possibilities for democracy and the Dominican Republic’s checkered relationship with Haiti.  More specifically, René examines how the student movement in the Dominican Republic galvanized different sectors of Dominican society and embraced a hemispheric and global circulation of discourses on racial consciousness, anti-imperialism and historical revisionism. His work attempts to place the Dominican Cold War experience at the center of debates about imperialism, third-worldism and race. He is also the coordinator, under the directorship of Professor James Green, of the Dominican section of Opening the Archives, an online archive housed at the Brown Library that documents U.S.-Dominican relations during the Cold War.​
 

large_Juan1.JPGDiego Luis
Ph.D. Candidate
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Advisor: Evelyn Hu-Dehart
My research centers on early-modern trans-Pacific connections, specifically the movement of free and enslaved Asians from the Spanish Philippines to New Spain during the 16th and 17th centuries.

 

large_mcdonald_headshot.jpgDaniel McDonald
Ph.D. Candidate
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Advisor: James Green
Daniel McDonald is a historian of modern Latin America whose work focuses on nineteenth and twentieth century Brazil. His research interests center on citizenship, cities, social movements, migration, and gender with an emphasis on digital and public humanities methods.
Dissertation: "Peripheral Citizenship: The Popular Politics of Rights, Welfare, and Health in São Paulo, 1964-1994​"

 

large_Fernando Norat.jpgFernando Norat
Ph.D.  Student
Email
Advisor:
Interested in the complex relation between Communism, Nationalism and Anti-Imperialism in the Latin-American left of the 20th century.


 

large_Luiz Paulo Ferraz.pngLuiz Paulo Ferraz​
Ph.D. Student​
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Advisor: James Green 
Luiz Paulo has a broad interest in the history of colonial and modern Latin America, particularly indigenous history, race, ethnicity, and the military dictatorship in Brazil.
He also co-founded the public history project "História ao Ar Livre" and the NGO SomosProfessores.org. 
 


(John) Luke Smith
Ph.D. Candidate
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Advisor: James Green 
Fields of Interest: Colonial Latin America, History of the Andes,  Social and Economic History, Race, Labor, Commodities, and Empires in the Early Modern World
 

large_Wong.pngStephanie Wong
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Ph.D.  Student 
Advisor: Evelyn Hu-Dehart
My current work focuses on empire, particularly those of ancient Rome, colonial Latin America, and modern East Asia. Other interests include soft power, cultural hegemony and exchange, material culture, monuments, and engaged scholarship.

 

Middle East 

large_Anil.Askin.PhD.Student.History.2nd.Year.jpegAnil Askin
Ph.D.  Student
Email
Advisor: Beshara Doumani
Anil studies the history of Ottoman Empire in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. His work is primarily concerned with the roles played by environment, animals, science, labor, empires, and institutions in the making of global capitalism. In so doing, he focuses on the networks, logistics and politics of production connecting the Middle East, the eastern Mediterranean, the Balkans and the Atlantic world to each other.
 

large_Kate Elizabeth Creasey.jpgKate Elizabeth Creasey
Ph.D.  Student
Email
​Advisor: Beshara Doumani
Is a historian of the modern Middle East. Her current research focuses on the politics of everyday life in the immediate aftermath of the 1980 military coup in Turkey.

 

large_Gettle.jpgJulia Gettle
Ph.D. Candidate
Email
​Advisor: Beshara Doumani
Fields of Interest: Modern Middle East, 20th Century Levant, Arab Nationalism, Mediterranean History, Social and Cultural History, Political and Social Movements

 

large_Maariyah.jpgMaariyah Lateef
Ph.D. Candidate
Email
​Advisor: Beshara Doumani
Fields of Interest: Late Ottoman history; interactions between muftis and their communities; Islamic legal and ethical norms

 

large_Leidy Hist Dept Photo.jpgJoseph Leidy
Ph.D. Candidate
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​Advisor: Beshara Doumani
Joseph works on the social and cultural history of the modern Middle East with a focus on the Arabic-speaking Eastern Mediterranean. His dissertation project focuses on the category of youth in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Mt. Lebanon and the Syrian-Lebanese diaspora in North and South America. His other interests include gender, environmental history, and the history of ideas.
 

South Asia 


large_Osama Ahmad - Dept. Photo.jpgOsama Ahmad
Ph.D.  Student 
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Advisor: Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali Zamindar
Fields of Interest: Modern South Asia, Colonial Punjab, Social history, Decolonization, Post-Colonial Theory

 

large_Suvaid Yaseen.jpgSuvaid Yaseen
Ph.D. Candidate
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​Advisor: Vazira Fazila-Yacoobali Zamindar
Fields of Interest: Modern South Asia, Islam, Intellectual History, Political and Religious Movements


 

History of Science, Technology, Environment, and Medicine (STEaM)
 

large_Amanda Arceneaux.jpgAmanda Arceneaux
Ph.D. Student
Email
​Advisor:
Amanda J Arceneaux works at the intersection of book history and history of science in early modern Europe. Her research explores how vernacular manuscript herbals fit into the larger historical narrative about the rise of modern science. She is interested in how the content and paratextual elements of manuscript herbals offer a way of investigating technologies of knowledge production and get at an aspect of book history, the prevalence of manuscripts in print culture.
 

large_George Elliott .pngGeorge Elliott
Ph.D. Candidate
Email
​Advisor: Tara Nummedal
My central interest is the early modern history of alchemy in the Anglo-American colonies, and its connections to developments in the history of science and the Atlantic world. My main questions focus on the social history of colonial alchemy, scientific knowledge production in the household, laboratory experimentation, and alchemical influences on medical treatment. See my website for further information on my work, interests, and career so far.
 

United States
 

Daly.jpgAnn Daly
Ph.D. Candidate
Email
​Advisor: Seth Rockman
Ann Daly is a is a Ph.D. candidate in the History Department. Her research interests include the nineteenth- century United States and the history of money.

 

large_Dorney .pngMichael Dorney
Ph.D.  Student
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​Advisor: Naoko Shibusawa
My research explores sites of Japanese American incarceration during World War II as material, social and imagined landscapes. By taking a hard look at the material culture, social dynamics, and photographic and artistic portrayals of these incarceration sites, my aim is to contribute to a more textured history of Japanese American incarceration and shed light on the realities of unjust imprisonment. A more long term goal of mine is to investigate the potential for virtual reality technologies and computer-generated reconstructions to aid in preserving the material culture and historical memory of incarceration landscapes like the Central Utah Relocation Center. 
 

large_Taaja.pngTaaja El-Shabazz
Ph.D.  Student
Email
​Advisor: Françoise Hamlin
I studied 20th century U.S. history and political science at the George Washington University in Washington D.C., focusing specifically on the racial politics of citizenship and belonging, anti-black racism and the American political imagination, and racial capitalism. Since 2017, I have worked as a legal assistant at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, an international NGO that partners with civil society organizations and political parties to support and strengthen democratic institutions throughout the world.

large_aaron jacobs.JPGAaron Jacobs
Ph.D. Candidate
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​Advisor: Robert Self
Aaron Jacobs is an historian of American politics and culture, interested in the relationship between race, nationalism, and the history of mass media. His dissertation is entitled “When Lightning Strikes Twice: Cinema, Race, Empire and the Re-Birth of the Ku Klux Klan.”

 

large_Takuya Maeda.jpgTakuya Maeda
Ph.D.  Student
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​Advisor: Naoko Shibusawa
Takuya Maeda studies 20th century U.S. history with a focus on Asian American identity and politics. He is particularly interested in Japanese American interment and redress, and the ways in which traditional notions of communal history, group membership, ethnic identity, and political activism are being challenged by the influx of post-1965 Japanese immigrants.
 

large_Rebecca Marisseau .pngRebecca Marisseau
Ph.D. Candidate
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​Advisor: Seth Rockman 
Rebecca Marisseau is a historian of the early American republic with research interests in statecraft, science and technology, capitalism, and material culture. Her dissertation traces whale fishery products - primarily oil - through customs in the Port of New Bedford as a way to explore the materiality and mundanity of state bureaucracy.
 

large_Sarah Pearlman Shapiro.jpgSarah Pearlman Shapiro
Ph.D.  Student
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​Advisor: Seth Rockman 
Sarah’s research explores the intersection of violence and intimacy in early America. Her interests include the politics of death, medicine, and material culture.

 

large_Emily Salemi .pngEmily Pierson
Ph.D. Candidate
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​Advisor: Linford Fisher
Emily Pierson primarily works on the use of nineteenth-century garden cemeteries to form and reinforce American identity.  She is further interested in broader questions of the interactions between the living and the dead and how these are shaped by the understanding of what happens after death, both to the body and to the soul. 
 

large_LWT Robinson.jpgLeslie-William Robinson
Ph.D. Candidate
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​Advisor: Robert Self
I am a student of twentieth-century US military, labor, and intellectual history. My dissertation focuses on the systematic development of the concept of morale during WWI, and its exportation into the industrial labor force as a technology of control during the interwar period. The project also explores anti-war resistance as labor resistance.
 

large_Sanford.jpgHeather Sanford
Ph.D. Candidate
Email
​Advisor: Linford Fisher
Twitter: @heather_history
My research explores the relationship between food systems and slavery in the colonial British Atlantic.
Dissertation: "Palatable Slavery: Food, Race, and Freedom in the Colonial British Atlantic"
 

large_Simeon Simeonov.jpgSimeon Simeonov
Ph.D. Candidate
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Advisor: Seth Rockman
I am interested in the history of extraterritoriality and its relationship to diasporas, empires, states, colonialism, and decolonization. My work historicizes the creation of the modern nation-state as a process shaped as much by “external” as by “internal” agents and institutions. Methodologically, I blend theorists of European state-building and institutions with the “new” history of capitalism and slavery as well as histories of empire and Atlantic state formation. My dissertation examines more than a dozen archives on three continents to show how Atlantic consuls negotiated an international consensus on citizenship and human rights, how they shaped ideas of national sovereignty, and how they developed new practices of empire- and nation-building in the Age of Revolution (1776-1848). 
 

large_Joseph Williams.jpgJoseph Williams
Email
Ph.D.  Student 
Advisor: Françoise Hamlin

Prior to joining Brown’s history department, I spent three years working for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) museum, the Civil Rights Memorial Center. I led a research project at the Center on racial violence during the civil rights era, using SPLC files from the 1980s to early 2000s and U.S. Department of Justice files relating to the Emmett Till Act.  My research interests include twentieth century United States history, African American history, and the black freedom struggle.

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