UConn History MA student, Matt Novosad, has written an insightful article about Homer Peckham, who was the only African American war veteran from Franklin, CT. In his Norwich Bulletin article, Matt walks us through the life of Peckham, before and after his military service. A job well done! We look forward to reading more of your work that recovers the hidden histories of Franklin, CT.
Please join us in celebrating the many recent achievements of UConn graduate students.
Kate Aguilar (PhD 2021) defended her dissertation, “In the Eyes of the Hurricanes: Miami Football, Race, and American Conservatism.” She began as Assistant Professor of African American History at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota in Fall 2021.
Hilary Bogert-Winkler (PhD 2019) appointed Assistant Professor of Liturgy at the School of Theology, University of the South, Sewanee, TN in Fall 2021.
Nathan Braccio (PhD 2020) defended his dissertation, “Parallel Landscapes: Algonquian and English Spatial Understandings of New England, 1500-1700.” He started as Postdoctoral Fellow in Environmental History at Utah State University – Uintah Basin in Fall 2021.
Danielle Dumaine (PhD 2020) completed her dissertation, “Selling Herself: Diane di Prima, Desire, and Commodity in the Postwar United States.” She has been Visiting Assistant Professor, University of North Texas since Fall 2020.
Kevin Finefrock (PhD 2021) defended his dissertation, “The Long Emancipation: Navigating Slavery’s End in Connecticut, 1780-1830.” He is Associate Director of Employer Engagement and Operations, Connecticut College.
Edward Guimont (PhD 2019) started as Professor of Global History at Bristol Community College, Fall Rivers, MA in Fall 2021.
Aimee Loiselle (PhD 2019) began a position as Assistant Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University in Fall 2021.
Winifred Maloney (MA 2018) has started a new position as Associate Dean of College Counseling at Choate Rosemary Hall.
Lauren Stauffer (PhD 2021) completed her dissertation “Beyond the North Atlantic: How NATO Developed an ‘Out-of-Area’ Perspective, 1979-1991″ and began work in a position with the US government.
Megan Streit (PhD candidate) began work this fall as Deputy Director of Operations for Capstone, Keystone, and Pinnacle Courses, National Defense University, Washington DC.
Jessica Strom (PhD 2021) completed her dissertation “Financing Revolution: Adriano Lemmi and the Struggle for Italian Unification“ and continues to teach courses at the UConn Stamford campus.
Prizes, Fellowships, and Internships
Katie Angelica (PhD candidate) received a 2019 grant from the New England Regional Fellowship Consortium, a 2020 Short-Term Grant from the New York Public Library, a 2021 Andrew Mellon Grant from the Massachusetts Historical Society, and a 2021 Grant from the Connecticut League of Women Voters — and she has finally been able to starting putting all of them to use in an intense stretch of dissertation research this fall as archives and libraries reopen.
Alex Beckstrand (PhD candidate) was the sole winner of the 2021 Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison Naval History Scholarship, an award of $5,000 given by the Naval History and Heritage Command to an active duty commissioned officer in the US Navy or Marine Corps studying the lessons of naval history for the analysis of great power competition. He also had his article on Woodrow Wilson and civil-military relations during the 1916 military expedition into Mexico accepted by the Journal of Military History.
Nicole Breault (PhD candidate) was Robert Middlekauff Fellow at the Huntington Library for two months in 2020-2021, as well as Draper Dissertation Fellow at the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute. She was co-winner of the inaugural Sandra Rux Prize. For 2021-22, she is the David Center for the American Revolution Pre-Doctoral Fellow at the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia.
Orlando Deavila Pertuz (PhD 2019) won Honorable Mention for the 2019 Michael Katz Award for Best Dissertation in Urban History. He is now Assistant Professor at the Instituto de Estudio del Caribe, Universidad de Cartagena, Colombia.
Erick Freeman (PhD candidate) is a Dissertation Fellow at the University of Connecticut Humanities Institute, 2021-22.
Constance Holden (PhD candidate) was an intern with the National Endowment for the Humanities in Summer 2021. She also won the Brian Bertoti Award for Outstanding Historical Scholarship for her paper, “Black Visibility and Whitened Modernity: Constructing Argentine Nationalism in Caras y Caretas, 1898-1910”, presented at Virginia Tech’s Innovative Perspectives in History Graduate Research Conference.
Aimee Loiselle (PhD 2019), won the 2020 Catherine Prelinger Award from the Coordinating Council for Women in History & 2020 Lerner-Scott Prize in Women’s History from the Organization of American Historians.
Frances Martin (PhD candidate) received a 2021 Samuel Flagg Bemis Dissertation Research Grant from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.
Britney Murphy (PhD candidate) was 2021 National Predoctoral Fellow for Humanities Without Walls.
Amy Sopcak-Joseph (PhD 2019), won the 2020 Zuckerman Dissertation Prize in American Studies from the McNeil Center for Early American History at the University of Pennsylvania.
Megan Streit (PhD candidate) received a 2020-21 Boren Fellowship, a 2020 Samuel Flagg Bemis Dissertation Research Grant from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, and a 2021 Critical Language Scholarship to study Azerbaijani.
UConn Today has highlighted the recent and monumental research of UConn History Professor Cornelia Dayton. Professor Dayton has made groundbreaking recoveries into the lives of prominent African-born writer, Phillis Wheatley, and her free husband, John Peters. For years, scholars were unsure about where Wheatley and Peters had gone after they left Boston. Using legal papers from Essex County, Massachusetts, Dayton uncovered that Phillis Wheatley and John Peters spent 3 years in Middleton, MA, on a farm where Peters had been enslaved. For Dayton, this work challenges the myth that nothing, or very little, exists about the lives of people of color in New England. Dayton’s research proves that in following “the small details,” we can arrive at new understandings of freedom, race, and gender that complicate what we think we know about the individual lives of people of color.
A job well done! Be sure to stay tuned for more developments, including a website! In the meantime, read the award-winning article in the September 2021 New England Quarterly and check out the @Wheatley_Peters Twitter!
New UConn History Prof. Hana Maruyama will participate in a virtual forum on “Animating Memories of Japanese American Incarceration” with the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry. This event is a part of their Fall 2021 Puppet Forum Series and exhibit on Puppetry’s Racial Reckoning. In collaboration with theater artist Kimi Maeda, Hana Maruyama will discuss the impact and legacies of Japanese incarceration during World War II. The discussion will take place on Thursday, 9/23 at 7pm EDT on Zoom. Follow this link to learn more about the event and be sure to register!
On Wednesday, 9/22, join Prof. Manisha Sinha from the University of Connecticut and Dr. Sandra Rebok from the University of California San Diego, for a virtual discussion titled, “Confronting History: The Legacy of Alexander von Humboldt’s Encounter with the Americas in the 21st Century.” The event will take place on Wednesday, 9/22 at 12pm EDT. The talk is co-sponsored by UConn’ Office of Global Affairs and the German Consulate General Boston as a part of their series on the afterlives of slavery, colonialism, and imperialism. Registration for the event is still open!
Prof. Brendan Kane will deliver a virtual talk about “Elizabeth I and Ireland: The Irish and England” on Wednesday, 9/22 at 1pm EDT (6pm BST). Prof. Kane’s presentation will be the first in Jesus College Oxford’s popular event series, Celebrating the Elizabethan College. Registration for the event closes on Monday, September 20 at 7am EDT (12pm BST).
The event description (as posted by Jesus College Oxford):
We are delighted to open our events programme for this academic year with a talk that is part of our ever-popular series of events, Celebrating the Elizabethan College. On this occasion we are fortunate to be joined by Dr Brendan Kane, Associate Professor of History at the University of Connecticut, who will examine the relationship between Jesus College’s foundress and the people of Ireland, and how its legacy can still be felt in the modern political landscape.
Sending a huge congratulations to UConn History professor, Micki McElya, on receiving a 2022-23 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Public Scholars Fellowship. This fellowship supports scholars in producing works that speak to broad audiences within and beyond the academy.
Professor McElya’s book, No More Miss America! How Protesting the 1968 Pageant Changed a Nation, fits within that goal of public scholarship. As a narrative and character-driven history, the book explores gender, race, and politics through the lens of the protests and participants in the 1968 pageant. Professor McElya is writing an intentional history that captures the complexities of the women involved in the protests and pageant by demonstrating just how beauty contests were sites of oppressive acts and liberating movements. In a fabulous UConn Today profile, Professor McElya describes that:
“The women who participate in these pageants are often written off in history books, their motivations are not made clear, and they’re even accused of potentially participating in their own oppression” and that “one purpose of this book is to show these women in the same fully-formed way, with clear motives and understandings, that the activists of the 1960s and 1970s get.”
To find out more, read the full UConn Today article!
A job well done! We look forward to reading this exciting and groundbreaking work.
Here’s a splendid interview with historian and librarian Alea Henle, 2012 PhD from UConn History and 2011-12 UCHI Dissertation Fellow, on her research, writing, and her recent book, Rescued from Oblivion: Historical Cultures in the Early United States. Dr. Henle is now the Head of Access & Borrow at Miami University (Ohio). The interview was conducted by historian Elizabeth Della Zazzera, postdoctoral research associate at the UConn Humanities Institute. Wonderful to see the fruits of twenty years of the Humanities Institute at the University of Connecticut!