In H-Diplo’s series on “Learning the Scholar’s Craft: Reflections of Historians and International Relations Scholars,” Stephen Rabe, a 1977 graduate of UConn History’s doctoral program, describes his path to becoming a prominent specialist in foreign relations. Rabe discusses with candid fondness his time studying with scholars like Mary Beth Norton and his dissertation director, Thomas G. Paterson. He attributes his “learning of the scholar’s craft” to UConn’s faculty, who served as great role models who “took their jobs seriously, worked hard, and published.” Be sure to read more about Stephen Rabe’s journey to history, the academy, Storrs, and beyond in this fantastic and detailed essay.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Congratulations are in order to UConn PhD alum Nathan Braccio (2020) for receiving and accepting a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Environmental History at Utah State University – Uintah Basin. Nathan will take up the fellowship this fall. We look forward to hearing Nathan’s stories about teaching and researching at USU-UB as well as about the beautiful scenery he will enjoy out there.
Well done, Nathan, and keep making UConn History proud!
Congratulations to Dr. Aimee Loiselle (2019 PhD) for winning the Catherine Prelinger Award from The Coordinating Council for Women in History (CCWH).
Dr. Loiselle’s research endeavors and service to women, along with her personal story and non-traditional pathway to academia, embody the spirit of the Prelinger Award. The CCWH’s awards committee was particularly impressed by her commitment to mentoring and teaching immigrant women and her dedication to highlighting ordinary women’s voices and experiences. Expanding on her award-winning dissertation, the book project, Creating Norma Rae: Southern Labor Activists and Puerto Rican Needleworkers Lost in Reagan’s America, stood out as cutting-edge, comprehensive, and timely. Her book promises to be a major contribution to cultural history, labor history, oral history, women’s and gender history, and the history of capitalism and transnational political economies.
Congratulation, Aimee, on this incredible honor! This is the second award Aimee’s dissertation has received so far. Well done, Aimee, and keep making UConn History proud.
Congratulations to UConn History alum Orlando Deavila Pertuz (2019 PhD), whose dissertation, “The Battle for Paradise: Tourism Development, Race, and Popular Politics during the Remaking of Cartagena (Columbia), 1942-1984” received Honorable Mention in the Michael Katz Award for Best Dissertation in Urban History from the Urban History Association. Well done, Orlando, and keep up the great work!
A hearty congratulations to UConn History Ph.D. (’19) alum, Amy Sopcak-Joseph, for receiving the Zuckerman Dissertation Prize in American Studies from the McNeil Center for Early American History at the University of Pennsylvania. The Zuckerman prize is awarded to “the best dissertation connecting American history (in any period) with literature and/or art… evaluated for the seriousness and originality with which the dissertation engages relationships among history, art and/or literature, the significance of the treatment to scholarship in the field, and the overall quality of the writing.” Sopcak-Joseph’s dissertation, titled “Fashioning American Women: Godey’s Lady’s Book, Female Consumers, and Periodical Publishing in the Nineteenth Century,” wonderfully explored the production, dissemination, content, and reception of an exceptionally popular antebellum American periodical called Godey’s Lady’s Book.
Well done, Amy!
The 2020 Aetna Graduate Critical Writing Award recognized the work of two newly minted History Ph.D.s. Danielle Dumaine received 2nd place and Nathan Braccio received an honorable mention. The award is sponsored by the Aetna Chair of Writing and recognizes excellent critical nonfiction composed by a graduate student. Winners are awarded cash prizes and publicly recognized at the annual Aetna Celebration of Student Writing.
On February 17, Matthew Guariglia contributed to Slate Magazine with an article titled “Facial Recognition Technology is the New Rogues’ Gallery.” Using his historical training and interest in surveillance in the United States, Guariglia considers the similarities between the current debate over privacy and the previous one from the turn of the twentieth century.
Matthew received his Ph.D. from UConn in 2019 with a dissertation that “explored how U.S. colonialism, immigration, migration, and demographic shifts in New York City changed the way the state learned about urban subjects, and triggered a shift in the way police understood their jobs.” Currently, he serves as a visiting scholar in the Department of History at the University of California-Berkeley, and as a policy analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
On January 27th, Inside Higher Ed helped recognize the first year of Contingent Magazine, an online history publication written and edited by trained historians for the public, by publishing an article titled “1 Year Down“. The feature highlights the inspiration behind the creation of Contingent Magazine, the experience of its first year, and where the magazine is heading. As described by Inside Higher Ed, “Contingent Magazine had a lot of doubters when it debuted 12 months ago. But it’s still going strong and earning a reputation as a place where historians can engage the public with the ideas that have always interested them.”
The detailed feature includes interviews with UConn History Ph.D. Erin Bartram and Ph.D. Candidate Marc Reyes. Bartram serves as Contingent‘s co-founder and Reyes an editor. According to Bartram, an “advocate for the field she loves,” but not the larger structural problems, she asked herself in 2018: “‘What can I do? I can start a magazine with my friends and edit and pay scholars for their work… I don’t necessarily think it will change things structurally, but it matters to the people who get $250 per piece.”
According to Reyes, he is most “proud of the types and topics of the articles we have run so far, including features, photo essays, and a cartoon. Most recently, in parallel with the 2019 release Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Contingent released Star Wars-inspired features, “If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Batuu” and “Sacred Objects,” which investigates how the medieval era inspired the Star Wars universe. In December, during the release of the Star Wars features, the website received 23,000 views. Funded entirely by its loyal readers through small donations, Contingent continually has provided enticing, intellectually provocative features and “postcards” from conferences.
To read more about Contingent Magazine and its successful first year, please click here.