Current Graduate Students

Teikillah Abubakari

Teikillah Abubakari is a Ph.D. candidate of African history working under the supervision of Professor Edmund Abaka. His research interest focuses on applied history, including the social history of health and medicine in Africa and contemporary history and migration history in Ghana and Asante in particular. Teikillah is a native of Agona Kwanyako a suburb of Agona Swedru in the central region of Ghana and grew up speaking English, Arabic, Akan, Hausa and Kotokoli.

Before beginning his Ph.D. studies at the University of Miami, Teikillah received his B.A. Honors and M.A. of Philosophy (Mphil) Historical Studies Degrees in 2018 and 2022 respectively at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. (KNUST) his M.A. thesis, “Muslim Influence on healthcare delivery in Asante (1874-1957) argued medical practices such as circumcision, cupping therapy and variolation were introduced into Asante by Muslim physicians. He also served as a graduate assistant at KNUST Department of History and Political Studies where he taught history of medicine course in 2021, and worked with the West African Examination council (WAEC) as an examiner for history course for four years (2019-2022).

 Teikillah has coauthored an article entitled “Muslim Healers and Healing: An Ethnographic study of Aboabo Community of Ghana”, published in the International Journal of Modern Antropology in 2020. He was a research assistant for a recent article written by Professor Bob Milliar and Dr. Ali Yakubu Nyaaba of KNUST entitled “Modernizing Royals and Capitalist of Kumase: The Asante Turf Club, 1950-1980s” published by Michigan State University Press (2022). His article “Tradition and Change of Islamic education in Ghana (1897-1950s)”, is under review. He can be reached at:


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Frimpong Nana Asamoah

Frimpong Nana Asamoah specializes in African History with a particular interest in the histories of mining, environment, culture, and colonialism in Ghana. He received his B.A. degree from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana in 2019. Currently, he is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of History at the University of Miami. His dissertation focuses on how the power play between imperial businessmen (mining investors) and the Gold Coast colonial government limited the powers of environmental protection agencies, Urban Councils, and Sanitary Boards in Ghana. He explores how these offensive maneuverings from both parties concentrated mining companies’ housing schemes and other developmental agendas in the peripheries of mining communities, leaving the core of these towns battered and underdeveloped.

Nana Asamoah is the author of “An Indigenous Innovative Touch: The Significance of the Kente Cloth in Asante Culture” in The Asante World (2021) and “The Search for West Africa’s ‘Neglected’ El-Dorado: Mapping and Sustaining Mining Frontiers in the Gold Coast, Ghana.” He is also a recipient of the Richard A. Horovitz Fund for Professional Development.

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Jacob (Jake) Brannum

Jacob (Jake) Brannum is a PhD candidate studying the social, cultural, and urban history of late medieval and early modern Europe under the direction of Dr. Guido Ruggiero. His work addresses the relationship between power and the urban environment in the city-states of Renaissance Italy, particularly during moments of violence and social tension. Jake’s dissertation examines how power was exercised in Venice’s various urban spaces during the fourteenth century, a period when the city underwent significant social and political transformation. Employing primarily archival court cases and arrest records, he suggests that power in Venice was more about negotiation than deference to authority, and that we can see this most evidently in the relationships formed by people in the city’s domestic sites, guilds, confraternities, councils, military institutions, and other spaces. Originally from Knoxville, Tennessee, Jake received his B.A. in Honors History from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Jake’s research has been funded by the University of Miami’s UM Fellowship, Holmes Summer Research Fellowship, and the Center for the Humanities’ Dissertation Fellowship, as well as the Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation’s Venetian Research Program for Individual Scholars. He can be reached at

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Justin Chimel

Justin Chmiel is a doctoral candidate studying the early modern Spanish Empire, under the direction of Dr. Martin Nesvig. He is interested in the connection between the history of religion and social and cultural history. His research examines the economic writings of the sixteenth-century School of Salamanca, placing these authors in the theological and economic context of the University of Salamanca. Justin earned his MA in history from Miami University, where he completed his thesis on the theological debate over poverty and

almsgiving that arose from the 1540 Castilian poor law that attempted to regulate begging. Justin is a recipient of the Holmes and University Fellowships. He can be reached at

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Matthew Davidson

Matthew Davidson works on U.S. empire and public health in the Caribbean during the early twentieth century. His dissertation, Health Under Occupation: Haitian Encounters with U.S. Imperial Medicine, 1915-1934, examines how Haitians experienced and navigated the 1915-34 U.S. occupation and its associated health interventions. Matthew is studying under the direction of Dr. Kate Ramsey, and currently holds an AMS History of Medicine Doctoral Completion Award. His publications and CV can be found on Matthew can be reached at

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Jason Fontana

Jason is a fourth-year doctoral student advised by Dr. Robin F. Bachin. His interests include modern U.S. history, transnational connections, and the popular culture that springs from those interactions. He is intrigued by the patterns and systems that influence the creation of pop-culture and how these may act as structures of power, community, and identity. Jason graduated with his B.A. summa cum laude from Florida International University in 2018 and his M.A. in 2019. He is a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Pathways to the Professoriate Fellow, an Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers (IRT) Fellow and has won several awards for

his published works of fiction, short non-fiction, and poetry. He supports Chelsea Football and listens to Motown. Jason may be reached at

Zoe Storm Fundora

Zoe Storm Fundora is a 4+1 student, completing the final year of her M.A. program under the mentorship of Dr. Michael J. Bustamante. She is studying political discourse in prominent Cuban publications, especially during the Machado regime. Her current project explores how this intersects with coverage of the tourism industry in Bohemia magazine. Zoe is also interested in Identity information and incorporate this focus in her current research. Zoe graduated from the University of Miami in May of 2023 with a B.A. in Political Science and History and can be reached at


Arturo Gonzalez

Arturo Gonzalez is a second-year doctoral student studying the transnational politics of Cuban migration, particularly how they manifested during the republican period (1902-1959). His current research project examines how the Cuban state projected power over so-called "colonies" of Cuban émigrés living in the United States. His work suggests that successive Cuban administrations relied on an extensive network of consulates to fund loyal émigré civic institutions, provide public services, offer protection from racist abuses, and manage agents of the Cuban secret police operating abroad. Arturo has worked in repositories across the US and Cuba, most notably is the Archivo Nacional de Cuba and the Archivo MINREX (archive of the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs). He earned his B.A. Summa Cum Laude in History at the University of Florida in 2021. His full CV can be found at Arturo can be reached at

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Eric Griffin 

Eric Griffin is a PhD candidate studying Latin American history under the direction of Dr. Eduardo Elena. His dissertation studies the use of indigenous identity in nationalist ideologies in Argentina and Paraguay at the turn of the twentieth century. His research has been supported by the Tinker Foundation and the University of Miami Institute for the Advanced Study of the Americas. Eric completed his MA at Marquette University in 2017, served as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Corrientes, Argentina in 2013, and completed his BA in History and Spanish at Southern Virginia University in 2010. Eric can be reached at

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Giltrecia Head

Giltrecia Head is a fourth-year PhD student, coming from Florida State University’s American Dance Studies program in Tallahassee, Florida. Her research interests include the presence of black consciousness in historical movements, and particularly in Ghana’s Independence Era and during the United States Black Power Era. Viewing these movements from the lens of Dance and Cultural Studies and oral history, Giltrecia is interested in determining the ways that participants articulated the body in protest as symbolic representations of resistance and resilience. Giltrecia presented on surviving Africanisms in African American and Caribbean identities at the 2021 National Popular Culture Association Conference. Her presentation research focused on the Blues aesthetic for preserving social and cultural dance traditions as a survival mechanism in twenty-first century United States. Her contact email is

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Kaleb “Kaito”/カイトHernández

Kaleb Hernández is a first year PhD student, advised by Dr. Michael J. Bustamante. Kaleb, or Kaito (KI-TOE), is broadly interested in revolution, counter-revolution, war, and education in modern Latin America. Specifically, he hopes to develop a dissertation project that examines the relationship between military dictatorships, military tactics, and military-run educational institutions in the region during the late 20th century. Kaito graduated with a B.A in History (Magna Cum Laude) and a minor in Education from Florida International University. Kaito has conducted archival research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Universidad

Centroamericana (UCA, Nicaragua) for his past and current research. Kaito also worked as a teaching assistant at Miami Dade College during his undergraduate career. Kaito can be contacted at


Tim Martin

Tim focuses on Medieval history and Early Modern Studies. He is interested in the roles that secular clergy played among the northern European nobility (in clerical warfare and the use of violence), particularly during the Angevin period of the eleventh through thirteenth centuries. He is researching the relationship between Geoffrey, Archbishop of York, and his dual roles as a secular lord and a member of the secular clergy as a dynastic counterweight against the rebellious sons of Henry II, King of England. He analyzes the importance that illegitimacy and royal blood played in the succession crisis. Other areas of academic interest include medieval history, Roman history, medieval and early European medicine, particularly diseases and epidemics, the role of the environment throughout history, and military history. Tim is a fourth-year doctoral candidate at the University of Miami and joined the Department of History in the fall of 2020. He completed his Medieval and Early Modern Graduate Studies Concentration in the spring of 2023. Originally from Minnesota, he previously attended St. Cloud State University, where he received his B.A. in History in 2008 with honors and later earned a M.A. in History in 2018. His MA thesis, “Miter and Sword: Fighting Norman Bishops and Clergy,” was awarded the 2019-2020 Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award from St. Cloud State University. Tim also earned a Master of Theological Studies from the School of Theology and Seminary at St. John’s University in 2020. He has presented papers at the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society Biennial Convention, the International Medieval Congress in Leeds, England, and several regional conferences. Most recently, in 2023 he was selected for a teaching fellowship through the University of Miami Graduate School’s Teaching Academy. Tim can be reached by email at


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Alison McCann

Alison McCann is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate with a research interest in 19th-century United States History. Her dissertation “Until Freedom Be Done: Black American Colonization to Liberia, 1830-1880” focuses on the removal of black Americans from America to their “promised land,” Liberia, Africa. Alison is telling a new story about these black settlers. While many scholars have produced groundbreaking research on black colonization, she takes a new approach by closely examining black settlers' dynamism—their multifaceted ideas, actions, and experiences. Her work also situates this story within the history of the American empire. By examining the Black American experience abroad, she shows how Liberian colonization was intrinsic to 19th-century American expansion.

Alison’s past accomplishments include being a Dean’s Fellow in 2022 and a SHEAR DEI fellow. She presented her research in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at the annual SHEAR conference in 2023. Alison is working with Dr. Scott Heerman. She can be reached at

Olive Chinoyerem

Olive Chinoyerem Nwosu

Olive is a doctoral student in African History, advised by Professor Edmund Abaka. She is interested in commodity trade in colonial economies and how colonialism affected African economies, especially in Nigeria.

She also studies the African Diaspora, the Atlantic World, and Gender Studies. Aside from her professional experience in market research analysis and fieldwork in the agro and telecommunications sector, Olive is passionate about youth community outreach on substance abuse, prison inmate reform, and juvenile rehabilitation.

Olive earned a Bachelor of Arts Honors in History and International Studies at Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba, Ondo State, Nigeria. You can contact her at

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Stefania Papadopulos

Stefania is an undergraduate student at the University of Miami currently studying History and Public Administration. She is in her first year of the M.A. 4+1 program in the Department of History. She is excited to begin her program at the University of Miami while defining and exploring her areas of interest over the course of the year. On campus, she is greatly involved with the Frost Band of the Hour. Her other interests include baking and reading. She can be reached at


Bright Akrofi Erasmus Petiafo

Bright Akrofi Erasmus Petiafo is a doctoral student of African History advised by Professor Edmund Abaka. He is originally from Ada in the Dangme West District of the Greater Accra Region, Ghana. His research interests span the social, economic, and cultural history of Ghana and Africa. He is particularly interested in the areas of commodity trade, transportation and urbanization, popular culture, and collective public memory.

Bright obtained his B. A. Honors (summa cum laude) in History and Religion & Human Values from the University of Cape Coast, UCC, Ghana in 2019. He served as a Teaching Assistant (September 2019 to August 2020) at the Department of History, University of Cape Coast, where he assisted with teaching courses on pre-colonial and post-colonial Ghana up to 1992 and post-independent Africa. He has also worked with the College of Distance Education (CoDE), University of Cape Coast, as a Course Tutor from March 2021 to July 2022. At CoDE, he taught courses such as World Civilization up to the 5th Century BC; A Survey of the History of USA up to 1840; and Early West African Polities, AD 1000-1500. Bright can be reached via e-mail at

Eric Osei Prempeh

Eric Osei Prempeh is a doctoral student of African History with a specialization in Ghana. Advised by Professor Edmund Abaka, Prempeh’s research interest includes Socio-economic History of Ghana, Medical & Public Health History, with a particular concentration on the Gold Coast (Ghana) Colonial Health Policy during the interwar years. Prempeh received his B.A. Honors in History in 2020 from the University of Cape Coast where he was awarded the Yaa Attafua’s Prize for Best Graduating Student in History, and the Prof. D.E.K. Amenumey’s Prize for Best Graduating Student of African History.

Before beginning his graduate studies at the University of Miami Department of History, Prempeh served as a Teaching Assistant at the University of Cape Coast Department of History between September 2020 and August 2021. Among his TA courses were Philosophy of History, Research Methods, Rise of Modern Russia, History of Medicine, and a Survey of the History of Ghana in the Nineteenth Century. His publications include the “Historical Reconstruction of an Asante Ancillary State: Origin, Migration and Settlement of Sekyere Kwamang,” which is a chapter in The Asante World edited by Edmund Abaka and Kwame Osei Kwarteng. I argued in the study that Sekyere Kwamang is an Akan subgroup that existed long before the formation of Asante; and with its illustrious leaders, maintained statehood through military-alliance and diplomacy. A publication with Professor De-Valera NYM Botchway, “Barack Obama's visit to Ghana,” in The Obama Administration: Perspectives and Encounters Beyond America edited by Dawn-Marie Gibson and Rachel Pistol, is forthcoming. Prempeh can be reached at

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Nicole Sintes

Nicole Sintes is a fifth-year doctoral student in Early Modern Europe with a specialization on Spain. She works under the direction of Dr. Mary Lindemann. She is from France where she completed a M.A. degree in economic history in 2006 and a B.A. in Modern Languages Applied to Business in 2018. After several years working on medicinal plants, techniques, and economic circuits in the Mediterranean, she has then focused on manuscript recipe books. She won the 2021 Medieval and Early Modern Essay Award with her essay, “Hidden Science, Gendered Science? Recipe Books in Early Modern Spain.” She investigates the court and royal households from which some of these manuscripts originated, especially Empress Isabel of Portugal’s household. She examines how the numerous members of this household used this privileged proximity to gain social advancement for themselves, their family, and the members of their own household. Nicole’s investigation in Spanish archives has been supported by the Theodore R. Parker funds, the Al Nahmad funds, and the 2022-2023 Dissertation Fellowship by the Center for the Humanities at the University of Miami. Nicole can be reached at


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Dieyun Song [CV]

Dieyun Song is a PhD Candidate working on philanthropy, development, and diplomacy in the Americas under the direction of Professor Eduardo Elena. Her dissertation, “The Power of Philanthropy: Development, Empire, and Non-State Actors in Cold War Colombia, 1961-1973,” combines archival, oral historical, and multimedia analyses to investigate the power contest over social progress and foreign aid. Specifically, Dieyun’s project highlights Colombian engagements with and influence in U.S. official and private interventions in education, mass media, and public health to shape a “modern” Latin America.

Additionally, Dieyun has been involved with the field of digital humanities since 2019. She was a Research Assistant for WhatEvery1Says for two years, this project examines Anglophone public discourse about the humanities at large scales. She is currently a Research Fellow for the Digital Narratives of Covid-19 investigating the sociolinguistic patterns of tweets about the Covid-19 pandemic in English and Spanish, Dieyun was a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas for the academic year of 2021-2022 and a HASTAC Scholar (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory) from 2020-2022. Dieyun’s work has received generous support from the Rockefeller Archive Center, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation, the Tinker Foundation, and Digital Humanities Research Institute, among others.). Dieyun can be reached at

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Adelina Tratarou

Adelina works on African history with a specialization in Ghana under the guidance of Professor Edmund Abaka. She is particularly interested in the nature and the role of the postcolonial state and the lives of migrant textile workers in industrial Ghana. She studied History at King's College London before embarking on a career in education, community outreach and the charity sector. Adelina can be reached at

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J. Camilo Vera

J. Camilo Vera is a doctoral candidate studying the history of science, medicine, and society in nineteenth-century Latin America and the Caribbean. He works under the supervision and guidance of Professors Eduardo Elena and Kate Ramsey. His dissertation analyzes scientific expeditions in the region and their connections to the establishment of newly independent states (1795-1830). J. Camilo’s work considers the importance of scientific communities, knowledge of the natural world among local populations, and the circulation of ideas and material goods throughout the Atlantic. He argues that the interactions and connections that these expeditions facilitated for a large cast of characters led to the circulation of revolutionary ideas and the development of policies that were at times connected to ideas of citizenship and national identity. J. Camilo’s research and writing have been supported by grants from the Tinker Foundation, the Institute for the Advanced study of the Americas, and the Levine Latin American History Research Grant, among others. He has presented his work at the Caribbean Studies Association, the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD), and the University of Miami’s Institute for the Advanced Study of the Americas. He can be contacted by email at