Current Graduate Students

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Frimpong Nana Asamoah

Frimpong Nana Asamoah is a doctoral student specializing in African History under the guidance of Professor Edmund Abaka. His research interest includes economic and social history of Africa, but he is specifically interested in the history of mining and mining communities in Ghana. He focuses on how mining impacted urbanization and suburbanization of mining communities.  His first article, “An Indigenous Innovative Touch: The Significance of the Kente Cloth in Asante Culture”, is a  chapter in The Asante World edited by Edmund Abaka and Kwame Osei Kwarteng. Nana Asamoah received his bachelor’s degree in history in 2019 at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, West Africa. He served as a Teaching Assistant at the University of Cape Coast from September 2019 to August 2020. Nana can be reached on

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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 nature of power in the city-states of Renaissance Italy, particularly during moments of violence and social tension. Jake’s dissertation project 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, in 2016 before beginning his graduate studies at the University of Miami that same year. 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. In Spring 2022, Jake will proudly teach his self-crafted course focusing on the connections between different cultures of urban life in the premodern Mediterranean World. 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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Jay Feyerabend

Jay Feyerabend is a first-year doctoral student working with Dr. Ashli White. His research is focused on the ways American merchants navigated the Atlantic World following American independence. Prior to coming to the University of Miami, Jay graduated from James Madison University with an M.A. in History where his thesis won the Carlton B. Smith award for the best traditional masters thesis. He completed his undergraduate at The College of William & Mary in 2019. Jay can be reached at


 Gabriela (Gaby) Faundez

Gabriela (Gaby) Faundez is in her last year of her PhD studying the ways in which the Norman invasion altered cultural expressions, society, and identities in medieval England, under the supervision of Dr. Hugh ThomasHer dissertation “Conquest and Hagiography: Rewriting Saints after the Norman Conquest” examines the pre-Conquest hagiographies of Anglo-Saxon saints in comparison to their post-Conquest iterations contending that hagiographical discrepancies are marks of the invasion revealing social and cultural changes in politics and warfare, religious structures and institutions, as well as gender and identity in a developing Anglo-Norman world. Gaby grew up in Virginia, receiving her Honors B.A. in History and later her M.A. in Humanities from Marymount University. She has worked as an adjunct professor since 2014 at Marymount University, where she has taught: Western Civilization I & II, Research and Writing, Women and Power, Modern British History 1603 - Present, Renaissance & Reformation, Medieval Christianity, and Virginia History. Her research has been supported by the Visiting Fellowship at the Center for Medieval Studies at Fordham University 2019-2020, the 2020 Belle da Costa Greene Award by the Medieval Academy of America, and the 2020-2021 Dissertation Fellowship by the Center for the Humanities at the University of Miami. Gaby can be reached via email at


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 Jason Fontana

Jason is a second-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    

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Natalia Gonzalez

Natalia Gonzalez is a first-year doctoral student studying Latin American history with a specialization in Cuba. Natalia works under the guidance of Professor Martin Nesvig. She is particularly interested the role of the Church in colonial Cuba and the lives of Catholic nuns on the island. Natalia earned her B.A. in Politics and Latin American Studies at Brandeis University, before beginning a teaching Fulbright in northern Argentina. Natalia has conducted research at the archives of the Arzobispado de la Habana in Havana, Cuba and Columbia University, New York. She 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 second-year doctoral 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 particularly in Ghana and Senegal’s Independence Era and during the United States Black Power Era. Viewing from the lens of Dance and Cultural Studies, Giltrecia is interested in determining the ways participants articulated the body in protest as symbolic representations of resistance and resilience. Giltrecia’s initial focus on surviving Africanisms in African American and Caribbean identities was presented in the 2021 National Popular Culture Association Conference. Her 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


Tim Martin

Tim is a doctoral student joining the History Department in the fall of 2020. Originally from Minnesota, while attending St. Cloud State University he received both his B.A. in History in 2008 and later earning a M.A. in History with his thesis “Miter and Sword: Fighting Norman Bishops and Clergy” in 2018. Tim served fourteen years with the Minnesota Army National Guard and saw three deployments overseas to combat zones in the Middle East and in May 2020 he retired after twenty-five years in Law Enforcement. Recently he has 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 as well. Advised by Professor Hugh Thomas, Tim is focusing on Medieval and Early Modern Studies and is interested in the roles secular clergy and monastics played among the northern European nobility particularly regarding warfare and the use of violence. Other areas of academic interested include classical studies, monasticism, and the history of Christianity. Tim can be reached by email at

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Alison McCann

Alison McCann is a second-year doctoral student in United States history with the guidance of Dr. Scott Heerman. Her research interests involve the 19th century American Colonization Society movement that sought to remove free blacks from the United States and resettle them in Liberia. As white fears about the growing free black populations, specifically in the North, reached new heights. The ACS and various other manumission societies sought the removal of free black populations to alleviate white anxieties. Most free northern blacks resisted colonization plans and pefrered to struggle for freedom and equality. However, others chose resettlement in Africa and various areas of the Atlantic as a means to a better life. Alison's interests are those resettlers who chose to reject America and envision a future beyond borders. They took liberty and freedom on new terms and redefined themselves across the Atlantic in Liberia. Alison seeks to uncover a deeper understanding of their choices, aspirations, and dreams using various interdisciplinary approaches and methods: oral histories, digital humanities, and post-colonial theory. The use of these specific approaches will provide a richer understanding of under-documented groups of people. Her research on the black experience at home and abroad holds promising new perspectives for her area of interest. Alison can be reached at

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Emily Riso 

Emily Riso is a second-year doctoral student studying Latin American history with a specialization in Mexico. Emily works under Professor Martin Nesvig. She is particularly interested in questions of ethnicity, race, identity, and colonialism. Emily earned her B.A. in history at the University of Texas at Dallas, where she continued towards her Masters, studying how elite perspectives of indigeneity contributed to the formation of the Mexican- Guatemala border. Emily has studied at the Instituto Cultural Oaxaca in Oaxaca, Mexico, where she presented research supported by the Istvan and Zsuzsanna Ozsváth Research Fund. She can be reached at

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Nicole Sintes

Nicole Sintes is a first-year doctoral student in Early Modern Europe focusing on science and medicine under the direction of Dr. Mary Lindemann. She is coming from France where she completed a M.A. degree in History, summa cum laude, at Aix-Marseilles University in 2005. Her thesis was on the arrival of exotic medicinal plants in the 16th century, and their impact on European medicine and techniques as well as knowledge and economic circuits. She has long been interested in Spain, in Economic History, and in plants used as raw materials for chemical products. She earned a first Master’s degree, summa cum laude, in 1999. Her thesis, “The soda market in Marseilles in the 18thcentury; From Spanish soda plants to Leblanc’s chemical soda (1749 – 1807)” was awarded the prize of the Association for the Development of Economic History and published in 2000. She enrolled at the University Paris 1 – Sorbonne in 2006, and earned a Marie Curie Fellowships for Early Stage Research Training. She spent several months at the University Pablo de Olavide of Seville, conducting researches at the Archivo General de Indias and the Protocolos Archives. She presented several conference papers in Marseilles, Paris, Seville and Venice. Some of them have been published in academic journals. In 2016, she has decided to complement her cursus by a B.A. in Modern Languages Applied to Business to improve her language skills. Meanwhile, she has worked as a History and Geography tutor for people coming back to studies at the University of Toulon. She is particularly interested in the Early Modern Studies Concentration offered by 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 more just foreign aid. Specifically, Dieyun’s project highlights the 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 Digital Humanities since 2019. She was a Research Assistant of WhatEvery1Says for two years, which examines Anglophone public discourse about the humanities at large scales. She is currently a Research Fellow of the Digital Narratives of Covid-19 investigating the sociolinguistic patterns of tweets about the Covid-19 pandemic in English and Spanish. She is also a HASTAC scholar 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, Digital Humanities Research Institute, among others. Dieyun is a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas for the academic year of 2021-2022 and 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 of 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