Graduate Student News

Congratulations to UM History PhD Gaby Fundez. Her award-winning article "Denis Piramus’s La Vie Seint Edmund: Translating Cultural Identities in the Anglo-Norman World" was published in the Haskins Society Journal (#33) earlier this year.
Congratulations to UM History PhDs Silvia Mitchell and Erica Heinsen-Roach on hosting a conference
Stephanie Skenyon, a 2021 PhD graduate of the Department of History, will join the Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History in Middlebury as its new Executive Director beginning in April.  The Henry Sheldon Museum, established in 1884, is the oldest community-based museum in the United States.  It is dedicated to housing, preserving, and interpreting its remarkable material and archival collections focused on the history of the town, the county, and the wider state of Vermont.  Stephanie looks forward to exercising the many skills she developed as a PhD student in this role in order to engage a vibrant, local community.  Learn more about the Henry Sheldon Museum here:
Congratulations to UM History PhDs Silvia Mitchell and Erica Heinsen-Roach on hosting a conference
Congratulations to UM History PhDs Silvia Mitchell and Erica Heinsen-Roach on hosting a conference on “Ibero-Dutch Imperial Entanglements in the Long Seventeenth Century: Geopolitical Shifts in Global Perspective” at Purdue University on March 10-11, 2022.
Faundez-PHD The Department congratulates Gabriela Faundez Rojas on defending her dissertation "Conquest and Hagiography: Rewriting Saints after the Normal Conquest.” Her dissertation focuses on the ways in which the Norman invasion altered cultural expressions, society, and identities in medieval England.
Garcon Headshot Jennifer Garcon (Ph.D. 2018, Ramsey) has been appointed as  Librarian for Modern and Contemporary Special Collections at Princeton University. Congratulations!
Skenyon Headshot The department congratulates Dr. Stephanie Skenyon for defending her dissertation in Summer 2021! “Projecting the Present on the Past: Unifying Themes and Narrative Complexity in Twelfth-Century English Monastic Chronicles” reevaluates a set of local monastic chronicles that have been dismissed as uninteresting and unimpressive historical works by most modern historians. Analyzing how monastic writers employed various narrative themes to give coherence to their works, Skenyon further shows how they reshaped the past to address the issues of greatest concern to their own audiences. Far from being careless compilers of information, the monastic writers were careful if highly partisan practitioners of the medieval art of history writing. She is currently teaching online courses for Manchester Community College and Mississippi University for Women.
2021 graduates

The Department congratulates Drs. Anna Bennett, Nelson Marques, and Dale Pappas on earning the Ph.D. at the 2021 commencement ceremony! 

Banning Black Gods

Congratulations to Alum Danielle Boaz on publishing her new book, Banning Black Gods. It is a global examination of the legal challenges faced by adherents of the most widely practiced African-derived religions in the twenty-first century, including Santeria/Lucumi, Haitian Vodou, Candomblé, Palo Mayombe, Umbanda, Islam, Rastafari, Obeah, and Voodoo. Examining court cases, laws, human rights reports, and related materials, Danielle N. Boaz argues that restrictions on African diaspora religious freedom constitute a unique and pervasive form of anti-Black discrimination.

Pappas Defense

The department congratulates Dr. Dale Pappas on defending his dissertation in Spring 2021.  "Partners in Pleasure: State and Private Capital in the Making of Modern Mediterranean Tourism" is an ambitious analysis of how tourism in the Greek-speaking eastern Mediterranean was conceived as a project to promote commerce, cultural modernization, and political appeasement within three different state systems. Using archival materials collected in the United States, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Greece, and Cyprus and written in four different languages and two different alphabets, Pappas investigates the commonalities and differences between how initiatives in Italian-fascist-controlled Rhodes, British-imperial-controlled Cyprus, and Greek-nationalist controlled Corfu and Athens fared at luring international tourists and investments during the hungry years of Europe’s interwar after the Treaty of Lausanne. Engagingly written and filled with insights into the different public-private initiatives that helped set the stage for the Greek tourist explosion to come, Pappas argues that the origins of our Club Med visions of the Mediterranean were born in imperial rivalries after World War One, not Marshall-Plan dollar diplomacy after World War Two.

Marques Defense

The department congratulates Dr. Nelson Marques on defending his dissertation in Spring 2021. “A League of their Own examines the soldiers of Portuguese Atlantic empire, rethinking the ways in which soldiers shaped how empires are stitched together by various subject populations. By examining soldiers’ archival material, and wider printed literature, A League of their Own argues that soldiers created a collective identity for themselves in the seventeenth century and in the process drove key debates about belonging to an empire forward.”

Bennett defense

The department congratulates Dr. Anna Bennett on defending her dissertation in Spring 2021. “The Magic of Things: Matter, Spirit, and Power in Venice, 1580-1730,” analyzes how material objects and spaces account for the continued vitality of popular spiritual practices in the long seventeenth century, a period of intellectual upheaval and cultural change. It demonstrates how elements of material culture associated with magical practices at once gave ordinary Venetians, especially women and immigrants, a tangible source of empowerment and fostered a range of experiential practices fueled by an informal economy of the spiritual that actually fit in well with more experimental and commodity-oriented emphases of the period often associated with the “scientific revolution.” Ultimately, “The Magic of Things” brings the history of witchcraft into dialogue with the history of daily life in the premodern world, arguing that material objects and spaces gave tangible contours to otherwise abstract spiritual beliefs, and that, through their study, we can perceive and better understand the richly complex cosmic worlds and lived experiences of ordinary people in the past.

Tim Martin

Congratulations to Tim Martin (Ph.D., Thomas) for winning the been awarded the 2019-2020 Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award from St. Cloud State University! His thesis "Miter and Sword: Fighting Norman Bishops and Clergy" was selected from across the University. 

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Erica Heinsen-Roach (Ph.D. 2012), author of Consuls and Captives: North African Diplomacy in the Early Modern Mediterranean (University of Rochester Press, 2019), has received a German Academic Exchange (DAAD) summer stipend (2021) for her new book project that questions how human bondage challenged and redefined the liberties, privileges, and obligations of captured and sometimes enslaved citizens from Amsterdam, Hamburg, and other cities in early modern Europe. She will be doing research in libraries and archives in Hamburg

Davidson Headshot

Congratulations to Matt Davidson on being awarded an AMS History of Medicine and Healthcare Doctoral Completion Award! The award is for scholarship that will help understand medical history by studying, analyzing, and interpreting past practices, philosophies and epistemologies related to human health, healthcare, and disease. He will use the year long funding to work on his dissertation: “Health Under Occupation: Haitian Encounters with U.S. Imperial Medicine, 1915-1934.”

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Congratulations to Cat M. Ariail on publication of her book Passing the Baton: Black Women Track Starts and American Identity (Illinois, 2020)

Journal of Africana Religions

Monique Bedasse (Ph.D. 2010) and Danielle Boaz (Ph.D., 2014) have been appointed to the editoral board of the Journal of Africana Religions. 


Hadassah St. Hubert (Ph.D., 2018) was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Advancement Grant for the Digital Library of the Caribbean for her proposal "Documenting Haiti's Forts." The grant, which she directs, will support the creation of the first detailed map of Haitian patrimonial structures.


early modern women

Erica Heinsen-Roach (Ph.D., 2012) was awarded the annual best article prize for "Restoring Holland's Household: Women, Captivity, and Redemption in the Seventeenth-Century Mediterranean" which appeared in volume 14 of Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal. 

Wofford Concord

Drew Wofford (Ph.D. '20) has won the 2020 David John Ruggiero Dissertation Prize for Best Dissertation in the Humanities!

The committee included this commendation: 

Drew Wofford’s, “History at the Speed of Sound: A Transnational Case Study of the Concorde Supersonic Transport as a Reflection of Critical Issues in Postwar Europe,” embodies an ideal dissertation. It is well-written, highly analytical, deeply researched, and creates new inroads of knowledge and questions. Examining how and why the first supersonic plane was produced in Europe through British and French partnership, Wofford shows that Western Europe’s post-WWII response to US aid and leadership was not passive or fawning, but rather, competitive far earlier than we have come to expect. In reconstituting the business and political history that brought the Concorde to life and ushered in its demise, Wofford introduces his readers to UK attempts to become part of Europe, French assertions that European membership could only be had on its terms, and US strategies to promote European revitalization while protecting its own economic hegemony. This history of aviation is gorgeously knowledgeable about details connected to flying while simultaneously weaving in big politics, big finance, and big continents. Firmly rooted in archival research in three countries and the historiographies of the European Union, France, the UK, and the US, Wofford’s transnational history fascinates as much as it satisfies. It tells the history of the rise and fall of the Concorde and explains why, even today, European aviation remains competitive with its US forerunner. The 2020 Ruggiero Committee is pleased to award Drewry Frye Wofford II this year’s dissertation prize and hopes to see the fruits of this labor published soon.

Groundings with my Brothers

Monique Bedasse (Ph.D. '10) took part in a virtual roundtable on Walter Rodney in "Africa is a Country." The forum marked the  50th anniversary of Walter Rodney's Groundings with My Brothers. 

Learn about Ph.D. Candidate Matthew Davidson's research on "The Medical Journals of U.S.-Occupied Haiti" in his recent post for the New York Academy of Medicine's "Books, Health, and History" blog.  Davidson is a 2019 Paul Klemperer Fellow at the NYAM.

Congratulations to Ph.D. Candidate Gaby Faundez who has been awarded a Visiting Fellowship in affiliation with the Center for Medieval Studies at Fordham University.

garcon tapes

Read about the important preservation work that Dr. Jennifer Garcon (Ph.D. '18) is doing as the Bollinger Fellow in Public and Community Data Curation at the University of Pennsylvania.

EHR Cover Image

Congratulations to Erica Heinsen-Roach (Ph.D., ’12) on publication of her  book Consuls and Captives: Dutch-North African Diplomacy in the Early Modern Mediterranean (Cambridge, 2019).


Dr. Jacqueline Grant (Ph.D. '12) has just published an essay on "Leopard Men: Manhood and Power in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Cuba" in Aisha Finch and Fannie Rushing (eds.), Breaking the Chains, Forging the Nation: The Afro-Cuban Fight for Freedom and Equality, 1812-1912 (LSU Press, 2019). She currently teaches in the Department of History at Palmer Trinity School in Palmetto Bay, FL.

Dr. Stephen Lazer (Ph.D. '14) has published his first book, State Formation in Early Modern Alsace, 1648-1789 (Boydell & Brewer, 2019).  Lazer is currently a Lecturer in  the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies at Arizona State University.  

Mitchell Book Cover

Dr. Silvia Z. Mitchell (Ph. D. '13) has published her first book Queen, Mother, Stateswoman: Mariana of Austra and the Government of Spain (Penn State University Press, 2019). Mitchell is an Assistant Professor of History at Purdue University. 

Congratulations to Ph.D. Candidate Nelson Marques, who has received a 2019-20 Dissertation Fellowship from the University of Miami Center for the Humanities.


Congratulations to Ph.D. Candidate Stephanie Skenyon, who has received the 2019 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award, a university-wide honor given by the Graduate School to "one graduate student for enhancing undergraduate education at UM."

Three History Ph.D. students have won Tinker Field Research Grants from the University of Miami's Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas.

  • Eric Griffin: "A Nation from the Ashes: Paraguay in the Early Twentieth Century"
  • Dieyun Song: "Politics of Partnership: Colombian Engagement with the Ford Foundation, 1962-1972”
  • J. Camilo Vera: "Expeditions Re-Imagined: Community and Communication in the Time of Science, 1783-1816"

Congratulations to all three!  

Ph.D. candidate Anna Bennett presented a paper on "Locating Venetian Magic: The Spiritual Power of Space and Place in Late Rinascimento Venice" at the Renaissance Society of America's annual meeting in March 2019.
Danielle Boaz (Ph.D. '14) has received a 2019-2020 Stuart Hall Fellowship at Harvard's Hutchins Center for African & African American Research.  Boaz is currently an assistant professor in the Africana Studies Dept. at UNC-Charlotte.
Congratulations to Dr. Lina Del Castillo (Ph.D. '08), who has earned tenure and been promoted to Associate Professor of History and Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.
Ph.D. candidate Matt Davidson has received a 2019 Graduate Summer Award from the College of Arts & Sciences to conduct research for his dissertation, Health Under Occupation: Haitian Encounters with U.S. Imperial Medicine, 1915-1934.  Davidson has also been selected as a 2019 Paul Klemperer Fellow in the History of Medicine, awarded by The New York Academy of Medicine Library.
Dr. Stephen Lazer (Ph.D. '14) has accepted a position as Lecturer in the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies at Arizona State University.
Dr. Hadassah St. Hubert (Ph.D. '18) has won a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship! She will work in Data Curation for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at FIU.
Monique Bedasse's (Ph.D. '10) book, Jah Kingdom: Rastafarians, Tanzania, and Pan-Africanism in the Age ofDecolonization, has received the Wesley-Logan Prize in African diaspora history from the American Historical Association, as well as the Anna Julia Cooper and C.L.R. James Award for Outstanding Scholarly Publication in Africana Studies from the National Council for Black Studies.