Graduate Student Research

ALTMAN, CLARA studies modern U.S. history with a focus on law and imperialism.  Her dissertation, “Courtroom Colonialism: Philippine Law and U.S. Rule, 1898-1935,” examines the relationship between the development of modern Philippine jurisprudence under U.S. colonialism and the rising global power of the U.S. state in the early twentieth century.

APPLEBAUM, YONATAN is a social and cultural historian of the United States. He is completing his dissertation, “The Guilded Age: The American Ideal of Association, 1865-1900.”  He held a competitive University Prize Instructorship at Brandeis in 2008 and received a Mellon Dissertation Year Fellowship. He has taught at Babson College, and also works as a regular columnist for the Atlantic.

BEEBE, SEAN, specializes in the cultural and political history of modern France.

BERMAN, CASSANDRA studies the history of early America, focusing on women, gender, and print culture.

BORDELON, CHRIS is studying law and American trade with China in the late twentieth century. His interests include American political, diplomatic, and legal/constitutional history. His dissertation-in-progress is entitled, “Trade or Fade? American Trade Politics, 1930-2000.”

BOWMAN, WINSTON is studying American legal and political history. His research focuses on the ways federal judges manipulated the rules governing access to their courts to enhance their own power and shape the contours of public discourse since the Civil War. The title of his dissertation is “Hand of the Law: Access, Process and Politics in the Federal Judiciary, 1860-2010.”

BROWN, PATRICK has research interests in the histories of Russia and Eastern Europe.

CAMPBELL, IAN researches early American political, cultural and social history. His dissertation-in-progress is “State of Reform: The Politics of Perfection in New England, 1790-1860.”

COHEN, DAVID studies North American environmental history with a focus on the 19th- and 20th-century United States. His dissertation-in-progress is “Nature’s Capital: An Environmental History of Washington, D.C.”

COHEN, SASCHA explores American popular culture and its intersections with the history of politics, gender, and sexuality. Her dissertation-in-progress is entitled “The Comedy of the Culture Wars: American Humor, Feminism, and Gay Liberation, 1969-1989.”

CRACRAFT, JOSHUA studies colonial and 19th-century America, American legal history and American Indian history in transnational perspective. He is completing his dissertation, “The Native Question: Rights, Sovereignty, and Empire in the Anglo-American World, 1810-1890.”

DAHM, CLAIR studies American political, intellectual and cultural history in transnational context, concentrating on the post-1945 era.

DIENDER, SIMONE will write a dissertation on “The Private Citizen: Expert Power and the Obligations of Work, Prayer, and Parenthood, 1923-1970.” Her research and teaching interests include 20th-century American history, especially intellectual history, and women’s and gender studies.

FLANAGAN, DREW studies modern French and German history, transnational and borderlands history, war and society studies, memory studies, and political anthropology. His dissertation-in-progress is “Radiance on the Rhine: The French in Occupied German, 1945-1955.”

FRENCH, APRIL specializes in Russian history, including the history of Russian Christianity and Soviet Jewry.

GUDEFIN, GERALDINE studies modern American and European history, modern Jewish history, and world history.

HANNIGAN, JOHN studies the American Revolution, the early modern Atlantic world, the history of American slavery, and the comparative histories of war and society. His dissertation-in-progress is “‘To Be Faithful, Good Soldiers’: Slavery, War, and Emancipation in Revolutionary Massachusetts.” He was named a Mellon-Sawyer Predoctoral Fellow, joining the university’s 2013-14 faculty/ graduate seminar, “Rethinking the Age of Revolution.”

LANDRUM, SHANE has received numerous grants, including a Mellon Dissertation Fellowship, for his dissertation-in-progress, “Documenting Citizens: Birth Registration and American Identities, 1890-Present.” He is a historian and technologist at Florida International University.

LANGE, ALLISON is studying American social movements, cultural constructions of gender, and visual and material culture during the long nineteenth century. She has won external fellowships from the American Antiquarian Society, the Library Company of Philadelphia, and numerous others in support of her dissertation-in-progress, “Images of Change: Picturing Women’s Rights from American Independence through the Nineteenth Amendment.”

LINTON, MATTHEW is interested in Sino-American diplomatic history and the relationship between academic scholarship and politics. He is at work on a dissertation entitled “Understanding the Mighty Empire: China Studies and Liberal Politics, 1930-1980.”

MANN, MICHELLE specializes in the history of modern France and colonial North Africa, which she couples with a broader interest in innovative history education.  The working title of her dissertation is “France’s Muslim Other:  World War One and the Roots of Algerian National Identity, 1880-1930.”

McGUIRE, KEVIN is pursuing research interests in U.S. foreign relations, modern Middle Eastern history, and the international history of the Cold War. His research has also received funding from the Crown Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

MATUSHESKI, ZACHARY is preparing a dissertation entitled “To the Brink of War: East Asian Crises and the Creation of Dwight D. Eisenhower’s ‘New Look.’” In 2012, a chapter of his thesis won first prize in the Cold War Essay Contest administered by the John A. Adams 71’ Center for Military History and Strategic Analysis at the Virginia Military Institute. 

MULLEN, LINCOLN is studying American religious history.  His dissertation title is “The Varieties of American Conversion: The Origins of Religious Choice in the United States.”

NEMETH, JULIAN is preparing a dissertation entitled “Storming the Ivory Tower: The Politics of Academic Freedom, 1929-1975.” His research lies at intersection of intellectual history, the history of higher education, and the history of social movements. 

NOVICK, PETER is studying modern European history, modern Italy, film history, and visual culture.  His dissertation title is “Faces and Races:  Fascist Visual Representations of Italy’s Neighbors, 1933-1940.”

ORENSTEIN, AMARYAH is completing her dissertation, “‘Let My People Go!’ The Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry and the Rise of American Jewish Identity Politics.” She has received grants from Brandeis’s Tauber Institute, as well as a Mellon Dissertation Fellowship.

PIERAGASTINI, STEVEN is studying the intersections of modern French and Chinese history, particularly the history of Shanghai’s French Concession.  He is currently writing a dissertation with the tentative title:  “Warriors of God: the Catholic Church in Shanghai, 1927-1957.”  His interests include religious and cultural history, the history of imperialism in modern China, and 20th century international history.

REARDON, ANNE MARIE is completing her dissertation, “POWs or Paesani? Italian Service Units on the Boston World War II Home Front” while teaching history at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health.

SMITH, CRAIG specializes in the American colonial, revolutionary, and early republican eras.  He has won numerous fellowships in support of his dissertation, “Rightly to Be Great: Ideas of Honor and Virtue among the American Founders.”

SUTTON, SARAH studies the environmental history of New England in the twentieth century. She is working on her dissertation, “Building a Nation of Better Bodies: Science, Politics and Nature in the Development of the Dairy Industry.”

TURNER, FREDERICK is completing his dissertation, “Manufacturing Illness: Law, Labor, and Industrial Disease in the American Workplace, 1865-1912” while also finishing a J.D. degree at Georgetown University.

WIGHT, PHILIP, studies modern environmental and intellectual history, with a geographical focus on the U.S. and Latin America.  He is concerned with environmental politics – specifically the origins of eco-socialism and green capitalism – the history of appropriate technologies, and dissemination of ecological ideas.