Current Graduate Students

Christine Axen received her MA from Boston University with a research project that reinterpreted the political message of the Bayeux Tapestry. She is currently working on a dissertation examining the authority of the bishop in the religious landscape of thirteenth-century Avignon, France, under the tutelage of Professor Deeana Klepper.

Andrew Bell  entered Boston University’s PhD program in 2014 after receiving his BA from the University of Northern Iowa, earning an MA from Purdue University, and spending two years in China in between. He plans to study American interactions with the world (especially East Asia) in the twentieth century, his advisor is Professor Brooke Blower.

Darcy Benson entered the Boston University MA program in 2014 after earning her BA from Dickinson College in 2014. She is studying 20th century European history with Professor Peri, with a particular interest in the French post-war period.

Lacey Brantley entered the Boston University JD/MA dual degree program in 2014 after earning her History BA from Furman University in 2013. She is studying legal history under Professors Sarah Phillips of the History department and Gerry Leonard of the law school

Alexis Buckley entered the Boston University MA/PhD program in 2012 after earning her BA in History from UT Austin in 2008. In the interim, she sailed tall ships and taught English in the Republic of Georgia. She is studying early American history with Professor McConville.

Daniel Burge studies twentieth century US history with Professor Bruce Schulman. After receiving his BA at the University of Puget Sound in 2010, Daniel entered the Ph.D. program in Fall 2011. He primarily focuses on political and economic history, with a particular interest in the history of elections and voting behavior.

Agnes Burt received her BA from The Catholic University of America in 2011. She entered the MA/PhD program in 2013 under Professor Arianne Chernock. Her research interests focus on cultural history, memory, and gender in modern Britain, particularly during the Second World War.

Kristen Carey entered the Boston University MA/PhD program in 2013 after earning her BAs from the University of Montana in 2010.  She is studying African history under Professor Diana Wylie and Professor James McCann, with particular interest in economic, social, and political treatment of children in the post-colonial era. She is also interested in transnational history, focusing on the role of children in the evolution of warfare and human rights.

Christina Carrick entered the Boston University PhD program in 2011 after receiving her BA in History from the University of Indianapolis.  She is studying Colonial and Revolutionary American history with Professor Brendan McConville, and is particularly interested in Loyalists in the American Revolution.

Christopher Conz entered the Ph.D. program in African History at Boston University in 2011.  He earned his B.S. from the University of Hartford in 1999 and a Master of Education at UMASS, Amherst in 2004.  Chris taught courses in World and U.S. history at Longmeadow High School in Western Massachusetts for three years before serving in the Peace Corps in Lesotho from 2007-2010. His research interests focus on Lesotho, environmental history, and the broader region of southern Africa.  He is working with Professors Wylie and McCann.

Andrew David entered the Boston University PhD program in 2009 after receiving a BA in history from BU in 2005 and an MA in the History of International Relations from the London School of Economics in 2006. He is working on topics relating to US foreign policy with Professor David Mayers. He is especially interested in Anglo-American relations in the twentieth century, the evolution of the National Security Council, and the foreign policy decision-making process.

Amy Noel Ellison entered the Boston University PhD program after receiving her BA from Fresno State in 2009. She is studying early American history with Professor Brendan McConville and is writing her dissertation on the invasion of Canada and the coming of American independence.

Beth M. Forrest entered the Boston University MA/Ph.D. program in 1996 after receiving her BA from Boston University in 1995.  Beth’s work is primarily focused on European history and the history of food, and her advisor is Professor Thomas Glick.

Zach Fredman received his BA from the University of Arizona in 2003, and worked in China for five years before entering the PhD program in 2009. His dissertation, written under the direction of Andrew Bacevich, examines the U.S. military and Chinese society during the 1940s.

Sara Georgini received her MA from Boston University and focuses on American intellectual history under the tutelage of Professor Jon Roberts. She is currently writing her dissertation, “Creating Adams Family Values,” a religious history of the Adams family of Massachusetts from 1583 to 1927. She is assistant editor of The Papers of John Adams, a series of the Adams Papers editorial project based at the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Dalia Haitayan entered the Boston University PhD program in 2014 after completing her BA and MA at Fresno State. She is studying 20th century U.S. history with Professor Schulman and is interested in the religious and political culture of the American West.

Lilly Havstad is a PhD candidate in the Department of History and member of the BU African Studies Center. Prior to joining the program in 2010, she completed a BA in History at the University of California, Davis in 2008. She studied for one year at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Howard College in Durban, South Africa, in 2006-2007. Since then, she has focused her studies on nineteenth and twentieth century southern Africa. For her dissertation, Lilly is researching changing foodways and the emergence of an African middle class in Maputo, the capital city of Mozambique, from the early twentieth century to present times. She is using food as a lens to explore social and cultural change in an urban setting. Lilly is particularly interested in understanding processes of cultural mixing and gender dynamics that have shaped Maputo’s middle class over time. Her fieldwork is supported by a 2014-15 Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship, the BU African Studies Center, and a BU Graduate Research Abroad Fellowship.  Lilly’s advisor is Professor Wylie.

Ryan Hendrickson

Aaron Hiltner  entered the Boston University PhD program in 2010 after earning his BA in history at Gustavus Adolphus College. He studies American transnational and urban history. His dissertation examines American port cities during World War Two, focusing on the interactions between soldiers, civilians, police, and politicians. His adviser is Brooke Blower.

Katherine Hollander works on modern European intellectual history, with concentrations in German and gender history, with James Schmidt. Kate earned her BA from Marlboro College in 2002 and entered the PhD program in 2008. Her dissertation explores the collaborative culture of a group of German-speaking exiles, including Bertolt Brecht and Helene Weigel.

David Hurlbut entered the Boston University MA/PhD program in 2014 after earning his BA in history from Lewis and Clark College in 2014. He is studying African history with Professor McCann, with a particular interest in the history of Christianity in West Africa.

Julie Keresztes entered the MA/PhD program with a BA in History from Amherst College. In the interim she worked at Amherst College as the Eugene C. Wilson Admission Fellow. She wrote her senior honors thesis on the history and culture of war photography in the context of World War II and the Holocaust. She has interests in modern European cultural and intellectual history, her advisor is Professor Jonathan Zatlin.

Krista Kinslow entered the Boston University Ph.D. program in 2011 after graduating from the University of Indianapolis in Indianapolis, Indiana, with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and History. She is studying nineteenth century United States history, specifically dealing with Reconstruction following the Civil War. Her advisor is Nina Silber.

Aaron Knapp entered the PhD program in the fall of 2010. He holds a BA from the University of California at Berkeley, a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law, and an MA from Boston University. From 2002 to 2010 he practiced law in San Francisco.  At Boston University, he specializes in English and American legal history. Entitled “Law’s Revolution: Dissenting Traditions in American Legal Thought, 1776-1860,” his dissertation examines American legal culture from the Revolution to the Civil War.  His advisor is Professor Brendan McConville.

Benjamin Kochan received a BS from MIT in 2006. Prior to entering the PhD program at Boston University in 2011, Ben spent five years working for a Boston-based seafood processor and distributor. His interests are in nineteenth and twentieth-century U.S. environmental history, particularly the history of New England’s maritime industries. His advisor is Professor Sarah Phillips.

Mark Kukis joined the Boston University PhD program in 2011. Before that Kukis worked as a journalist for roughly a decade, including three years as a correspondent for Time magazine in Iraq. His most recent book is Voices from Iraq: A People’s History, 2003-2009 (Columbia University Press, 2011).  Originally from Texas, Kukis earned a BA in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. At BU Kukis is focusing on U.S. foreign relations. His advisor is Andrew Bacevich.

Kathryn Lamontagne received her BA at Providence College. She holds MA’s from Providence and the University of London. She has lived and worked in London for the past three years at both the Royal Household and BU Study Abroad. Kathryn’s dissertation is on Catholic feminism in Britain,1880-1914. Her advisor is Prof. Arianne Chernock.

Matthew Lavallee  entered the PhD program in 2014 after earning a B.A. in history at Boston University. Under Professor Louis Ferleger, Lavallee studies nineteenth century United States economic history with interests in Gilded Age labor, business, and politics.

Nina Martin entered the Boston University PhD program in 2013 after earning her B.A. from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and her M.A. from Georgetown University. She is studying 20th century American history with Professor Brooke Blower, with a particular interest in the transatlantic political culture of the 1930s.

Samantha Maurer

William McCoy entered the Boston University MA program in 2002 after earning a BA in history two years before at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California. Having been admitted to the PhD program, he is working in the field of African history with Professor Diana Wylie and is particularly interested in the history of southern Africa and the development of contemporary Africa out of the colonial period.

Gareth McFeely entered the Boston University PhD program in 2008. He received his BA from Trinity College Dublin in 1995 and his MPhil from the University of Cambridge in 1998. His primary interest is in the history of leisure in Africa, and he is working on African popular culture and audience responses, particularly related to the movies.  His advisor is Professor Diana Wylie.

Hannah Metheny entered the Boston University MA/PhD program in 2013 after earning her undergraduate degree at the College of William and Mary. She is studying 19th century American history with Professor Nina Silber, with an emphasis on women’s history, looking specifically at women’s relationship with the US government and the military.

Katie Moore received her BA from Barnard College in 2009. She entered the Boston University PhD program in 2010 with a Dean’s Fellowship and is working with Professor Brendan McConville in the field of early American history. Her research interests include political economy, race and gender, and the Atlantic world.

David Olson received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from McGill University. He has broad interests in international and global history. In 2008, he received a travel grant from the European Union Center of Excellence in order to pursue archival research in Europe. He entered the Boston University PhD program in 2009 and is studying transatlantic relations in the seventies with Professor William Keylor.

Patricia Peknik entered the Boston University PhD program in 2004 after earning an MA from the English Department and an MA from the Department of History at BU. She is working with Professors Jon Roberts and Charles Capper, focusing on nineteenth-century American intellectual history.

Stephen Perkins-Argueta

Matt Pressman received a B.A. in history from Dartmouth College in 2003 and entered the Ph.D. program at Boston University in 2011. In the intervening years he worked as a journalist at Vanity Fair magazine, where he was an assistant editor and occasional writer (a series of his articles about the media won the 2010 Mirror Award for Best Commentary, digital media). He is studying 20th-century American history with Bruce Schulman and is particularly interested in the history of the news media in America.

Philip Rotz received a BA in history from Eastern Nazarene College in 1999 and entered the PhD program in African history in 2010.  From 2002 to 2010, he worked in public health programs in Southern Africa for the Harvard School of Public Health and the Clinton Foundation.  Phil’s interests include the relationship between environment and disease, the historical development of Africa’s healthcare systems, and medical education and migration.  Guided by Professors McCann and Wylie, his dissertation will explore mosquito-borne dengue fever and the evolving urban ecologies of Durban, South Africa, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Robert Shimp graduated from Marquette University in 2011 with a BA in both History and Broadcast and Electronic Communications. He is currently studying with Professor Brendan McConville in early American history. His major interests are in the development of American political history and diplomatic history in the early Republic.

David Shorten received his BA in History and Philosophy from NYU in 2011 and entered the PhD program in 2012. He is studying twentieth century American history under Professor Bruce Schulman with an emphasis on the intersection of business and politics.

Benjamin Twagira received his MA in 2008 from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His MA thesis explored the history of state formation and centralization in pre-colonial Rwanda. He entered the Ph.D. program at Boston University in 2010 and is working with Professor Diana Wylie on a dissertation project that explores the history of Kampala.

Sarah Westwood served two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal before joining the Boston University MA program in 2007.  She entered the PhD program in 2009, focusing on the military history of West Africa and the Atlantic World.  Her dissertation project, directed by John Thornton, explores the development and evolution of the Senegalese military from the pre-colonial through the post-independence period.