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History Graduate Student Association

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Graduate Students

Michael Brennan (PhD Student)

Fields:  Environmental History with a focus on urban environmental and modern US history

Adviser:  Dr. Richard Judd

Education:  B.S. University of Maine Farmington,  Secondary Edcation/Social Science, 2001;  A.L.M. concentration history, Harvard Extension School, 2012

Research Interests:  For my dissertation I plan on exploring the Environmental Justice Movement in Boston. The work will focus on connections: from ecological conditions, to the spatial and built environment, to human ecology, to cultural and environmental resistance. I hope exploring these factors will develop a strong context. I feel that a local history will provide the means to examine these global topics in a complex and nuanced manner. It is my hypothesis that the Environmental Justice Movement serves as an undervalued group illustrating a model for a more sustainable existence.


Patrick Callaway (ABD)

Fields:  Early American Republic, Canadian Economic History to Confederation, Borderlands, British Empire, Historical Geography

Adviser:  Dr. Liam Riordan

Education:  B.A. Social Science, University of Montana Western (2004); B.S. Secondary Education, University of Montana Western (2005); M.A. History, Montana State University (2008)

Research Interests: Canadian-American History, trade in the Early American Republic. My primary area of research looks at the intersection between the grain trade, conflict in the Atlantic World, and American political policy making during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Within this broad framework, I am interested in three narrower questions: how did the American grain trade intersect with the British war effort in Iberia form 1808 to 1814, how do supplies from the United States support the British forces in Canada during the War of 1812 (and the important questions of what that tell us about the nature of the cross-border relationship between American citizens and merchants, Canadian subjects and merchants, and British army expenditures on both sides of the border), and how did the United States government attempt to use legislation to manage these trade relations (with varying degrees of intensity and success) over this time period.

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Brittany P. Cathey (Ph.D. Student)

Adviser:  Dr. Liam Riordan

Education:  B.A. History, University of California, San Diego, 2012, M.A. History University of Maine, 2015

Research Interests:  My research looks at the the evolution of children’s primers, curriculum and teaching practices in late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. My dissertation will specifically focus on the format and illustrations in primers written by ministers in New England and the Maritimes.


Adam Lee Cilli (ABD)

Fields:  African-American History; Labor History; US History in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era

Adviser:  Dr. Richard Judd

Education:  BA in History and Philosophy at Thiel College, 2005;  MA and M.Ed. at Edinboro University, 2010

Research Interests:  My research explores black civil rights activism in Pittsburgh during the 1920s and 1930s. I examine the ways by which black professionals and southern migrants were affected by and responded to Jim Crow segregation, the Great Depression, the New Deal, and labor unionism in the Steel City.  Through the records of the Urban League, NAACP, Pittsburgh Courier, and other institutions, I explore the diverse and sometimes contradictory strategies black leaders adopted to combat discrimination, examine how their ideologies and methods evolved over time, and evaluate their relationship with migrants and other working-class blacks.


Eileen Hagerman (ABD)

Adviser:  Dr. Richard Judd

Education:  B.A. History, University of Louisville, 2009;  M.A. History, University of Maine, 2013

Research Interests:  Most of my work has been concentrated at the intersection of Environmental and Agricultural History. My M.A. thesis examined the back-to-the-land and organic farming movements in Maine during the 1970s in terms of their impact on the state’s food system and regulatory infrastructure. My dissertation will expand upon this research, examining the proliferation of and connections between local farms, farmer’s markets, and food cooperatives across New England during the 1970s and 80s.


Justus Hillebrand (PhD Student)

Fields:  Maine History; History of Belonging; German History; African-American History

Adviser:  Dr. Richard Judd

Education:  B.A.  History and English Studies, University of Cologne, Germany, 2012;  M.A. History, University of Cologne, 2014

Research Interests:  I am interested in the dialectic relationship between rural people’s sense of belonging and what is commonly referred to as “progress”. My particular project is set to investigate this relationship in a comparative perspective of two places in the late 19th century: Maine and the Sauerland in Germany.


Ian J. Jesse (ABD)

Fields:  Canadian-American History, Modern America, Transnational/Borderlands History, Ethnohistory, Anthropology

Adviser:  Dr. Scott See

Education:  B.A. Bridgewater State University 2011; M.A. University of Maine 2013

Research Interests:  My research examines rural politics through hunting, poaching, and wildlife conservation laws during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in the Northeast.  These environmental laws altered relationships between rural people in New England, Canadians, and Native Americans with each other and the State.  Through the use of court cases, oral histories, and newspaper articles the debate and resistance surrounding these new relationships and experiences of the State become clear.


Edward Andrew Kobylarz (M.A. Student)

Adviser:  Dr. Liam Riordan

Education: B.A. History, Colorado Mesa University; Minor in English Literature; Minor in Classical Studies

Research Interests:  Colonial America, American Revolution, Early American Republic, Race, Religion, Social Memory


Carol Patterson-Martineau (ABD)

Fields: 19th Century Political History; Slavery and Abolition; New England History

Adviser: Dr. Richard Judd

Education: M.A. American History, Central Connecticut State University, 2012

Research Interests: While the Missouri Compromise of 1820 – and the subsequent “gag rule” – temporarily silenced national debate on slavery, my dissertation will argue that its provisions created a political and cultural legacy in Maine and Massachusetts that remained vocal on the state level and ultimately evolved into the bases for New England sectionalism of the 1850s.


Jennifer Ricker (Phd Student)

Fields: Modern United States History

Adviser:  Dr. Nathan Godfried

Education:  B.A. Psychology and History, Bowling Green State University, 2004;  M.A.  Policy History, Bowling Green State University, 2007


Greg Rogers (ABD)

Fields:  Colonial North America, Borderlands, Canadian History, Military History

Adviser:  Dr. Jacques Ferland

Education:  B.A. Political Science, SUNY Geneseo, 2005;  M.A. History Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo, 2010

Research Interests:  My dissertation (in progress) focuses on the everyday exercise and limitation of geopolitical power at the edges of New York, New France, and Iroquoia during the first half of the eighteenth century. A micro-historical methodology pays special attention the roles of individuals and small groups at specific borderland locales in the eastern Lake Ontario region. I am interested in the exercise and development of a shared culture of power that emphasized the collection of military intelligence and local knowledge, issues of mobility and border making, and the affirmation and challenging of sovereignty.


Elisa Sance (PhD Student)

Fields: Canadian-American History; Transnational Borderlands History

Adviser: Dr. Jacques Ferland

Education:  M.A. French with a concentration in North American French, University of Maine 2014; B.A.  International Business and Languages, Universite d’Angers 2011; Bachelor degree Archival Sciences, Universite d’Angers 2007

Research Interests:  My research revolves around the language rights act of 1969 which established New Brunswick as an officially bilingual province. I am interested in how language policies in general and the language rights act of 1969 in particular affected the population living on both sides of the border between Maine and New-Brunswick.


Amy Smith (ABD)

Advisers:  Dr. Elizabeth McKillen; Dr. Nathan Goffried

Education:  M.A. American History, University of Maine, 2012; B.A. American History, University of Maine, 2010

Research Interests:  Culture and Religion, 20th Century American History. I am interested in cultural space and shared experiences, both positive and negative, at particular moments in time. My dissertation will focus on New England Quakers in Palestine during the late 19th to early 20th centuries. My research will explore the cultural exchanges between Quaker missionaries and the Arab population. Using memoirs and archival sources, including private diaries and letters, I argue that the Quaker school in Ramallah is best understood, not simply as a colonial project, but as a space for interaction in which Palestinians and American missionaries actively engaged in creating new identities.


Rachel A. Snell (ABD)

Fields:  Canadian-American History, Gender History, Borderlands, and Food History

Adviser:  Dr. Liam Riordan

Education:  M.A. Early American History, University of New Hampshire, 2008; B.A. American History, University of Maine, 2006

Research Interests: My dissertation, in progress, titled “‘Mistress, Mother, Nurse and Maid’: Women ‘Having it All’ in the Anglo-American World, 1830-1880, is focused on the everyday experience of domesticity. This project examines discourses of domesticity (printed and manuscript cookbooks, household manuals, account books, diaries, and letters) to better understand how married, middle-class women conformed to and negotiated with expectations of their household labor and role in society. Women’s recipe collections and their personal writing reflect women’s agency in the definition of their roles and reveal new perspectives on women’s networks, education, the cooperative nature of the middle-class household, and domestic partnership of wives and husbands.


Daniel S. Soucier (ABD)

Fields:  Environmental History, American Revolution, Transnational/Borderlands History, Modern British Empire, Historical Geography.

Adviser(s):  Dr. Richard Judd; Dr. Liam Riordan

Education:  M.A. American History, University of Maine, 2013;  B.A.  American History, University of Maine, 2011

Research Interests:  My research looks at the intersections between environmental, military, and borderlands history to elucidate eighteenth-century ideas about nature.  It shows how these ideas – and the material reality of the environment – shaped relationships between British and Continental Armies with various French, Acadian, and Native American groups encountered in the Northeastern Borderlands stretching from the Eastern Country of Massachusetts Bay Colony (present day Maine) to the New York frontier.  Diaries, letters, and reports from officers and enlisted men highlight the meaning of nature in these wilderness campaigns and reveal the ways in which the environment structured military and diplomatic relations in this frontier region.



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Contact Information

History Graduate Student Association
5774 Stevens Hall
Orono, ME 04468-5774
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469