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Graduate Students

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    Allison Baker

    Advisor: Matthew Vitz

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    Tyler Bouwens

    Advisor: Edward Watts

  • Jordan Buchanan

    Jordan Buchanan

    MA (Hons) History and Politics, University of Dundee - 2019
    MPhil in World History, University of Cambridge - 2020

    Research Themes: Latin America, Mexico, Global History, Neoliberalism, Coffee, Housing, Social History, Ethnohistory, Oral History, Economic History.

    Tentative PhD Project: Human Connections and Social Environments during Mexico’s Neoliberal Democratisation, 1982-2000.

    In my doctoral research, I investigate how the neoliberal and democratic transition in Mexico impacted ordinary lives between 1982-2000. I situate this work within the global history of the synchronous neoliberal democratisation in the Global South by understanding how global transitions influenced the Mexican polity. In order to understand how these global and national alterations affected Mexican lives, I examine the experience of social groups in housing communities in Puebla. I employ network theory and social ecological approaches to measure and understand social mobility and immobility during neoliberalism in Mexico, which positions ordinary Mexicans as key social agents in their own lives Oral history and media sources and archival material form the basis of my ethnohistorical approach to housing communities.

    Additionally, I work on the history of specialty café culture in urban Mexico between 2010-20. For this project, I study how specialty cafés changed the labour experiences of the people participating in the industry. In order to obtain sources for this topic, I employ oral history. In the interviews, I record the experiences of baristas and café owners. I started this project in Puebla, Oaxaca and Mexico City, and I am working to increase these accounts and stories from other cities. The main themes in this research concern owners and baristas motivations for working in specialty coffee, and the labour conditions, social experience and gender dynamics of café work.

    For potential graduate student applicants, I am available for support and guidance for applying to the UCSD history program. Please send me an email if you would like to talk about the application material, process or the graduate experience.

    Advisor: Matthew Vitz

  • Miguel Castañeda

    Miguel Castañeda

    A.A. in Chicano Studies, San Diego City College
    B.A. in Chicana and Chicano Studies, San Diego State University

    My dissertation, “It Was About Self-Determination:” Student Power and the Chicana/o Student Movement, documents and examines Mexican American activists’ efforts to transform San Diego State University (SDSU) from a historically white teaching college to a multi-racial university between 1967 and 1978. Through archival sources, newspaper collections, and oral history interviews, my dissertation argues that working-class Chicana/o student activists, recruited from the US/Mexico borderlands, reimagined higher education as a place to exercise self-determination, specifically through student control over campus resources and institutions like the Mexican American Studies department and the Educational Opportunities Program. At the heart of the project is how self-determination was envisioned, debated, fought for, and practiced by MEChA, Las Chicanas, and La Junta Directiva and why they viewed student power on campus as a model for organizing society as a whole.

    More than a project of historical recovery, “It was About Self-Determination” asks us to reconsider political tenets of the Chicana/o movement. In recent years, memory of the Chicana/o generation’s political ideology and their conceptualization of self-determination as a movement goal is often reduced to cultural nationalist tendencies, however, my research demonstrates that Marxism, feminism, and Third World internationalism were central components of Chicana/o student politics at SDSU. These multiracial and intersectional political visions, rooted in their lived experiences in the borderlands, produced unique understanding of movement goals and led Chicana/o activists into coalitions with the Black Student Council, the Women’s Union, Filipina/o students, and white radicals.

    My research exists at the intersections of relational Chicano/a/x history, 20th century social and student movements, social and cultural histories of race and ethnicity, and Third World and Chicana feminist politics. By bringing theories, frameworks and methods from different fields, my dissertation brings a new perspective to the study of race, social change, and education in American history.

    Watch “50 Years of Chicana/o Studies at San Diego City College”  (2022) on YouTube:

    Advisor: Luis Alvarez

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    Thomas Arthur Kwok Wah Chan

    Advisor: Karl Gerth and Paul Pickowicz

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    Niall Chithelen

    Advisors: Karl Gerth and Micah Muscolino

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    Jerry Christodoulatos

    Advisor: Thomas Gallant

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    Thomas Connell

    Advisors:  Hasan Kayali and Michael Provence

  • Matthew Crum

    Matthew Crum

    B.A. in History, The Ohio State University

    My dissertation is tentatively titled “Unbecoming Romans” and it consists of a series of case studies on the regions and peoples at the borders of the Roman state. It primarily explores the extent to which the populations at the furthest parts of Romanía self-identified as Romans, whether other Romans considered the inhabitants of formerly Roman or contested regions to be members of the larger Roman ethnic community, how the identity of these groups was understood by non-Romans, and how these perceptions might change over time.

    My primary research is focused on the Medieval (or Eastern) Roman state, especially during the period of the Macedonian Dynasty (867 to 1056). I am also undertaking research on the topics of Hagiography, the archaeology of Medieval Greece, and the ancient Greek historian Herodotus.

    Advisor: Edward Watts

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    Alexander Dinh

    Advisor: Claire Edington

  • Ian Dubrowsky

    Ian Dubrowsky

    BA University of Pennsylvania

    MA New School for Social Research

    Research Themes: Modern China, global 20th and 21st centuries, grassroots radicalism, alternative cultures, intellectual history, social movements, labor history, gender, transnationalism.

    Tentative Dissertation Project Title: The Roads Not Taken: Grassroots Radicalism and Alternative Cultures in China’s 20th Century

    My dissertation investigates how grassroots communities in 20th century China adapted radical ideologies to construct alternative cultures of resistance. It presents how Marxist peasants, feminist socialists, worker poets, rebel “ultra-left” Maoists, and young female migrant factory workers reconfigured radical ideas to articulate their distinct visions, shaped by their specific cultural contexts, social worlds, and lived experiences.

    The dissertation contends that grassroots practices of localizing, experimenting with, and contesting revolutionary ideals frequently went beyond the limits of official ideology and state-led mobilization, while also intersecting with broader struggles for gender equity, workers’empowerment, and social justice. By exploring these histories, the dissertation decenters andpluralizes our understanding of the Chinese revolutionary experience, uncovering its internal tensions, unintended consequences, and unrealized potentials.

    Drawing on a wide range of sources the project traces the transnational circulations, cultural innovations, and political contestations that animated China’s grassroots radicalism across the 20th century. In doing so, it opens up new possibilities for rethinking the diverse meanings, untold stories, and unfinished struggles for a more democratic and egalitarian society.

    I am also involved in UCSD’s mentorship program connecting graduate students with undergraduates majoring in humanities fields who are interested in pursuing advanced degrees in a humanities discipline. I welcome connecting with prospective students interested in modern Chinese history, comparative revolutions, and social and cultural history. Feel free to reach out if you would like to discuss the graduate program, application process, or your research interests.

    Advisors: Karl Gerth & Micah Muscolino

  • Bobby Edwards

    Bobby Edwards

    B.A. in Art Studio, California State University, Sacramento, 2013
    B.A. in History, California State University, Sacramento, 2013
    M.A. in History, California State University, Sacramento, 2016

    My research focuses on the colonial history of American anthropology in the early twentieth century. I examine how the theory of linguistic relativity informed colonial ideology and U.S.-Indian policy. I also analyze the structural relationship between science and empire through the lens of Native American history. 

    Dissertation Title: The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis: Critical Anthropology, Colonial Science, and Native Modernity in the American Borderlands

    My work engages with the history of anthropology, American Studies, Native American studies, and Science Studies. 

    Advisors: Danny Widener and Ross Frank

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    Matthew Ehrlich

    Advisor: Pamela Radcliff

  • Kristian Fabian

    Kristian Fabian

    B.A. in History, Providence College, 2014 (summa cum laude)
    M.A. in History, Brown University, 2015

    I am currently finishing my doctoral dissertation, Global Conquistadors: A Social History of the Early Spanish Empire, 1480-1521, under the direction of Professor Dana Velasco Murillo. Briefly, my dissertation explores the lives of Iberian conquistadors who fought in multiple regions of the early Spanish empire, including in Granada, the Canary Islands, Italy, North Africa, the Caribbean, and New Spain. By tracking the movement of these men across the realm, my research seeks to connect distinct territories of the empire that have been traditionally treated as scattered or unrelated. My dissertation was supported by funding from several institutions and grants, including a year-long Fulbright-Hays (DDRA) Fellowship, the Tinker Foundation, and various institutes and departments at UCSD. In addition to this research, I recently finished an article that considers the importance of the Spaniards’ Native allies during the Spanish-Aztec War (popularly known as the Conquest of Mexico), namely in the construction of a naval fleet and canal needed to conquer the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan. The article is forthcoming, and is set to appear in The Americas: A Quarterly Review of Latin American History in early 2024. 

    Research and Teaching Interests: Colonial Latin America; Late Medieval Spain; Conquest and Empire; Conquistadors; Native Peoples; Social History; Transregional/Global History

    For more information, please visit my website:

    Advisor: Dana Velasco Murillo

  • Holly Gibbens

    Holly Gibbens

    B.A. in English and History, Spring Hill College

    I’m studying Latin American history, concentrating primarily on Chile during the 1960s and 1970s. My main thematic interests are liberation theology and popular education initiatives, and how they shape democratic social projects during pivotal and often violent-political transitions. I plan on focusing my research on the link between Catholic social justice teaching, literacy campaigns, and the leftist politics in Chile leading up to the coup and dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

    Advisor: Ben Cowan

  • Semih Gokatalay

    Semih Gokatalay

    B.S. in Economics, Middle East Technical University, Turkey, 2013
    M.S. in Economics, Middle East Technical University, Turkey, 2015
    M.S. in Middle East Studies, Middle East Technical University, Turkey, 2016

    I am interested in Middle East history with an emphasis on the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth century. My research interests are economic and business history of the region during the transition from empire to nation-states. One of my main purposes is to explore the development of private and indigenous interest groups in the Middle East vis-à-vis state authorities and international capitalist classes.

    Advisors: Hasan Kayali and Michael Provence

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    Christina Gomez

    Advisor: Luis Alvarez and Rosie Bermudez

  • John Gove

    John Gove

    B.S. in Political Science, Florida State University
    M.A. in History, San Diego State University

    I am interested in political activism and social justice in the 20th-century United States, particularly LGBTQ+ activism and issues of gender in Southern California.

    Advisor: Rebecca Plant

  • Jaeyoung Ha

    Jaeyoung Ha

    Before he came to the U.S., Jaeyoung Ha studied modern Korean history with Dr. Park Chan-seung in South Korea. After having a career at a museum and archive, he came to the U.S. for the Ph.D. program in history at UCSD in 2017. Jaeyoung advanced to candidacy Fall 2021.

    Jaeyoung’s dissertation project, “‘Blood, Sweat, and Tears’,” investigates upland South Korea’s industrialization and social engineering programs that came into being from the intersection between the postcolonial South Korean nation-building project and the U.S. anti-communist strategy. After the Korean War, attracted by untapped mineral reserves required for South Korea’s nation-building and the U.S. defense industry, the U.S. and South Korean states embarked on massive industrialization and demographic engineering that Jaeyoung comprehensively calls the “mountain enclosure campaign.” Jaeyoung’s dissertation explores how these developmental projects reframed the resource-rich but impoverished upland hinterland as South Korea’s new industrial frontier as well as a part of U.S. westering frontierism. In his project, Jaeyoung also investigates the culture of capitalistic meritocracy exemplified by the state’s effort to foster “nationalized” and “hard-working” reserve labor mobilized in these mountains’ industrial sites. Particularly concentrating on highland mining company towns, Jaeyoung’s project investigates how this meritocratic discourse justified and perpetuated inequality and social stratification in the upland local society of South Korea.

    Research Interests: Korean History, Cold War, Trans-Pacific History, History of Capitalism and Labor, Nationalism and Birth of Nationalist Discourse 

    Advisor: Todd Henry

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    Nour Hachem

    Advisors: Hasan Kayali and Michael Provence

  • Matthew Aaron Hall

    Matthew Aaron Hall

    B.A. in History, Murray State University, Kentucky
    M.A. in History, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
    C.Phil in European History, University of California, San Diego

    My thesis examines the politicization of coalminers during the break-neck expansion of the mining industry in the Ruhr region of Germany before World War I. Traced along several vectors, from the efforts of the Social Democrats and Christian Democrats to "civilize" the miners to the embodied experience of mining coal, the results of this politicization were a militant, pluralistic political landscape which presented a special challenge for not only mine operators but also trade unionists and the Prussian State. Three mass strikes by miners, in 1889, 1905, and 1912, illustrate this characterization, while at the same time marking major turning points in the labor politics of the German Empire. Rather than tracing a teleology ending in World War I or later in the German revolution, both addressed in an epilogue, the thesis shows how daily practices become political, become drivers behind heterogeneous movements, and become the substance of socio-political institutions and organizations, from works-councils to the trade unions.

    Dissertation Title: “The Free Council-Republic!” Coal Mining, Politics, and Revolution in Germany’s Ruhr Industrial Region,1905-1920

    Research Interests: Central European/German history after 1815, labor history, intellectual history of the social sciences, history of working-class culture, history of industrialization, history of mining, history of medicine and disease.


    Advisor: Frank Biess

  • Shumeng Han

    Shumeng Han

    B.A. in History, Renmin University of China, 2018

    M.A. in Social Sciences, University of Chicago, 2019

    I am a doctoral student in history and science studies. I am broadly interested in the history of rural life in modern China, especially rural everyday life, and the history of knowledge production and transmission. My major research project focuses on the history of farming technology in the PRC period. My work involves grassroots technological inventions and the interaction among technology, economic knowledge, and politics. Along with that, I am also working on a project on generational hierarchy and legal knowledge-making under Republican Legal Reform.

    Advisors: Karl Gerth and Micah Muscolino

  • Felicitas Hartung

    Felicitas Hartung

    B.A. in History, University of Würzburg, Germany
    State Examination (Erstes Staatsexamen) in History, German, and Ethics/Philosophy, University of Würzburg, Germany

    Scholarly Interests: U.S. History, European History (especially German History), History of Emotions, History of Science, Public Diplomacy and Propaganda

    Before I came to UC San Diego, I earned a teaching degree (Erstes Staatsexamen) for teaching History, German, and Ethics/Philosophy from the University of Würzburg in Germany. Further, I earned a bachelor’s degree in History and German Linguistics/Literature.

    In my dissertation, I focus on aspects related to early Cold War emotional management through information control. I examine the actions of the Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists (ECAS) – a group of nuclear scientists around Albert Einstein, Linus Pauling, and Leo Szilard who launched a campaign to educate the public about the dangers of atomic energy and spoke out for the formation of a world government under which all nuclear power should be placed. I thereby seek to illuminate the trust/distrust relationship between government entities, the U.S. public, and nuclear scientists which was impacted by a constant fear of nuclear destruction. Driven by a concern about increasing public distrust in both science and governmental leadership, scientists as well as government agencies sought to use public nuclear fears and influence the public perception of the atomic threat by manipulating the information released about the dangers of atomic energy.

    Advisors: Rebecca Plant and Nancy Kwak

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    Moses Headley

    Advisor: Frank Biess

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    Rachel Hennings

    Advisor: Deborah Hertz

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    Delilah Hernandez

    Advisor: Rebecca Plant

  • James Ivey

    James Ivey

    B.A. in History with a minor in Ancient History from Swarthmore College (with honours) - 2014
    M.A. in Global History from Georgetown University and King’s College London – 2016
    Ph.D. in progress

    I primarily write on Sports History during the Cold War.

    My dissertation analyses the global nature of 1980 Moscow Olympic Games Boycott: I am particularly interested in deconstructing the Cold War binary of the event and examining the role that countries from the Global South played and how these countries came to understand the nature of the boycott. Through this approach, I aim to link the 1980 Boycott to contemporaneous anti-colonial and anti-racist boycotts and also to the shifting Cold War climate. 

    An early part of my research on British – African issues on sport, diplomacy and 1980 was published by the International Journal of the History of Sport in 2019, entitled “Double Standards: South Africa, British Rugby, and the Moscow Olympics.” It highlighted the struggles of British diplomats to persuade countries to join an Olympic boycott while refusing to honour the sporting embargo of South Africa.

    Alongside my dissertation, I am engaged in a number of other fields and am currently writing on a range of sporting topics in Europe, Africa, and America. My M.A. thesis focused on the similarities between the growth of professionalism in British men’s football in the late nineteenth century and moves made around women’s football after WWI. I have also written about German and British football during the fifties to the eighties. And I have a passion for reading and writing about Muhammad Ali.

    Advisor: Robert Edelman

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    Emma Jablonski

    Advisor: Cathy Gere

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    Calvin Jordan

    Advisors: Jeremy Prestholdt and Claire Edington

  • Youngoh Jung

    Youngoh Jung

    B.A. in History, University of California, San Diego, 2011
    M.A. in East Asian Studies, University of Toronto, 2014
    Ph.D. in History with graduate specialization on Critical Gender Studies, University of California, San Diego (in progress)

    My dissertation, Unsettling Militancy: Rethinking the Korean Diaspora in the Militarized Transpacific, explores the history of diasporic Korean American engagement with transpacific militarism and the U.S. Military Empire throughout the 20th century. It demonstrates that the Korean American diaspora should not be uncritically offered as evidence of a successful project that justifies the presence of the U.S. military and the promulgation of liberal democracy. I examine how the process of militarization produced various identities ranging from exemplary subjects of the global democratic order to those who become expendable to this cause by the U.S. and South Korea. My work explores the complex personhoods of exiles, refugees, conscientious objectors, and returnees who utilized their access to the military institution to work towards building a new community with an alternate envisioning of Korea and Korean diaspora without the hegemonic influences of the U.S. Military Empire. 

    I utilize both traditional archival methodologies and alternative forms of historical knowledge formation such as oral histories and engagement with community archives. At UCSD, I have been a part of the Race and Oral History Project, a student-centered collaborative initiative with the larger San Diego ethnic communities, where I worked as the Teaching Assistant for the class component of the project from 2019-2021.

    My previous work on the history of conscription and conscientious objection in post Korean War South Korea (1953-1993) has been published as a journal article by the Trans-Humanities Journal. Youngoh Jung. "The Normalization of Universal Male Conscription in South Korean Society and the State Regulation of Draft Evasion and Conscientious Objection: 1950-1993." Trans-Humanities (2014) Vol. 7 No. 3: 125-161.

    Fields: US History, Asian American Studies, Transpacific Studies, Korean American Studies.  

    Research Interests: Gender & Militarism, US Military Empire, Korean Diaspora, Oral History, Archival Absences.

    Advisors: Wendy Matsumura and Simeon Man

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    Weiyue Kan

    Advisor: Weijing Lu

  • Benjamin Kletzer

    Benjamin Kletzer

    B.A. in History, University of California, Santa Barbara
    M.A. in History, University of California, San Diego

    Dissertation Title: "China’s Dream of the Red Railway Professional Railroaders and The Making of an Industrial Power, 1945-1976"

    My research traces the historical and economic development of China National Railways (CNR), examining how the railways facilitated the formation of the modern Chinese industrial state. As the nation’s largest single employer, CNR was the lynchpin of China’s planned economy and a critical strategic asset to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Unlike the rest of China’s economy during the Mao years, I posit that CNR prioritized professional, developmental, and operational concerns over political mandates. I argue that the work and expertise of professional railroaders permitted the railway’s growth along a distinctive developmental path that included trade with enemy nations, internal market competitions, and connections with the outside world at a time when the PRC emphasized economic self-reliance. Intended to be the hallmark of a centrally planned economy, the railways, led by this cohort of professional railroaders, deviated from the dreams of the PRC state, prioritizing expertise over political correctness, professionalism over politics, and conventional technology over socialist science. By examining railway development and operations in the early PRC, my dissertation highlights the daily realities of economic decision-making, investigating how individual actions laid the infrastructural foundation of China’s current economy. My work on CNR intervenes with the existing historical narrative of Chinese economic history, highlighting the activities of individuals whose decisions steered the successful development of CNR through the economic and humanitarian disasters of Maoist China. My work has been supported by the UC Institute on Global and Cooperation, the National Bureau of Asian Research, and the American Council of Learned Societies.

    Advisors: Karl Gerth and Micah Muscolino

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    Scott Lancaster

    Advisor:  Pamela Radcliff

  • Kimiko Nicole LeNeave

    Kimiko Nicole LeNeave

    Bachelors of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in History, Latin American Studies, and Music (2014)

    Kimiko Nicole LeNeave is a doctoral student of Modern Latin American History at the University of California San Diego pursuing research focused on US-Latin American relations, cultural histories of rebellion and insurgency in Latin American during the Cold War era, and the evolution of protest cultures throughout the Americas. Her dissertation “Rhythms of the Revolution: Sociopolitical Intersections of Music in the Cuban Cold War” illuminates ways music shaped political cultures and events in Cold War Latin America by examining the dialectic exchange between musicians and insurgents as well as transnational relationships between Cuba and other nations mired in political polarization. 

    Advisor: Matthew Vitz

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    Ho Chiu Leung

    Advisor: Karl Gerth


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    Hyesong Lim

    Advisor: Todd Henry

  • Jose Lumbreras

    Jose Lumbreras

    B.A. in Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara
    M.A. in Ethnic Studies, San Francisco State University
    C. Phil in History, University of California, San Diego
    Jose's work focuses on multiracial/multiethnic solidarity. For his dissertation, "Shared Imaginations: Black and Brown Solidarity in Los Angeles, 1965-1994," he writes about the way black and brown working-class communities came together to organize in the neighborhood, school sites, and workplace of post-Fordism Los Angeles. Jose is also involved in a seed project that experimentally maps spaces of abolition and abolitionists' struggles, check out the work he is doing with his colleague,
    Research and Teaching Interests: 
    Twentieth century U.S. history and social movements, black and brown relationships, comparative/relational race and ethnicity, Chicanx History, ethnic studies, Critical Human Geography, space and place, California History, Los Angeles History, Oral History, Global History, and history from below.

    Advisors: Luis Alvarez and Danny Widener

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    Olivia Maddox

    Advisors: Karl Gerth and Micah Muscolino

  • Kevan Malone

    Kevan Malone

    B.A. New York University, 2006
    M.A. in American Studies, CUNY Graduate Center, 2009

    My research examines San Diego-Tijuana relations since the 1920s, highlighting the role of diplomacy in city governance, urban planning, and water management.

    Dissertation Title: Borderline Unsustainable: San Diego, Tijuana, and the Politics of Urban Planning at the U.S.-Mexico Boundary

    Research Interests: Urban history, U.S.-Mexico borderlands, Environmental history, Diplomatic history

    Advisor: Nancy Kwak

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    Jamie Marvin

    Advisor: Edward Watts

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    Michael McGalliard

    Advisor: Mark Hendrickson

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    Liam McKee

    Advisor: Mark Hanna

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    Thomas McLamb

    Advisor: Hasan Kayali and Michael Provence

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    Alexis Meza

    B.A. with Honors in History & Latin American and Iberian Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2013
    M.A. in United States History, University of California, San Diego, 2017

    Research interests: Latina/o Studies, Salvadoran Diaspora, Critical Refugee Studies, Migration Histories 

    Advisor: Luis Alvarez

  • Joy Miller

    Joy Miller

    B.A. in History, California State University, San Marcos, 2015
    M.A. in History, California State University, San Marcos, 2018

    I am interested in United States history with a subfield of African American history and global history. 

    Advisor: Danny Widener

  • Jordan Mylet

    Jordan Mylet

    Jordan Mylet is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History advised by Dr. Rebecca Jo Plant and Dr. Luis Alvarez. Her dissertation examines the emergence of addiction recovery communes in post-World War II United States, and centers the political activism of self-identified ex-addicts in the national struggles over the possibilities and boundaries of radical participatory democracy in the long 1960s. She attended New York University for her undergraduate education, and is currently an editoral assistant for the digital journal, Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000, published by Alexander Street Press.


    Advisors: Luis Alvarez and Rebecca Jo Plant

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    Robert Nixon

    B.A. in History and French, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

    I am studying Modern Middle East history, with my current focus on Syria in the 1950s and 1960s. I am thematically interested in the development of nationality and national identity in the post-independence period, both as a political project and as lived experience reflected in cultural production. To that end my research is currently focussed on the period surrounding the rise of the Ba’ath Party and the faction of Hafiz al-Asad, and the impact that their programs both had and did not have on the development of Syrian national identity. 

    Advisors: Michael Provence and Hasan Kayali

  • Csaba Olasz

    Csaba Olasz

    M.A. in American Studies, ELTE University, Budapest
    M.A. in Comparative History, Central European University, Budapest
    PhD in History, Science Studies. In progress, UC San Diego

    I am interested in the interconnections of the social and natural sciences in the 20C. Atomic age, Cold War science and society, institutions, universities, refugee scientists as well as issues of technical experts acting as public intellectuals. I also retain an interest in the historiography of science and religion, broadly construed. 

    Advisor: Cathy Gere

  • Oswin Orellana

    Oswin Orellana

    B.A. in History, University of California, Irvine, 2015
    M.A. in History, California State University, Northridge, 2018

    My research revolves around the early modern European period, with a specific focus on the Spanish empire during the 15th and 16th centuries. I am interested in the construction of an early modern Spanish identity during this period, whether this identity is self-imposed or is being perpetuated onto themselves by their enemies. So far, my projects have attempted to highlight how the territorial enemies of the Spanish continuously used different mediums to express their interpretation of a Spanish identity while subsequently being in constant interaction with the Spanish’s interpretation of their own identity.

    Advisor: Andrew Devereux

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    Nico Pacetti

    Advisor: Andrew Devereux

  • Ivana Polic

    Ivana Polic

    B.A. in History and English Language and Literature – Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Rijeka, Croatia, 2011
    M.A. in History and English Language and Literature (Teacher Course) – Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Rijeka, Croatia, 2014

    I am interested in modern history of Southeastern Europe, with particular emphasis on post-1945 history of Yugoslavia and its successor states.  My research focuses on topics such as popular culture, interrelationship between gender and politics, and various forms of political propaganda. My current project deals with the question of how the indoctrination of childhood reflected the process of nation building in Croatia after the breakup of Yugoslavia.

    Advisor: Patrick Patterson

  • Catherine Quan Potmesil

    Catherine Quan Potmesil

    B.A. in History, UC Santa Cruz, 2017

    I am primarily looking to pursue a trans-pacific approach to examining American imperialism in Southeast Asia. Particularly, I am interested in the aftermath of the Second Indochina Conflict and the ensuing refugee crisis that reached its peak in the 1980s. The refugee camps that were established in locations such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Hong Kong serve as an interesting space in which individuals (camp workers and refugees alike) can articulate their perceived position in relation to the dominant American presence in the region. The liminal nature of the refugee camp also serves as an insight into space-making among refugees away from an established "homeland." 

    I am looking to combine a variety of materials, from traditional archival sources, to oral testimonies, to video and digital materials in my work, taking full advantage of digital humanities as a whole. 

    Research Interests: Trans-pacific studies, American Empire, Critical Refugee Studies, Immigration, Cold War, American militarism in the Pacific

    Advisor: Simeon Man

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    Miguel Sanchez Morquecho

    Advisor: Denise Demetriou

  • Nathaniel Schwartz

    Nathaniel Schwartz

    B.A. in History, University of Cincinnati
    M.A. in Social Sciences, University of Chicago

    I am interested in the sociopolitical and legal dimensions of US immigration history and citizenship. My doctoral research focuses primarily on immigration reform in the 1960s. Specifically, I examine how these efforts succeeded in uniting numerous, diverse, and often disparate interest groups and stakeholders in a campaign to abolish the national origins system—efforts that eventually culminated in the passage of the Hart-Celler Act in 1965.

    My previous research includes topics ranging from nativism and xenophobia to evolving notions of American citizenship. For instance, my M.A. thesis, “‘America First’: A Conceptual History, 1870-2019,” explores the sematic genealogy of the phrase, “America First,” spanning the tariff debates of the nineteenth century to its more contemporary usage by far-right figures, including Pat Buchanan and Donald Trump. In addition to my M.A. thesis, I’ve also studied the Americanization movement in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, whose advocates, such as the National Americanization Committee, campaigned to assimilate and “Americanize” German American immigrants through the promotion of English language adoption, as well as, by other more-coercive means following the advent of the First World War.

    Research Interests: 20th century US history, immigration law and public policy, patterns of nativism, social movements, legal and political history, nationalism, race and ethnicity.

    Advisor: Mark Hendrickson

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    Guilherme Sena De Assuncao

    Advisor: Ben Cowan

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    Rebecca Shoup

    Advisor: Thomas Gallant

  • Dionysios Angelos E. Skouloudis

    Dionysios Angelos E. Skouloudis

    B.A. (Summa Cum Laude) in Economics and History & Minor in International Relations, The American College of Greece, 2017

    I am a graduate student in the Department of History of UC San Diego in the field of modern European history. My research will focus on Greece during the latter part of the nineteenth century. In particular, I will focus on the interaction of private and state actors and the impact of their actions on the international relations of the Greek kingdom in the overarching context of the Eastern Question.

    Advisor: Thomas Gallant

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    Matthew Soleiman

    Advisor: Cathy Gere

  • Abner Sotenos

    Abner Sotenos

    B.A. in History, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), 2009
    M.A. in Social History, Federal University of Rio de Janiero (PPGHIS-IH-UFRJ), 2013
    Ph.D. in History, University of California, San Diego, In Progress

    Abner Fco Sótenos is a Ph.D. Student in Latin American History at the Department of History of University of California – San Diego. 

    He holds a master’s in social history from PPGHIS-Federal University of Rio de Janeiro - UFRJ (2013) Brazil, and a bachelor’s in history at UFRJ (2009).  He was a visiting researcher at Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) at Brown University (2016-2018).

    Awarded Honorable Mention in the Best Master's Dissertation Award, Ana Lugão Rios do PPGHIS-UFRJ (2013).

    He is co-author of the book Written History, Lived History: Social Movements, Memory, and Political Repression During the Military Dictatorship in Brazil, (Rio de Janeiro: Lamparina editora, 2019), in Portuguese.

    He is working on a manuscript book entitled Down with the Dictatorship: Democratic Opposition and the Surveillance apparatus in the Baixada Fluminense During the Dictatorial Year, in Portuguese.  Moreover, He is the author of many articles and book chapters and participates as a political commentator in the Brazilian and US press. He is a popular educator and political activist.

    He is interested in Racial Formation in Brazil, Latin America, and the Caribbean, Human Right, Transnational Activism in the Diasporic World, Cold War in Latin America, Critical Race Theory, Decolonial Studies, History of Republican Brazil; Military Dictatorship in Brazil, Changes in Political Regimes in Latin America, and grassroot movements in Brazil and the United States.

    Advisors: Jessica Graham and Ben Cowan

  • Dimitrios Stergiopoulos

    Dimitrios Stergiopoulos

    B.A. in Turkish and Modern Asian Studies, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece, 2013
    M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies, Leiden University, Netherlands, 2015

    My research interests are centered on the transformation of Southeastern Europe and the Middle East from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries due to the incorporation of the region into the capitalist world economy. In my PhD, I am studying the economic and political role of the bankers and merchants in Athens and Istanbul the second half of the 19th century. Specifically, I investigate how these strata navigated the turbulent conjuncture of the 1870s when a multifaceted social, economic, and political crisis affected the region in order to consolidate their position as social and economic elites. For my research, I am mainly using primary sources from non-state historical actors, such as newspapers, pamphlets, ego-documents, biographies, memoirs, family archives and private correspondence in Greek, Ottoman Turkish, English and French.

    Dissertation Title: The Bankers of Galata between Athens and Istanbul during the Crisis of 1870s.

    Research Interests: Greece, Ottoman Empire, 19th Century, Southeastern Europe, Middle East, Socioeconomic History, World System Analysis, History of Capitalism, Bankers, Constitutionalism, Global Production Networks (GPN).


    Advisor: Thomas Gallant

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    Stephanie Violette

    Advisor: Nancy Caciola

  • Kevin Westerfeld

    Kevin Westerfeld

    B.A. in Philosophy, UC San Diego, 2016
    M.A. in History, UC San Diego, 2020

    Research Interests: I study Ancient Greek History and am broadly interested in the social, political, and institutional changes that take place within the Greek world following the Peloponnesian War at the start of the fourth century BCE.

    Dissertation Title: All Together Now: The Successes and Failures of Community Building in Xenophon’s Anabasis

    My dissertation analyzes several of the most common strategies for community building employed by the Greeks of the Classical Period.  In particular I consider the way that religion, Panhellenism, stasis (or factionism) and ethnic identity function in the creation and preservation of a community, and assess the way each of these phenomena were mobilized, at times interdependently, in the building and maintenance of Greek communities at the start of the fourth century BCE. 

    To study these aspects of community building, I use Xenophon’s Anabasis, a firsthand account of ten thousand Greek mercenaries who fought in a Persian civil war in 401 BCE, and who, after the death of their Persian patron, were forced to band together and fight their way 1000 miles back to mainland Greece.  As a truly cosmopolitan assembly of Greeks, made up of men from cities throughout the Greek world, the successes and failures of the Ten Thousand in establishing what amounts to a civic community provide a unique insight into the most common strategies and devices employed in fostering communal bonds across a diverse group, as well as the practical limits to which these could be employed.

    Advisors: Denise Demetriou and Edward Watts

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    Katherine White

    B.A. in Molecular and Cell Biology, Neuroscience, University of California Berkeley, 2018

    B.A. in English Literature, University of California, Berkeley, 2018

    Fields: history of medicine, science studies, Early Modern Spain, Colonial Latin America, history of the body, visual and material culture

    Advisor: Andrew Devereux

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    Lauren Wood

    Advisor: Nancy Caciola

  • Zeead Yaghi

    Zeead Yaghi

    B.A. in Psychology, American University of Beirut, 2014
    MSc in Neuroscience, King's College London, 2015

    Modern Middle East Historian broadly interested in the social, cultural, and economic history of the Levant. I research state modernization, development, political economy, and sectarianism in post-independence Lebanon. Prior to attending UC San Diego I worked as a researcher and analyst for several media outlets and think tanks (BBC Media Action, Carnegie Middle East Center, The Century Foundation etc.). I am also a writer, an editor, and co-founder of Megaphone, a Lebanese independent online media platform.

    Advisors: Michael Provence and Hasan Kayali

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    Yixue Yang

    Advisors: Karl Gerth and Micah Muscolino

  • Yunhui Yang

    Yunhui Yang

    B.A. in History and Japanese Studies, Furman University, 2019
    M.A. in Regional Studies-East Asia (RSEA), Harvard University, 2021

    Advisor: Sarah Schneewind

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    Tianqi "Kiki" Zhao

    Advisors: Karl Gerth and Micah Muscolino

In Memoriam