News and Features

Madeleine Stout is doctoral student in the department working under the supervision of Dr. Michael Creswell.

Tell us about your major area of research!

My area of research is on 20th century U.S and Russian history, more specifically the influence of the Black Freedom Struggle on foreign policy and the widespread use of propaganda on both sides during the Cold War. I have always had an interest in Russia during the 1900s and the complex relationship between truth and propaganda, The first works that showed me this area of research was a viable topic were Carol Anderson’s Eyes off the Prize and Mary Dudziak’s Cold War Civil Rights.

What minor fields did you chose?

My minor fields are U.S. History until 1877, Modern Europe, and Gender and Sexuality. I chose these fields because of their significance to my research. Europe was one of the propaganda battle grounds of the Cold War. Women were often used in propaganda to sway public opinion, and gender norms in the 20th century influenced these depictions. Additionally, many of the grassroots activists in the Black Freedom struggle were women, and some even ventured to the Soviet Union. Early U.S. history contextualizes the growing use of propaganda foreign policy, as well as the relationship between the Black Freedom Struggle and the international stage.

How did your interest in history start more generally? What do you do for 'fun' history nowadays?

The mission of the Rosenstrasse Foundation is to commemorate, encourage, and educate civil courage--concrete actions in opposition to injustice and human rights violations that defend the values of a pluralistic society. The Foundation takes its name from the Rosenstrasse Protest in central Berlin in early 1943, in which non-Jewish women married to Jewish men defied Hitler’s regime to protest the capture of their husbands, leading to the men’s release. The foundation is dedicated to the development of knowledge about this and other acts of women-led defiance in addition to acts of civil courage more generally.

The RSF was established by Dr. Nathan Stoltzfus and Dr. Mordecai Paldiel in 2018 with the help of Dr. Olivia Mattis, President and COO of the Sousa Mendes Foundation. Its intellectual origins trace back to Dr. Paldiel’s work as head of the Righteous Among the Nations Department at Yad Vashem from 1982-2007 and Dr. Stoltzfus’ research on political violence and nonviolence, as well as the Holocaust. In conjunction with FSU’s College of Law and Professor Richard Benham’s clinical class, the Foundation has achieved 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.

What is the ‘Rosenstrasse’ event?

Dragana Zivkovic is a PhD student in the History department and is working under the supervision of Dr. Cathy McClive.

Tell us about your major area of research!

I focus on women and the spaces they occupy in 17th-18th century Southeastern Europe. My interest in the topic stems from a class I took during my MA on women and gender in the Mediterranean. Most of what I was learning, and reading was focused on western Europe and there wasn’t much literature on gender in Southeastern Europe. That made me look at women in markets in the travel journals of European diplomats that were traveling through the region.

What minor fields did you chose?

My minor fields are Public History, Early America, and Slavic Studies. Prior to starting my PhD at FSU, I worked at the Museum of Florida History where I got to work in the archives. That really opened my perspective on Public History and made me want to learn more about the field.

I chose Early America as another minor field because I have always been fascinated with Native American history and how little we are taught in school. I find the debates within the field interesting, and they make me approach my own research differently.

And finally, Slavic Studies because it directly relates to my area of focus, but also allows me to take courses in other departments with professors who focus on the precise region and time period of my research.

How did your interest in history start more generally? What do you do for "fun" history nowadays?

Michael Vernon is a doctoral student in the History department. He is working under the supervision of Dr. Chuck Upchurch.

Tell us about your major area of research!

British History – although I didn’t intend to study British history until halfway through the first semester of my MA. When I started grad school, I intended to study early 19th-century America. However, one of my minor field courses was on modern Britain. I was really intrigued by the process of political enfranchisement, and I more or less just ran with it.

What minor fields did you chose?

Middle East: There is a significant amount of commonality between studying the British Empire and studying the Middle East, especially since the British Empire had a large presence in the Middle East. I chose to study the Middle East with Dr Hanley to gain new perspectives on how imperialism affected people in the Middle East, and to study how nationalist and anti-colonial movements began and grew in that region.

Public History: Before I was a grad student, I was a high school history teacher, so I am used to hearing people say that they don’t like history. I am studying public history because public education is something that is important to me, and a central goal of public history is presenting the past to people in a non-academic setting. I think that by doing this, public historians are positioned to show the public that we have a closer relationship with the past than most of us realize.

Kiri Raber is a doctoral student in the History department working with Dr. Chuck Upchurch.

Tell us about your major area of research!

Early Modern Europe, with a focus on the British Empire and Jamaica.

I was always fascinated by the monarchy in Europe, though history wasn’t always what I thought I would study. In a history class as an undergrad, however, I learned about Oliver Cromwell and the interregnum, the brief period in the 1650s when the monarchy was abolished, and Charles I was executed. I found this really interesting, even though the Restoration happened shortly after Cromwell’s death.

I studied Cromwell for a while, and in my MA program learned that Cromwell conquered Jamaica. So I started looking at Jamaica and that opened up many questions I wanted to explore about the empire, and families throughout the empire. I’m now more focused on family and legitimacy throughout the empire in the 18th Century, but Jamaica still remains at the heart of a lot of what I do. And it’s all because I thought it was so wild that Cromwell abolished the Monarchy—even though it was only for a little while. 

What minor fields did you chose?

My minor fields include the Atlantic World, Gender, and Public History. As someone studying family in Jamaica, the Atlantic world and Gender fields help to round out my research and broaden the scope of what I’m looking at.

2020 was a strange year. Unexpected circumstances, both personal and professional, led me to the job market that spring. I was ABD, but still far from completing my dissertation. I had long been considering the upsides of a community college job, including the focus on teaching, the lack of pressure to publish, the greater availability of jobs, and the opportunity to work outside the city, in a smaller, more family-focused, suburban or rural area. I had financial concerns that were mounting, as I had a family to provide for, and I had spent the better part of a decade in school. These factors led me to alter my plan. Rather than finishing the dissertation first, I would look for a career and then finish the dissertation from afar.

Hi! My name is Celia and I am a second year Public History graduate student here at FSU. I am originally from the Atlanta area. I received my BA in History from the University of Georgia. My background is in museum curation and education.

How did you find out about your internship?

I found out about this internship through the UGA Museum Studies Program listserv.

Where did you do your internship and why?

The past two semesters, I interned remotely at Kennesaw State University’s Museum of History and Holocaust Education. I pursued this internship because of the wide variety of training it offered from exhibit label writing, to grant writing, to writing educational packets for K-12 audiences.

What did you do during your internship? What did a regular day look like?

A day in my internship involved me sitting down at my desk at home and prioritizing what project I should work on that day. After I made a to do list of the tasks I needed to complete that day, I would work for a few hours every afternoon researching and writing for my assigned projects. Though my internship was remote, I regularly communicated with MHHE staff via email and video conferencing. During my internship, I worked on a variety of projects:

For the last two years, Jace Cookson (BA 2022) has been torn between becoming a lawyer or a history professor. Cookson came to FSU with the firm intention of going to law school after his BA, but he will be leaving the university with a new plan: going to graduate school to study American religious history.

Why did you want to be a lawyer?

I decided on becoming a lawyer because I did not know about other career options. My dad is a lawyer. I grew up with law. Being a lawyer has always felt like the standard for success and going to a very good law school (preferably better than my dad’s) felt particularly important.

In high school, I was on the debate team. That is a very competitive environment in which almost everyone wants to go to law school. If you like debating that’s a reasonable career choice. I went into college with law school as the goal and I was very ambitious during freshman year.

I started planning very early on how to get into the right law school. I sat down with one of the pre-law advisors, and she gave me a card which had all the important points listed: have a good GPA, get a good LSAT score, do extracurriculars. I put that card up on my wall and planned out how I was going to meet those goals.

I started thinking about the LSAT in my sophomore year, two years before the actual test taking. I realized pretty quickly on how important my LSAT score would be. Five points can mean the difference between a full ride scholarship and decades of law school debt.

Current social media intern Gianna Formica is majoring in Social Science Education with a minor in French. Having a passion for writing since she was in high school, she plans to focus on journalism in graduate school. She has been writing for FSView since early 2021.

What got you interested in writing for FSView?

I worked for several different publications on campus until I found my place at FSView. I started my time at FSU thinking I wanted to be a social science teacher in school, but slowly came to realize that I wanted to educate a broader public through my writing instead. I saw a notice that the Arts and Culture section of FSView was looking for writers, and I went for it. That was nine months ago, and I am going to continue writing for them until I graduate.

How do you get an article published?

FSView is divided into four sections, News, Sports, Arts and Culture, and Views, which is op-eds. I am very much into cultural history, so writing for Arts and Culture works great for me. The team meets once a week with our section’s editor, and that’s when we make our pitches and divide up the different topics we are going to work on for the week. Submission deadline to our section editor is Friday afternoon, and once it has been reviewed and approved by the editor-in-chief, it will appear in FSView online on Sunday, and in the print edition on Monday.

What do you tend to write on?

Both Rhiannon Turgel-Ethier and Kiri Raber, graduate students in the History department, did internships at the FL State Archives as part of their Public History minor field. Both are on the PhD track and will be spending a lot of time in archives as researchers trying to find the right documents for their dissertation projects. For both, this internship was a defining experience as it allowed them to work behind the scenes in an archive, learning how research facilities work.

“I gained a lot from this internship both as a public historian and as an academic historian. I got to understand how the ‘back end’ of the archive works,” said Rhiannon, while Kiri found, “It made me realize how much archivists know about their archive. "I now have a better understanding on how important it is to open a dialogue with the archivists."