Graduate Student Bios and Research



Jacob Anderson Armstrong 
M.A. Student

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Advisor: Dr. Scott Marler

Email: jrmstrn3@memphis.edu

Research Interests: cultural history, U.S. political history, and social history.


Harry Barber
Ph.D. Student

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Advisor: Dr. Stephen K. Stein

Email: hcbarber@memphis.edu

Research Interests: 20th Century US History/Military History

Tentative Dissertation Tittle: Alan Goodrich Kirk: Admiral and Ambassador 
A biography of an American naval officer who organized and led amphibious landings in World War II and became an early Cold War diplomat.


James Barney
Ph.D. Student

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Advisor: Dr. Aram Goudsouzian 

Email: jjbarney@memphis.edu

Research Interests: History of Sexuality and Gender; African American History (post-1945); American Foreign Diplomacy (post-1945); New York City History (post-1945), and Modern European History (post-1945). 

Tentative Dissertation Tittle: “David Dinkins and New York City, 1989 – 1993: Political Coalition-Building and Governance in the Age of Identity Politics.” 


Morgan Ingram Bentley
M.A. Student

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Advisor: Dr. Sarah Potter  

Email: mlingram@memphis.edu

Research Interests: student experiences at Indian Boarding Schools.  


Chelsea Buggs
Ph.D. Student

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Advisors: : Dr. Aram Goudsouzian and Dr. Beverly Bond

Email: cbuggs@memphis.edu

Research interests: late 19th-early 20th century southern African American History with an emphasis on women and gender studies, Black feminism, and identity. Currently, exploring late 19th-early 20th century middle-class Black women Memphians’ intellectual-activism, their identity construction and demonstration, and the connections between Black liberation and white supremacy via identity construction and demonstration.

Tentative Dissertation Title: I am Me: Middle-Class Black Women Memphians’ Intellectual-Activism, Identity, & Black Liberation and White Supremacy in the Jim/Jane Crow Era, 1880-1930


Macon Bullock
M.A. Student

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Email: mwbllock@memphis.edu

Research Interests: U.S. Colonial History, U.S. in the Age of Jackson, African-American History, American Civil War, The Word Wars, and U.S. Historiography.


Kelsie Kathryn Carper 
Ph.D. Student

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Advisor: Dr. Peter Brand

Email: Kelsie.Carper@memphis.edu

Major field of study: Ancient Egyptian History. Minor fields in gender studies and museum studies.

Research Interests: I am interested in gender, gender theory, and historiography of women and gender studies in Egyptology. Currently, my research revolves around the presentation of gender and how we as scholars interpret it.  I consider the presentation of gender in ancient Egypt, which involves historiographical research to identify biases, and studying gender theory to extract an understanding  more closely aligned to the Egyptian perspective. 


Danyel Clark 
Ph.D. Student

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Advisor: Dr. Susan O’Donovan 

Email: drclark4@memphis.edu

Research Interests: Nineteenth century, African American Women, Reconstruction era, Racial Violence 

My dissertation topic will examine the Ku Klux Klan and its founding in Pulaski, Tennessee during Reconstruction. While the early members of the KKK are important to my study, I intend to center the experiences of African Americans in Pulaski and surrounding counties. How the community responded to the violence and life before the formation of the Klan will be explored. 


Taylor Deane
Ph.D. Student

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Advisor: Dr. Peter Brand

Email: mdeane@memphis.edu

Research Interests: New Kingdom, Eighteenth Dynasty Officials, Non-royal Theban Tombs, Memory Sanctions

Dissertation Title: 'Official' Obliteration: Defaced Images and Texts in Eighteenth Dynasty Non-Royal Theban Tombs


Katie Wiggins Fincher
Ph.D. Student 

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Advisor: Dr. Peter Brand 

Email: knwggins@memphis.edu 

Research Interests: Ancient Egyptian religious thought and cosmology, Egyptian gods and goddesses, Nubian religion and history, museum practices and collections management, and historiography and theories of history. 

Dissertation Title: Beyond Cosmogony: A Reassessment of the Egyptian Ogdoad and its Role in Egyptian Religion and Magic 


Aniya Andrea't Gold
M.A. Student

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Email: aagold@memphis.edu

Research Interests: African American history in the 20th century with a focus in Black popular culture, Black social movements, and Black feminism.  


Haleigh Graham
M.A. Student

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Email: hgraham3@memphis.edu

Research Interests: Southern history, American history, history of minority groups


Damarius Harris
Ph.D. Student

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Advisor: Dr. Susan O’Donovan

Email: dhrris42@memphis.edu

Research Interests: U.S. History to 1877 - South during the Reconstruction Era; Elite white Mississippians’ efforts to undermine Reconstruction Era reforms to protect their class and political power; Exploring how elite whites continued to hinder socioeconomic and citizenship reforms for poor black and white Mississippians.

Tentative Dissertation Title: A Way of Life: The Struggle to Reconstruct Class and Citizenship in America.


Micki Kaleta
Ph.D. Student

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Advisor: Dr. Susan O'Donovan

Successfully Defended Dissertation 09/03/2021 – Graduating Dec 2021.

Email: mykaleta@memphis.edu

Research Interests: Nineteenth-Century U.S., Slavery & Reconstruction

Dissertation title: The Impact of Forced Migration on the Antebellum Enslaved Family on the Cotton Frontier 


David Larson
Ph.D. Student

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Advisor: Dr. Peter Brand

Email: pdlarson@memphis.edu

Research Interests: dirt and impurity in Ancient Egypt; ritual purity in Ancient Egypt; Egyptian foreign relations; New Kingdom Egypt history and culture;

Tentative Dissertation Title: Dirtiness in Ancient Egypt: A Lexical Approach


Graham Linton
M.A. Student

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Advisor: Dr. Andrew Daily.

Email: galinton@memphis.edu

Research Interests: Modern European History with a focus on propaganda, espionage, and politics during the Cold War. 


Brittany Lyles 
Ph.D. Student

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Advisor: Dr. Scott Marler

Email: bmlyles@memphis.edu

Research Interests: Religious and intellectual history - finding the place where ideas and faith meet action.

Dissertation Title: Incarnate Faith in the Crescent City
The research centers on the Catholic Church and race in nineteenth-century New Orleans. I focus specifically on how faith was lived out and expressed across boundaries of race.


Jared Pillow
M.A. Student

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Advisor: Dr. Brian Kwoba

Email: jpillow1@memphis.edu

Research Interests: 1990’s East Coast Hip Hop, Biblical History, Conversion during the Middle Ages, African American Christianity, Religious Right/Christian Right. 

Tentative Thesis Title: Allé Guru: The Price of Becoming Hip Hop

Synopsis: A biography and microhistory of the musician known as Guru whose rap career spanned from 1986 to 2010. Three phases of his life are explored: his unique upbringing; his subsequent journey and identity struggle as a hip hopper; and his legacy of African American urban uplift.


Brandon Poppell
M.A. Student

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Email: bjpppell@memphis.edu

Research Interests: How individual practitioners negotiate monopolistic religion in cosmopolises and complex societies, especially in Egypt during the Roman Period (30 BCE-395 CE); archaeology; the interpretation of artifacts as extension of individual agency.
Brandon has been participating in archaeological work for the past seven years, with his last work being at Tell-Timai, a Ptolemaic and Roman site, inhabited from the 4th century BCE-9th century CE, in Mansoura, Egypt


Charles Rhodes 
M.A. Student

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Email: cmrhdes3@memphis.edu

Major Field: Ancient Egyptian History

Research Interests: ethnicity and identity in Ancient Nubia. 



Cristina Rose
Ph.D. Student

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Advisor: Dr. Peter Brand

Email: clrose1@memphis.edu

Research Interests: epigraphy of ancient Egypt, New Kingdom & Ramesside art & architecture, archaeology of ancient Egypt, the Roman Republic and early Roman Empire, Museum Studies with a focus on Collections.

Dissertation Title (in-progress): De-Activating Seth: Using Iconoclasm to Contain an Unruly God
Research Synopsis: An examination of the epigraphic defacement of the names, titles, and images of the ancient Egyptian god Seth within the Great Temple of Karnak, to determine when and for what reason(s) the iconoclastic attacks against this deity occurred. 



Stephanie Sellers
M.A. Student

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Advisor: Dr. Andrei Znamenski

Email: ssllers3@memphis.edu

Research Interest: Reconstruction, African American History, Long Civil Rights Movement

Tentative Thesis Title: A Red Dream Deferred
Research synopsis: A critical examination of early black radical sojourners and the political partnerships they forged with Russian Communists to secure basic civil rights in the United States.  


Brandon Stewart
Ph.D. Student

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Email: bstwrt15@memphis.edu

Research Interests: The Long Nineteenth Century and 20th Century Authoritarianism; Revolutions, Nationalism, Socialism, Antisemitism, and Imperialism; Religion and Warfare in the Ancient World

My intended dissertation topic will explore the internal and external events, philosophical, intellectual, cultural, and political developments that led to the emergence of the spirit of the "Volk" and National Socialist ideology, prior to and after German unification.

My primary research field is Modern Europe with secondary areas in Global History and Ancient History. What brought me to the University of Memphis is the structured flexibility of the Ph.D. program to cover such broad areas of interest of chronological and geographic diversity, while still focusing on my primary field of social-political developments within Europe and in particular Germany. 



Preston Tilghman
M.A. Student

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Email: pttlghmn@memphis.edu

Research Interests:  I have always found the connection between World War I, the rise of Fascism in Europe, and World War II to be incredibly fascinating, not merely because of its extreme gravity to our own present day, but also in how we still see its impact in the cities of Europe today, such as places like Munich, Germany.  I am also interested in Romantic era figures such as Frederic Chopin, and in the rise and fall of Napoleon Bonaparte.


Gregory Viessman
Ph.D. Student

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Advisor: Dr. Peter Brand

Email: gvessman@memphis.edu

Research Interests: Ancient Egyptian Old Kingdom, more specifically the pyramid complexes of the Old Kingdom and their location choices.

Tentative Dissertation Title: An Analysis of Location Choices for Old Kingdom Pyramid Complexes 
My current research pertains to the location choices for the pyramid complexes of the Old Kingdom. I am looking at why pharaohs of the Old Kingdom mostly spread out their pyramids along an 18.5 mile line on the desert’s edge on the western side of the Nile River desert.



Rebekah Barrett Vogel
Ph.D. Student

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Advisor: Dr. Peter Brand

Email: rbrrett2@memphis.edu

Research Interests: New Kingdom Egypt, focus on foreign relations and cultural interconnection with Late Bronze Age powers