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.


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. Global

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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.


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. 


Amber Anna Colvin
Ph.D. Student

Amber Colvin

Advisor: Dr. Daniel Unowsky

Email: aacolvin@memphis.edu

Research Interests: Early Modern Britain, Material Culture, Portraiture, Celebrity, The Atlantic World

Dissertation Title: (Tentative) 'Annihilated in his presence': Legitimacy, Family, Change, and Power in the Portraiture of Henry VIII, James II, and George II

Currently working as Associate Director of Community Engagement and Part-Time Faculty Member at Lausanne Collegiate School


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.


Wesley Hoag
M.A. Global

Wesley Hoag

Email: whoag@memphis.edu

Research Interests: U.S. colonial history, the experiences of rural southerners in the 19th century, military history 



RaSean Jenkins
Ph.D. Student

RaSean Jenkins

Advisor: Dr. Aram Goudsouzian 

Email: rjjnkins@memphis.edu

Research Interests: 20th Century American History, African American History, racial inequality, and demographic change

Tentative Dissertation Title: A City Transformed: Citizens to Preserve Overton Park v. Volpe 


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


Sabrina Lee
M.A. Global

Sabrina Lee

Email: slee31@memphis.edu

Research Interests: military history, cultural history, and etymology.
Specific research areas include Korean history, focusing on the Goguryeo period and military history of Yi Sun-Sin during the Imjin Wars, and Scandinavian history, focusing on the Sámi people and their cultural influences from 793 - 1066 CE.


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.


Meridian McDaniel 
Ph.D. Student

Meridian McDaniel

Advisor: Dr. Aram Goudsouzian 

Email: mpnkrtnm@memphis.edu

Research Interests: 20th Century American History, African American History, Southern Primary and Secondary Education, Mississippi in the 20th Century, School Desegregation and Resegregation, the Civil Rights Movement, and White Flight. 

My intended dissertation topic will explore the desegregation and subsequential resegregation of the Hattiesburg, Mississippi Public School system from the 1960s until 2000. This project will explore legal battles that helped to finally desegregate schools in the 1990s, white flight in response to school desegregation and the formation of suburbs in medium sized southern cities, and the legacy of school desegregation and the resegregation of the school district. It aims to further studies on the legacy of school desegregation and resegregation, the impact of white flight on public education, and explore a prolonged timeline of desegregation in the South in non-urban cities and their instances of school resegregation in the South. 



Larry Bradford Pitts
M.A. Global

Brad Pitts

Advisor: Dr. Andrew Daily

Email: lbpitts@memphis.edu

Research Interest: military history, Native American studies, US history, European history 


Joshua Ringer
M.A. Global

Joshua Ringer

Advisor: Dr. Andrew Daily

Email: jdringer@memphis.edu

Research Interests: American Military History, Georgia State History with a focus on the Civil War, World Religion and Culture


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. Global

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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. Global

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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.


Daniel Warne
Ph.D. Student

Daniel Warne

Advisor: Dr. Suzanne Onstine 

Email: dmwarne@memphis.edu 

Research Interests: The focus of my current research is on the iconographical classification and ritual function of a particular type of largely royal imagery of the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms.  I am also currently a digital epigrapher for the Theban Tomb 16 Project (tomb of Panehsy and Tarenu) at Dra abu al-Naga, directed by Dr. Suzanne Onstine.  My recent research projects include the analysis of a mummy dating to the Ptolemaic Period, the study of the coffin of Ankhefenmut (an Egyptian priest of the 21st Dynasty, Bab el-Gasus cache), Egyptian Revival sphinxes, and an Egyptian collection in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York, where I currently serve as advising curator.