Current Research

Chelsi’s Research

I study the Glorious Revolution of 1688 from an imperial perspective, and the late seventeenth century more broadly. This revolution began when William, Prince of Orange and Stadtholder of the Netherlands invaded England. He did not openly seek to conquer the nation but had an invitation from the English Parliament asking him to control their king, James II. William imprisoned James II, and allowed him to flee to France, opening up the throne for himself and his wife to rule as joint monarchs.

The whole of the burgeoning British Empire changed economically and politically, leading towards a new idea of Britain. This year I have explored connections in the North American colonies and Barbados, and I hope to continue my explorations into India in the coming year. In order to track these ideological changes, this project is primarily an exploration of language used in printed materials and propaganda coming from the Glorious Revolution. The analysis used in this project will stem from gender studies, post-structuralism, cultural studies, as well as a series of other methodologies, to create a clear picture of how intellectuals were conceiving of the changes within Britain.

Current Research Projects and Papers (in progress):

– “We Were of All Men the Most Insensible:” Masculine Language in the 1689 Massachusetts Revolution
– How Was Empire Conceived?: Seventeenth Century British Use of Spanish and Dutch Imperial Models
– “Reasons Why the King Ran Away”: Ideas of Masculinity and Self-Mastery Surrounding the Glorious Revolution, 1685-1702
– Glorious Revolution, Imperial Revolution: Gender, Political, and Fiscal Implications during William III’s Reign, 1688-1702


Kiri’s Research

My research focuses on Jamaica’s early English settler colonies from the mid-seventeenth to the early-eighteenth century. In 1654, Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, launched the English fleet into the Atlantic in an unprecedented and strategically bold move. This marked the first imperially mandated foray into the Atlantic sphere and was dubbed as the Western Design—or more colloquially, “the Design.” The Design was to place England firmly in the Atlantic while also completely uprooting Spanish dominion over the region. What began as a grandiose plan ended in dismal failure; English troops conquered only Jamaica and Tortuga, and Jamaica alone remained in English hands. Cromwell began plans for settlement soon after, but historically Jamaica’s early years are overshadowed by the infamous sugar plantations of the later eighteenth century.

I am looking to delve deeper into analyzing sources surrounding the settler colony, as I believe questions surrounding Jamaica’s settler colony presents historians with a window into a unique period where social ideologies formed and took shape within a new environment. In my research, I want to find out how familial relationships formed and how and if this informed the creation of strict racial codes in the late eighteenth-century English Atlantic.

Current Research Projects and Papers (in progress):

– “So that the Blood Flows:” Gendering Relationships of Domination and Subordination in Colonial Virginia.
– The Trouble with Transplanters: Political and Popular Literature Surrounding English Jamaica’s Settler Colony.
– “Giving themselves to all manners of Debauchery, with Strumpets and Wine:” The Role of Print Culture in the Failure of Jamaica’s English Settler Colony.


Dragana’s Research

My most recent research has focused on the role of Southeastern European peasant women during the mid to late sixteenth century by examining the writings of two foreign travelers on their way to Constantinople. I primarily concentrated my analysis on the first letter written by Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq, a Flemish writer and Austrian diplomat, which he wrote while on a diplomatic journey from Vienna to Constantinople in 1555, as well as on the travel adventures recorded by Baron Wenceslas Wratislaw in 1599.  Both travelers discussed women of Southeastern Europe primarily focusing on the modern-day Balkan states of Hungary, Bulgaria, and Serbia which were under the control of the Ottoman Empire at this time. In spite of the information recorded by foreign visitors like Busbecq and Wratislaw in their letters and travel journals, scholarship has paid little attention to the prominent public and commercial role peasant women held in Southeastern Europe.

In my current research I demonstrated that in Southeastern Europe peasant women were a visible presence in the streets and squares of their towns and through their roles as producers and consumers they blurred the boundaries of public and private spaces. Thus by examining depictions of women in Busbecq’s first letter and Wratislaw’s journal, I demonstrated that what women shopped for and what they produced made them active economic agents in society.


Clayton’s Research

My research focuses cover much of 19th and early 20th century America. My most recent research focuses on the beginning of the “new imperialism” era in the United States, starting with the Spanish-American War in 1898. Currently, I am looking into the imperial relationship between the U.S. and Great Britain during the time from 1898 to right before World War I. Both countries were involved in colonial wars in this era, the U.S. in the Caribbean and Philippines and Great Britain in South Africa. During these wars and afterwards, the two countries showed a level of commitment to each that they had not shown in the past. 

My research explores the background behind the beginnings of this “special relationship.” My two main focuses on cultural and political. Culturally, people in both countries saw the racial and cultural connections between the two as reason for an alliance. This was the idea of Anglo-Saxonism. Politically, they acted as informal allies, cooperating in areas of shared interest. They would offer assistance and support when needed, but each nation acted opportunistically in their actions. How both these ideas helped shape the U.S.-British imperial relationship is what I am exploring.

Current Research Projects and Papers (in progress):

-“A Brotherhood of Necessity: the Anglo-American imperial relationship”


Stephen’s Research

My current research is on naval warfare and warships in antiquity, specifically the development, social reception, and creation of naval rams. The naval ram dominated as the most exceptional naval weapon in antiquity for nearly half of a millennium.  Naval rams served as more than just weapons, but also as trophies and pieces of propaganda for those who could obtain them through victories at sea. They were dedicated in memorials, monuments, homes, and temples throughout Greek and Roman history.

The purpose of my research is to show that there were, in fact, multifaceted meanings behind naval ram displays, naval warfare, and the building of warships in antiquity. Analyzing these topics through the lenses of Greek and Roman gender and sexuality, particularly with regards to masculinity, reveals that warships and naval rams themselves embodied and projected immense power. They possessed shifting subtle and sometimes overt meanings that alluded to gender and power discourses within the ancient world. These discourses included notions of sex, penetration, domination, phallus size, normative gender roles for both men and women, and ideas of achieved hierarchies of masculinity.

Current Research Projects and Papers (in progress):

– Ancient Roman Naval Rams as Objects of Phallic Power
– Theorizing Hellenistic Shipbuilding: The Rise, Continuation, and Fall of the ‘Big’ Ship Phenomenon
– The Pentekonter of Achilles: A Historical and Archaeological Warship Reconstruction

Notions of Masculinity in Plutarch’s Parallel Lives: A Combined Reading of Pyrrhus-Marius and Coriolanus-Alcibiades (with F. Amico)


Frank’s Research

My research focuses on the history of environmental science and global warming during the Cold War. I study the political and cultural factors that have contributed to the current environmental crisis with a focus on gender and race.

My other research focuses on the use of digital tools in public history and public archaeology. I look at how digital technologies can be applied to achieve goals of these fields and expand the mission of outreach projects. I also study how climate change history narratives can be created and integrated into public projects, as well as how climate change affects public history practice.

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