PhD Student Profiles

Africa


Ancient History

Wentian Fu

Wentian FuWentian Fu is born in Manchuria, or Northeastern China. He began his doctoral study at McGill in 2015, under the co-supervision of Professor Hans Beck and Professor Griet Vankeerberghen. He studied English-Chinese bidirectional translation at Dalian University of Foreign Languages and got his BA in Literature in 2012. After studying ancient world history for three years, he received a MA in History from Nankai University, Tianjin, China in 2015. His current research is on the globalization and globalism in the ancient worlds of Rome and Qin-Han China with a specific exploration of the cultural diversity and its political and ideological representations. His personal interests also include contemporary politics, classical Chinese philology and literature, Chinese calligraphy, tennis and Chinese cuisine.
Email: wentian.fu [at] mail.mcgill.ca


Esther Guillen

Esther GuillenEsther Guillen began her doctoral studies at McGill University in 2019 under the supervision of Dr. Heidi Wendt. Esther holds a Master of Arts in Religious Studies from the University of Regina where she was supervised by Dr. William Arnal (2019, Jesus Christ Superscribe: Knowledge, Interpretation, and Teaching in the Gospel of Matthew) and Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Religion, with minors in Greek and Roman Studies and Jewish Studies (2017). Her doctoral work focusses on scholastic religio-philosophical and textual communities of the Greco-Roman world, particularly the social milieu that surrounded the early Christian apologist Justin Martyr and may have resulted in the authorship of the Gospel of Matthew. She received a Canada Graduate Scholarship – Master’s from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada in support of her research. She has also received various other grants and scholarships that allowed her to study in Israel / Palestine and conduct in-depth independent research at both the Bachelor’s and Master’s levels.

Email: esther.guillen [at] mcgill.ca


Sarah Mark

Sarah MarkA doctoral student in classical studies since August 2022, Sarah Mark is interested in the history of the Roman Republic, particularly the fates of hostages and prisoners of war, and the aftermath of battle. In addition to the topics of ransom and slavery, she is also interested in the political complexities around famous defeats like Cannae, Trasimene, and Arausio, and the extent to which authors projected the tensions and traumas of their own times back onto the events of the past.

Before beginning her studies at McGill under the supervision of Professor Michael Fronda, Sarah earned a Master's in Classics from the University of British Columbia, and a second Master's in Roman Myth and History from the University of Exeter. She has also worked for the public sector in research funding and policy analysis. She has a love of poetry, satire, and horseback riding.

Email: sarah.mark [at] mail.mcgill.ca


Britain

Felicia Gabriele

Felicia GabrieleFelicia Gabriele began her doctoral studies at McGill University in 2016, under the joint supervision of Dr. Elizabeth Elbourne and Dr. Jason Opal. She holds a Master of Arts in History from Queen’s University (2013) and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in History and Political Science, with a minor in English Literature from the University of Windsor (2012). Her doctoral work focuses on nineteenth century Anglo-American anti-slavery and abolition, with research interests in humanitarianism, philanthropy, the affective material cultures of abolition, and the history of emotions. Prior to pursuing her doctorate, she worked in the non-profit and philanthropy world. At the Alliance Against Modern Slavery in Toronto, she was the lead Research Associate and Co-Author on the report, The Incidence of Human Trafficking in Ontario, which was the first of its kind to undertake a comprehensive investigation of human trafficking in the province. The report was later cited by the Department of Justice in Bill C-36, The Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (July 2014) and it continues to inform government officials and task forces across Canada. She also lived in San Francisco, where she worked as a Grants Fellow at Not For Sale, a non-profit organization working against human trafficking and modern slavery in Thailand, Peru, Romania, the Netherlands, and the Bay Area. Her research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), and she holds a Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Doctoral Scholarship in Honour of Nelson Mandela.

Email: felicia.gabriele [at] mail.mcgill.ca


Philip Santos

Philip SantosPhilip Santos is a PhD candidate under the supervision of professor Brian Cowan. He obtained his Master of Arts in History at Queen’s University, Kingston (2019) and his Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in History at Ryerson University (2017) where he also completed a Minor in Philosophy.

Philip’s research focus is the history of capitalism and the intellectual history of the Scottish Enlightenment. The work of Adam Smith is his principal focal point. Philip’s dissertation interests lie in understanding Smith’s political economy in historical context, and the impact of Smith’s ideas in transnational perspective. More generally he is interested in studying critiques of society in the era of Enlightenment and the genealogy of economic thought. Philip is the recipient of the Doug Webb Award in History (2016), the Chair in Canadian-Scottish Graduate Award (2019), and the Ian & Helgi Soutar Graduate Award in Canadian Scottish Studies (2019-2020).

Email: philip.santos [at] mail.mcgill.ca


Twisha Singh

Twisha SinghTwisha Singh is a PhD research scholar at the Department of History and Classical Studies, McGill University, Montreal, Canada. She joined the Department in 2017 and works under the supervision of Prof. Elizabeth Elbourne and Prof. Subho Basu. Her research area includes Modern British History, South Asian History, Theatre and Performance Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies and her theoretical approaches include feminist and post-colonial literary theories. Her project analyses political engagement, socio-economic identity, occupational mobility, and creative labor of women working as stage actresses in Calcutta and London. Her aim is to study the cross-cultural and transnational ties between English and Indian (Bengali) actresses during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, along with analyzing the urban history of both the cities. She is a Graduate Member of the Canadian Historical Association (GSC). She is an editor of a peer-reviewed journal of South-Asian studies called HARF at her University and the design-editor of her department’s official journal called CHRONOS. Her research has been recently awarded the prestigious Wolfe Graduate Fellowship and Youth Excellence Award by the International Human Rights Organization (India). In 2021, she was part of The British Library, South Asia Seminar Series (London) where she gave a talk. She has previously presented her research at University of Vienna, Christopher Newport University , Dublin City University , Lund’s University, University of Edinburgh, Lomonosov State University and Jawaharlal Nehru University. She has also been a part of a multi-university project on memory and oral history, “Modalities of Cultural Trauma” organized by University of Zagreb. 

Email: twisha.singh [at] mail.mcgill.ca


Canada/Quebec/French Atlantic

Richard Budgell

Richard BudgellRichard Budgell began his doctoral program in Medical History in 2021, under the supervision of Professor Noelani Arista. His research is focussed on the relationship between a hospital established in 1915 in North West River, Labrador by an international medical missionary organization, and the local Inuit population. He is a recipient of the Department of History Indigenous Graduate Excellence Award.

He was appointed assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine at McGill in 2020. He is a Labrador Inuk and lectures, writes and does research on Inuit health. He is involved in a variety of research projects, including Inuit cultural safety in health care and the Inuit community in southern Quebec.

Prior to his appointment at McGill he was a federal government public servant in First Nations and Inuit health, and other Indigenous fields, for more than thirty years. Has was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 for exemplary public service in his role in the creation of the Aboriginal Head Start program, an early childhood development program for First Nations, Inuit and Métis children and families. He has a Master of Arts degree in Canadian Studies (Aboriginal concentration) from Carleton University and a Bachelor of Arts from Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Email: richard.budgell [at] mcgill.ca


Renée Girard

Renée GirardÀ la suite de sa Maîtrise en Histoire à l’université Brock, Tacitus' Germania and the Jesuit Relations: Intertextuality in the Transatlantic World of the Early Jesuits in New France, Renée s’intéresse toujours à la Nouvelle-France et plus particulièrement à la rencontre alimentaire franco-amérindienne à la période du contact. Elle travaille sous la direction de Dr. Allan Greer et bénéficie de la bourse Joseph-Armand Bombardier pour continuer sa recherche.

As a Phd student under the supervision of Dr. Allan Greer, Renée continues her research on New France at the time of contact looking at the interaction between French newcomers and the Indigenous people they encountered through the lens of food.

Email: renee.girard [at] mail.mcgill.ca


Michael LaMonica

Michael LaMonicaMichael LaMonica is a Ph.D candidate under the joint supervision of Catherine Desbarats and Allan Greer. Prior to obtaining his MA in History from McGill in 2016, he had worked as a lawyer in the Connecticut Attorney General's Office from 2008-2015. He is the author of the books French Revolutions for Beginners and First Amendment for Beginners.

Michael's research focuses on the intersection of law, commerce, and empire in the eighteenth-century French Atlantic. His dissertation, entitled "Adjudicating Maritime Empire: The French Colonial Admiralty Courts of North America and the West Indies, 1717-1792," examines the records of these courts and their role in the construction of legal maritime space in the Americas. The dissertation focuses on the colonial admiralty courts as an institutional technology that were used to surveil and regulate distant populations, gather information for the burgeoning administrative state, facilitate the trans-Atlantic commercial flow of commodities, credit, insurance, and labour, and maintain the colonies as anomalous legal spaces subject to special rules in the areas of trade and slavery.

Email: michael.lamonica [at] mail.mcgill.ca


Riley Wallace

Riley WallaceRiley Wallace is a Ph.D. candidate under the supervision of Dr. Catherine Desbarats. He has a BA in History from the University of Alberta (2017) and an MA in History from McGill University (2019), as well as work experience at the Archives of the Jesuits in Canada, Montreal. His doctoral research focuses on the intersection of archives, information, law, and early modern imperial state formation in post-Conquest Quebec specifically, and the wider early modern British Empire more broadly. Moreover, with a deep background in the historiography of the early modern French Empire, Riley brings an Atlantic and comparative approach to Quebec history. His SSHRC and FRQSC funded dissertation, entitled “Archives, Governance, and the Politics of Information in post-Conquest Quebec, 1759-1791,” examines how a small cadre of British administrators managed to govern a French-Canadian population who professed a different faith, spoke a different language, and practiced different laws. It seeks to understand how British administrators used information (demographic, geographic, legal, and economic) as a technology of rule, and, conversely, how the new ‘information order’ was shaped by both the material constraints of physical archives and the many interest groups vying for influence in the new regime: British merchants, Canadian habitants, seigneurs, notaries and lawyers, judges, the clergy, and the various organs of the British administration.

Email: riley.wallace [at] mail.mcgill.ca


China

Ka Ki Alan Ho

Ka Ki Alan HoBorn and brought up in a normal family in Hong Kong, Ka Ki Alan Ho mainly received Cantonese mother-tongue education until being admitted to the New Asia College, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). He picked up English, Putonghua and Japanese since then through a rocky and windy road. Alan holds a Bachelor of Arts with 1st class honor and a Master of Philosophy with history major from CUHK.

He is now a visiting scholar at Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica. In the past years, he gave paper presentations on his research on the Silk Routes and the Eastern Han frontier history during the 1st century CE in several regional conferences in Canada, U.S., Japan and Hong Kong. He also participated in several graduate conferences in McGill as well as Harvard.

Outside academic, Alan holds several international credentials. He is a Project Management Professional (PMP®) of the Project Management Institute, a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Green Associate™ of the U.S. Green Building Council, and a Financial Advisor’s International Qualification holder.

Email: ka.k.ho [at] mail.mcgill.ca


Continental Europe

Donald Morard

Donald MorardDonald Morard began his PhD studies at McGill’s Department of History and Classical studies in Fall 2022 under the supervision of Kristy Ironside. His primary areas of research are Soviet economic history, the history of food production under socialism, and the USSR fits into the global context of twentieth century industrialization. He is currently studying the role of quality in late Soviet food production, looking at how enterprises both tried to conceptualize and implement food quality practices along with analyzing how the Soviet experience of food quality fit within the global context of industrial food production. Originally from the state of Missouri in the US, he received his BA in History from Missouri University of Science and Technology (2019) and his MA from the Higher School of Economics in Saint Petersburg, Russia (2021).

Email: donald.morard [at] mail.mcgill.ca

Teddy Paikin

I am a PhD candidate at McGill University under the supervision of Professor Gavin Walker. I have a BA in Political Science from Sciences Po Paris and an MA in Philosophy from the New School for Social Research. My research focuses on the history of French economic thought during the Belle Epoque from the perspectives of liberal and socialist political economy, and more specifically on the relationship between conceptions of state-civil society relations and accounts of social development. Given my academic background, my methodology and theoretical approach is multidisciplinary, standing at the intersection of intellectual history, political economy, political theory and historical sociology. My research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).

Email: teddy.paikin [at] mail.mcgill.ca


History of Science

Céline Stantina

Céline StantinaCéline Stantina is a History PhD candidate interested in History of science and zoology. Her master’s thesis, at l’Université de Montréal (2016-2018) focused on the work of Lacépède Histoire Naturelle des Cétacées (1804) and vernacular maritime knowledge. This research work principally mobilized sources in Europe, especially in the Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle of Paris, equally for the naturalists’ thick correspondence than for the physical contemporary collections.

Her current research, supervised by Dr. Nicholas Dew, aims to examine the trajectories of cetacean natural objects and of vernacular maritime knowledge to help exemplify the way powerful scientific institutions tried to mobilize different strata of individuals (and particularly whalers) in order to build systemic networks of exchange. The goal of this research is to take a step back from sources generated in these institutions, and to analyze further how knowledge is “produced” on the field, in that case: the ocean. Logbooks, notebooks and correspondence are the prime sources of this analysis.

She is also a research assistant for the SSHRC founded Taylor White project at McGill Rare Books library, working on zoological illustrations.

Email: celine.stantina [at] mail.mcgill.ca


Latin America

Martin Giraldo

Martin GiraldoMartin Giraldo began his doctoral studies at McGill University in 2019 under the supervision of professor Daviken Studnicki-Gizbert. He holds a Master of Arts in History from the University of Saskatchewan (2018, Owning Land, Appropriating Nature. The Configuration of an Agricultural Landscape in the Cauca River Valley, Southwestern Colombia, 1864 – 1901), and a bachelor’s degree in History from the National University of Colombia, Bogotá (2013). Located in the interdisciplinary crossroads between social, agrarian, and environmental histories, his doctoral research explores the agro-ecologies of freedom created by afro-Colombian communities in the Cauca River Valley, covering the period between the abolition of slavery and the take-off of a sugarcane agro-industry. The recovering of this environmental history is intended to acknowledge the agency of afro-Colombians in the shaping of agricultural landscapes, and to resource contemporary discussions over how to rebuild the ecological foundations of farming communities in the aftermath of Colombia’s internal armed conflict. Giraldo holds McGill’s Tomlinson fellowship.

Email: juan.giraldo2 [at] mail.mcgill.ca


Post-Ottoman

Lukas Tsiptsios

Lukas TsipstiosAgrégé d’histoire in France, I am a cotutelle Ph.D. student at McGill University (under the supervision of Professor Tassos Anastassiadis) and the University of Rouen-Normandie (under the supervision of Professor Jean-Numa Ducange) with an interest in post-Ottoman political history. Born in Germany and educated in France, I graduated in 2017 in History and Political Science at the University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. In parallel, I also studied History at the École normale supérieure (Paris). In 2019, I completed my Master at Paris 1 with a thesis on the social history of Thessaloniki during the Interwar period through PAOK, the football team founded by the Constantinopolitan Greeks in the city. Through the lenses of sports, I tried to understand the consequences of the exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey, and especially the formation of new political cleavages after the arrival of the Asia Minor refugees in Thessaloniki. My current Ph.D. project focuses on Greek expansionism in Asia Minor, state formation and internal colonization in Macedonia after the Balkan Wars.

In 2019-2020 I worked as a Teaching Fellow at the French Department of Columbia University. Then I was a chargé de cours at the University of Rouen-Normandy in 2021-2022. Now I work as a teaching assistant at McGill.

Email: lukas.tsiptsios [at] mail.mcgill.ca 


Global

Dimitris Machlouta

Dimitris MachloutaI am a Ph.D. candidate at McGill University -under the supervision of Professor Tassos Anastassiadis- and EHESS (Paris) -under the supervision of Professor Christophe Prochasson- with an interest in global and transnational history and the history of mobilities. Being born in Greece, I initially studied history and archaeology at the University of Ioannina before continuing my studies in history at York University in Toronto. Through the lens of connected history and by using a multiscale approach, my research examines interactions between political actors and intellectuals during the global long sixties. I take as a case study the Greek anti-junta activism as this unfolded in Western Europe and North America. I am particularly focused on Montréal where a substantial number of French-educated Greek intellectual exiles arrived and established transnational anti-junta networks whose impact reached far beyond Canada.

I have worked as an archivist at the National Bank of Greece’s Historical Archive in Athens and I was a Library Research Fellow at California State University in Sacramento. In Montréal -besides working as a teaching assistant at McGill- I am engaged with Immigrec, a digital humanities interdisciplinary project which created a digital archive and a Virtual Museum of the Greek immigration to Canada and I received training on questions of 1) state formation and violence; 2) international relations and the Cold War; 3) political exile, intellectual migration and refugees.

Email: dimitrios.machlouta [at] mail.mcgill.ca


Middle East

Michael Avanzato

Michael AvanzatoMichael Avanzato began his doctoral studies in August 2022 under the supervision of Dr. Laila Parsons. He holds a Master of Arts in Public Policy and International Affairs from the American University of Beirut, and a Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies and History from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Michael’s research focuses on land tenure under the British Mandate in Palestine. In particular, he looks to the effects of British imperialism on land privatization and the dispossession of the Palestinians. His MA thesis at the American University of Beirut was supervised by Dr. Tariq Tell, and was entitled Accumulation by Dispossession in Palestine: The New Imperialism and Land Tenure under the British Mandate.

Michael is also the coordinator of the Palestine Land Studies Center at the American University of Beirut. The PLSC is committed to the documentation of Palestinian history, and supporting the right of return for Palestinian refugees. Prior to leaving Lebanon, Michael was a contributing writer for the newspaper Beirut Today, focusing on the international dynamics of imperialism.

Email: michael.avanzato [at] mail.mcgill.ca


Medical History

Kelvin Chan

Kelvin ChanKelvin is a PhD candidate under the supervision of Professor David Wright. He received a Bachelor’s degree in History from the Hong Kong Baptist University (2017) and a Master’s degree in History from the London School of Economics and Political Science (2018). Kelvin is interested in the history of medicine and mental health. His master thesis focuses on the repatriation of mentally ill and destitute between the metropole and colony in the early 20th century Hong Kong. Built upon his previous research, his doctoral dissertation will explore the history of mental health in China and Hong Kong from the late 19th century. His broader research interests include the history of disability and the history of suicide.

Email: chun.k.chan [at] mail.mcgill.ca


Jonathan Harper

student Jonathan Harper began his PhD studies under the supervision of Thomas Schlich in 2022. His primary areas of study are the histories of modern surgery and psychiatry. Topics of interest to him include periods of therapeutic transition, interactions between societal and medical discourses, marginalized or stigmatized patient populations, and the relationship between mainstream and peripheral forms of medical practice. While much of his current research focuses on Canada, he also has research experience and an abiding interest in healthcare in mainland China as well as global health more broadly. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Calgary (2013) and a Master of Arts in Medical History from McGill (2021).

Email: jonathan.harper [at] mail.mcgill.ca


Rebecca Stieva

Rebecca StievaRebecca Stieva is a PhD candidate in History at McGill, specializing in the history of medicine under Professor David Wright. Her research focuses on the intersection between epidemic diseases, public health intervention, and urban environments. Specifically, her thesis maps cholera mortality across three epidemics in London, England (1848, 1854, and 1866) and analyzes the influence of public health initiatives in relation to the progression of the epidemic. Though her research is historic in nature, the conclusions it draws offer the possibility of informing current public health practices surrounding epidemic cholera in urban centres. Rebecca’s research aims to contribute to building a stronger network between the history of medicine and its place in modern-day public health policy. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New Brunswick (2014) and a Master of Science in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology from the University of Oxford (2016).

Email: rebecca.stieva [at] mail.mcgill.ca


South Asia

Sukhjit Chohan

Sukhjit entered the Ph.D program in 2015 under the co-supervision of Dr. Subho Basu and Dr. Lorenz Lüthi and is funded by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Fellowship. He was previously awarded a B.A and M.A in the Department of History at Simon Fraser University.

Sukhjit's dissertation considers India's annexation of Goa in 1961 as a convergence of decolonization and the Cold War. He hopes to contribute to understanding the Cold War as a truly global conflict involving sovereign state actors in the developing world. He seeks to reveal how these actors complicated the Cold War balance of power as they advanced multi-faceted domestic and foreign policies motivated by a variety of factors both pragmatic and ideological. More broadly, Sukhjit's research interests include globalization, the history of Christianity, and the spread of non-violent resistance.

Email: sukhjit.chohan [at] mail.mcgill.ca


Madhulagna Halder

Madhulagna HalderMadhulagna Halder started her doctoral studies at McGill University, Canada in 2021. Halder holds an M.Phil. (2019) and an M.A. (2016) in Modern Indian History from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She obtained her B.A. (Honours) in History (2013) from Jadavpur University, India. Her research examines conditions of women political prisoners in context of postcolonial India, and the questions of prisoners’ rights in South Asia. Her research areas include history of gender, communist cultures, and memory studies. She was awarded the Professor Papiya Ghosh Memorial Prize by the Indian History Congress in 2018. Her work has been published in the Journal of the Indian History Congress and Words and Silences (forthcoming with International Oral History Association in 2022).

Email: Madhulagna.halder [at] mail.mcgill.ca


Joseph Howard

Joseph HowardJoseph completed his BA in History with a minor in English Literature at Seattle Pacific University in 2007. In 2010, he was awarded an MA in History from the University at Buffalo, where he wrote an MA project entitled “Half-Brothers in Christ: Catholicism and Native Clergy in China.” Continuing the study of Christianity in Asia, he then completed an MA thesis at Simon Fraser University in 2014, “Half-Brothers in Christ: The Church Missionary Society and the Christians of Kerala, 1813-1840,” which examined the CMS mission to the St. Thomas Christians in Kottayam, south India.

In 2016, Joseph joined the doctoral program in History at McGill, studying in the Indian Ocean World Centre under the supervision of Gwyn Campbell. His PhD dissertation will build on his MA research, investigating interactions between conversionist British Protestant Christianity and established Oriental Orthodox churches in the Indian Ocean region, especially the Malankara Church in southern India, the Syriac Orthodox Church, and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. His research interests include the history of Christianity, religion & empire, and comparative imperialism.

Outside of academia, Joseph spends as much time as he can with his daughter.


Azizul Rasel

Azizul RaselAzizul Rasel is a doctoral student at the Department of History and Classical Studies at McGill University. He is working under the supervision of Professor Subho Basu. His Ph.D. research focuses on the history of working classes of East Pakistan (erstwhile known as East Bengal and presently Bangladesh). He explores both the social structures and forms of consciousness of urban working classes with particular emphasis on the 1960s, globally a turbulent and insurgent period. His research is generously funded by the Peter Cundill Fellowship (2021-2023. He completed his BA and MA from Dhaka University, Bangladesh and Leiden University, the Netherlands with Encompass Scholarship. Apart from his primary research project he is interested in African History, Marxism and Postcolonial Theory.

Prior to joining at McGill, he lived in Dhaka and taught at the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh, Dhaka. He was also a research fellow and coordinator at the Center for Advanced Theory, ULAB, Dhaka.

Email: m.rasel [at] mail.mcgill.ca


Jessica Rose

Jessica RoseI am a doctoral student studying the history of modern India under the direction of Professor Subho Basu. My dissertation will focus on the social texts of dockworkers and lascars moving through the port of colonial Bombay. I am tracing labour migration from the interior of Maharashtra, through the cosmopolitan space of the city, and along the shipping routes to cities in the Indian Ocean and my research questions centre around conceptions of space and territoriality that challenge colonial and nationalist boundaries of modern India. My comprehensive exams include modern India, history of the Indian Ocean, and postcolonial theory and Marxism. More broadly, I am interested in labour and economic history, linguistics, geography, gender and queer theory, and finally figuring out what a rhizome is. 

Prior to graduate study, I was a labour organiser in New York City. I received my MA in South Asian Studies from Columbia University and my BA in History from New College of Florida.  When not in Montreal, I can usually be found at one of the American Institute of Indian Studies centres trying to learn a new language.


Twisha Singh

Twisha SinghTwisha Singh is a PhD research scholar at the Department of History and Classical Studies, McGill University, Montreal, Canada. She joined the Department in 2017 and works under the supervision of Prof. Elizabeth Elbourne and Prof. Subho Basu. Her research area includes Modern British History, South Asian History, Theatre and Performance Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies and her theoretical approaches include feminist and post-colonial literary theories. Her project analyses political engagement, socio-economic identity, occupational mobility, and creative labor of women working as stage actresses in Calcutta and London. Her aim is to study the cross-cultural and transnational ties between English and Indian (Bengali) actresses during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, along with analyzing the urban history of both the cities. She is a Graduate Member of the Canadian Historical Association (GSC). She is an editor of a peer-reviewed journal of South-Asian studies called HARF at her University and the design-editor of her department’s official journal called CHRONOS. Her research has been recently awarded the prestigious Wolfe Graduate Fellowship and Youth Excellence Award by the International Human Rights Organization (India). In 2021, she was part of The British Library, South Asia Seminar Series (London) where she gave a talk. She has previously presented her research at University of Vienna, Christopher Newport University , Dublin City University , Lund’s University, University of Edinburgh, Lomonosov State University and Jawaharlal Nehru University. She has also been a part of a multi-university project on memory and oral history, “Modalities of Cultural Trauma” organized by University of Zagreb. 

Email: twisha.singh [at] mail.mcgill.ca


United States

Sam Derksen

Sam DerksenSam Derksen is a PhD Candidate under the supervision of Allan Greer. Prior to his arrival at McGill, Sam obtained a Masters of Arts in History from the University of Saskatchewan (2017) and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in History (2015) also from the University of Saskatchewan.

Sam’s research focuses on the history of trade and consumption in colonial North America during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. His Master’s thesis used the liquor trade as a lens to examine the social dynamics that shaped exchange in the Illinois Country during the second half of the eighteenth century. His dissertation re-examines the history of the North West Company focusing on how the company was structured internally and how the company’s vast North American, Atlantic, and global trade networks functioned. This project will also explore what this study of the North West Company reveals about the history of companies, capitalism, credit, and the fur trade in colonial North America.


Felicia Gabriele (see under Britain)


James Volmensky

James VolmenskyOriginally from California, James completed an MA in History at McGill in 2016 and began his PhD in 2017, under the supervision of John Zucchi. His research interests include immigration and citizenship, diaspora studies, 20th century US history, and the history of the Cold War.

James’ dissertation focuses on the diaspora established by Russian émigrés and Displaced Persons, looking at how religious, political, and cultural associational life recreated Russian culture in 20th century North America. In addition to his academic pursuits, James has experience as an archivist, having worked at the Hoover Institution in Palo Alto, California, and the Foundation of Russian History in Jordanville, New York. When he is not buried in books and research, James spends as much time as he can with his wife and daughter.

Email: james.volmensky [at] mail.mcgill.ca

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