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Graduate Student News

history department


The University of Wisconsin Press recently published A Greater Ireland: The Land League and Transatlantic Nationalism in Gilded Age America by Prof. Ely Janis.  Janis is a graduate of BC's PhD program and is now an associate professor of history at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
In January 2015, Carolyn Twomey and Peter Cajka were honored at an AHA/ACHA banquet for winning 2014 Graduate Student Summer Research Grants from the American Catholic Historical Association.
Seth Meehan, PhD alum and assistant director of the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies, co-authored the book The Heights: An Illustrated History of Boston College, 1863–2013, which looks at the history of the first 150 years of the university.
PhD alumnus Fr. Casey Beaumier was named director of the newly formed Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies at BC.
PhD alum Andrew Finstuen was named the first Dean of the Honors College at Boise State.
PhD students Whitney Abernathy, Peter Cajka, Michael Franczak, Elise Franklin, Amy Limoncelli, and Jesse Tumblin were all named Graduate Fellows of the Clough Center for the 2014-15 year.


PhD candidate Andrea Wenz received a Bernadotte E. Schmitt award from the American Historical Association.
PhD candidate Carolyn Twomey received an Institute for Historical Research Mellon Dissertation Fellowship for the 2014-15 academic year.
PhD candidate Jared Hardesty was the 2014 recipient of BC's Donald and Helene White Dissertation Award for the best dissertation in the humanities.
PhD candidate Elise Franklin won both the Bernadotte E. Schmitt Grant from the AHA and the Marjorie M. Farrar Award from the Society for French Historical Studies
PhD candidate Jeffery Dyer received a Dissertation Writing Fellowship for from the Institute of Turkish Studies for the 2014-15 academic year.
Ph.D. candidate Jesse Tumblin received the 2014-15 Smith Richardson Predoctoral Fellowship from Yale University's International Security Studies.
PhD student Whitney Abernathy won the Edward T. Gargan Prize for the BEST paper given at the Western Society for French History by a graduate student on modern France.
The graduate-student organized 2014 Biennial Conference on the History of Religion was held over the weekend of March 28th.  The conference kicked off with a special teaching panel entitled "Leading Lives that Matter: What We Should Do and Who We Should Be" which was led by Dr. Andrew Finstuen and Dr. John Beiter (both received their PhDs at BC and are now faculty members at Boise State).
PhD candidate Peter Cajka won one of the two 2014 Dorothy Mohler Research Grants so he can conduct more research for his dissertation “The Greatest Awakening and Its Discontents: The Formation of Conscience and the Renewal of Moral Autonomy, 1939-1991.”
PhD candidate Rachel Ball was featured in Loksatta, the most popular Marathi newspaper. The article celebrates Marathi Language Day (2/27).
PhD candidate Adam Rathge contributed to this BackStory podcast (which was produced by the American History Guys) regarding drugs in American history.
PhD alum Hidetaka Hirota received the Cromwell Dissertation Prize and the Paul L. Murphy Award at the annual conference of the American Society for Legal History.
PhD candidate Shannon Monaghan's article “Whose Country, Whose Soldiers, Whose Responsibility? First World War Ex-Servicemen and the Development of the Irish Free State, 1923–1939” was published in the February 2014 edition of Contemporary European History.
PhD alum and Postdoctoral Fellow John Spiers signed a book contract with the University of Pennsylvania Press to publish his book Contesting Growth: Politics, Social Action, and the Environment in Metropolitan Washington.
PhD alum Ted Miller signed a book contract with the University of Chicago Press to publish his book "Into Nut Country": Dallas Republicans, the Southern Strategy, and the American Right, 1952-1964.
PhD alum Austin Mason received the CGS/ProQuest Dissertation Award for last year’s best American dissertation in the Humanities and Fine Arts.
At the annual conference of the American Society for Legal History (ASLH) in Miami on November 9, Dr. Hidetaka Hirota (Ph.D., History, 2012) won the Cromwell Dissertation Prize for the best dissertation in American legal history and the Paul L. Murphy Award, which supports the completion of a book on civil liberties in American history.
Carolyn Twomey received the 2013 Denis Bethell Prize for best paper in the field by an untenured scholar.
Mimi Cowan wrote a blogpost for The Historical Society about the Great Chicago Fire.
PhD alum Hidetaka Hirota was featured in the AHA's member spotlight.
PhD alum Hidetaka Hirota received a favorable review of his article "The Moment of Transition: State Officials, the Federal Government, and the Formation of American Immigration Policy," which appeared in Volume 99 of the Journal of American History.
PhD candidate Erica Foss wrote a chapter for the book Dr. Who and Race which was recently published by Intellect in Australia and distributed by the University of Chicago Press.


PhD student Craig Gallagher won the Graduate Student Paper Prize for his paper "Covenants and Commerce: Scottish Networks in the English Atlantic" from the Mid-American Conference on British Studies.
PhD student Craig Gallagher wrote a blog post for The Historical Society on the importnace of staying positive even with the prospect of a bleak job market
Austin Mason received the Donald and Helene White Dissertation Prize for best dissertation in the Humanities at the 2013 commencement ceremony for his dissertation, “Listening to the Early Medieval Dead: Religious Practices in Britain, 400–1000 CE.”
PhD candidate Jeffery Dyer, who spent the year researching in Turkey, collaborated with two friends to write this article regarding the opening of the new Ottoman archival facility in Istanbul.
A blog post by Hidetaka Hirota on the origins of our immigration laws.
Ian Delahanty helped to organize the Clough Center’s symposium "Emancipation at 150" which was held on April 23rd.
The cover story of the Winter 2013 edition of Boston College Magazine features the impressive archival work that PhD candidate Seth Meehan completed while working on the book College of Ours: The Illustrated History of Boston College, 1863–2013 that he is coauthoring with Ben Birnbaum. The article profiles eight of the documents that Seth found from his extensive archival research.

Additionally, Seth wrote this prologue for the magazine, explaining German historian Leopold von Ranke and the origins of the “heroic study of record”:
PhD alum Hide Hirota got an article published in the March 2013 edition of the Journal of American History and one of the images from his article was featured on the cover of the issue.
PhD candidate Jared Hardesty and former BA/MA student Richard Boles led a panel discussion on Feb. 5th at the Mass Historical Society on Race, Religion, and Freedom in the 18th Century North.
Hidetaka Hirota won a prestigious three-year fellowship at the Columbia University Society of Fellows.
PhD alum Jeffrey Malanson, assistant professor of early American history at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, was featured on the AHA's website.
PhD candidate Jesse Tumblin was awarded the Smith-Richardson World Politics and Statecraft Fellowship. This fellowship funds policy-relevant dissertations that directly inform challenges facing the United States.
Jason Cavallari, a graduate of our PhD program, was just featured in the BC Chronicle for his new role as Associate Director of the University Fellowships Committee.
PhD alum Greg Walsh received the 2012 Alfred E. Driscoll Prize from the New Jersey Historical Commission for an outstanding dissertation dealing with New Jersey History.
Hidetaka Hirota's award-winning article was featured in the Summer 2012 edition of Boston College Magazine. "The Moment of Transition: State Officials, the Federal Government, and the Formation of American Immigration Policy" was chosen to receive the 2012 Organization of American Historians Louis Pelzer Memorial Award.
Jared Hardesty was awarded the New England Regional Fellowship by the New England Regional Consortium ( This fellowship allowed him to complete two-week residencies at area libraries for his dissertation which examines slavery, freedom, and unfreedom in eighteenth-century Boston.