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John Harris

John Harris

Where are you from?    

Ballinderry, Co Antrim  

What year did you complete your degree?   

BA 2007, MA 2008

What degree pathway did you study at Queen’s?  

Modern History, U.S. History pathway   


Why did you choose to study History at Queen’s?  


My interest lies in Southern history and the faculty have particular strengths in this broad area.  Also, I knew that the program was flexible enough to allow me to follow my focus on what I wanted to research.    


What did you particularly enjoy about studying this subject at Queen’s?  


Rather than suffering from being far from the geographic region under study, I think looking at U.S. history from N. Ireland encourages some fresh thinking.  The faculty are always willing to entertain new ideas.   


Tell us about any funding you received to help you take this course or any scholarships/prizes you were awarded.

I won the Alan Graham Travel Scholarship which paid for a month–long research trip to the U.S. and received the Peter Parish award for the top MA thesis in U.S. history from the U.K.


What is your current occupation? What are you enjoying about your career?

I migrated to South Carolina in December 2008 and worked at the College of Charleston Archives, and was a Research Fellow for Drayton Hall, one of the local plantations (  I'll be attempting to discover why the plantation survived the Civil War (unlike almost all the others in the area), and how the local slaves reacted to freedom in February 1865. I then won a Presidential Fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, to pursue a doctorate in U.S. history.

Would you recommend studying History to other students and to study at Queen’s?  What advice would you give them?

Yes.  My advice is don’t be afraid of the faculty.  Talk to them, have better discussion and you’ll end up doing much better.