I came to Queen's University, Belfast in autumn 2006. I received my BA in Modern History and Politics in 2009 and completed an MA in Modern History with a focus on American History in 2010.
I am currently the 2013-14 Visiting Graduate Fellow at the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities at QUB's partner institution Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.
My thesis, "Defining America: Race, Religion, and Ethnicity in the 1848 Presidential Election," examines antebellum political rhetoric about citizenship and national identity. The thesis deconstructs a number of the key issues dominating political discourse during the period leading up to and surrounding the 1848 election to explore how citizenship in the American nation-state was debated and ultimately conferred on or withheld from different groups. The overarching aim of the thesis is to examine the consolidation of an "American" national identity taking place in the mid-nineteenth century in the face of significant changes to the demographic, geographic, and political landscape of the United States.
My primary supervisor is Dr Anthony Stanonis and my secondary supervisor is Professor Peter Gray.