Current Graduate Students

Below is a list of doctoral students currently working with me. Students are in alphabetical order and split into two groups: those whose dissertations, MA theses, and preliminary exams I am directing; and those whose various committees I have served on. The first group is listed under the heading "Current Advisees" and the second group can be found under "Current Co-Advisees." Finally, students who have completed their doctoral training are listed under the heading "Former Advisees."

Current Advisees

Brad Baranowski

Working Dissertation Title: "John Rawls and the Revival of Political Philosophy"

MA Title: “Equipment for Living: Richard McKeon and Kenneth Burke’s Philosophic Friendship and the Vision of Pluralism that Sustained It”

Research Interests: U.S. and European intellectual history; the history of philosophy, in particular pragmatism, continental, and analytical thought; 20th century political and literary theory; the intersection between moral economies and understandings of self; the history of enchantment; and approaches to the embodiment of thought and sociology of knowledge as well as historiography in general. He is also a photographer. His photographic work can be viewed here:

Vaneesa Cook

Working Dissertation Title: “The Kingdom Abroad: Spiritual Socialists from the 1920s-1970s”

MA Title: “The Cause is Mankind: Staughton Lynd and the New Left Social Gospel for Human Rights”

Research Interests:  Intellectual History, Foreign Relations, Religious History, Left Radicalism

Dan Hummel (with Jeremi Suri)

Working Dissertation Title: "A Covenant of the Mind: Israel in Conservative Theology and Ideology, 1960-1990"

Master's Thesis: (Colorado State University, 2010) "Israel and the Rise of the Neoconservatives, 1960-1976"

Research Interests: American religious and diplomatic history, with emphasis in 20th century conservative Protestantism and postwar US foreign affairs; Israel and Zionism; Theology; intellectual history; the Cold War; American political history. Dan's dissertation will make the case that in order to better understand the US-Israel relationship, historians should pay more attention to the role of unofficial religious and intellectual networks – often transnational in scope – between Americans and Israelis (and others). This requires broadening the story to include Israeli voices and Hebrew language sources as well as re-imagining the landscape of postwar evangelical theology.

Gregory Jones-Katz

Working Dissertation Title: “Paul de Man and the Deconstructive Turn, ~1919-1990”

Research Interests: the history of 19th- and 20th- century American and European philosophy; 19th- and 20th- century American and European literary history; intellectual transatlantic exchanges, such as Romanticism, Pragmatism, and Deconstruction; and history and theory, specifically post-metaphysical models for reading and writing.

Rivka Maizlish

MA title: "Repossessing the Past: Perry Miller's American Renaissance"

Research Interests: American and European intellectual history, philosophy of history, American Romanticism(s), the emergence of the field of American Studies in the mid-20th century, and the exportation of American Studies to Europe during the Cold War.

Debbie Sharnak (with Steve Stern)

Working Dissertation Title: “A Contested History of Human Rights: The View from Uruguay”

MA title: “Piercing the Sovereign Veil: Jimmy Carter's Human Rights Policy and the Third World”

Research Interests: Latin America history, the origins of human rights, international history, and transitional justice.

Kevin Walters (with John Hall)

Working Dissertation Title:"In the Land of Milk and Patents: A Microhistory of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, 1925-1985"

MA title:“Experiments in Democracy: A New Institutional History of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, 1925-2000”

Research Interests: I focus on the intersections of power, ideas, and institutions.

Erik Hmiel

Benjamin Kasten

Jennifer Stitt

Current Co-Advisees

Charlie Cahill

Working Dissertation Title: “Mea Res Agitur: The Kierkegaard Renaissance in Weimar Germany”

MA Title: “Bonhoeffer as Pragmatist? A Reappraisal of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Time at Union Theological Seminary, 1930-31”

Research Interests: Modern European Intellectual and Religious History; Weimar Germany politics, society, and culture.

Sarah Camacho

Working Dissertation Title: "Urban Redevelopment in America, 1945-2010"

MA Title: "‘Is This Progress?’: San Antonio's North Expressway Battle, 1959-1978”

Research Interests: the urban environmental history of the twentieth century U.S. West; people's ideas for urban landscapes, and the messy ways in which those ideas are implemented through political and cultural processes.

Maggie Flamingo

Working Dissertation Title:"What God Hath Joined: How Divorce and Remarriage Shaped American Evangelical Culture and Political Involvement, 1920-1989"

MA Title: "Sinning Against Our Children: The Moral Symbolism of the Leopold-Loeb Murder Case in the Scopes 'Monkey Trial'"

Research Interests: Religion and American Culture; the History of Marriage and Family; American Evangelical Theology; American Evangelicalism and the Religious Right.

Brendon George

MA Title: "'First the Book, Now the Film?': The Reception of Friday Night Lights in Odessa, Texas”

Research Interests: urbanization in the North American West and contests over the uses of public spaces in cities; American popular culture; and the histories of reading and reception.

Rachel Gross

Working Dissertation Title: "Mastering the Outdoors: Consumption and Modernity in Wilderness Recreation"

MA title: "Synthetic Wilderness: Gore-Tex and the Paths to Mastery in Outdoor Recreation"

Research Interests: ideas about nature in the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries, the consumer culture of wilderness, and the history of somatic experience. 

David Harrisville

Working Dissertation Title: "Unholy Crusade: The Moral Economy of the Wehrmacht, 1941-1944"

MA Title: "Shepherds of Wolves: Wehrmacht Chaplains, the Second World War, German Colonialism, and Nazi Ideology"

Research Interests: World War II; German-Russian relations; death and burial; the history of morality, moral identity; religious history; how agency works when it is limited by difficult circumstances

Ariana Horn

MA Title:"De Participatione Christianorum et Saracenorum: Ramon Llull as Disputant and Comparative Religionist" 

Research Interests: Ariana's dissertation questions conventional conceptions of religious pluralism, including Judeo-Christianity and Tri-Faith America, by looking at "Human Relations" and "Intergroup" Education discourse and how interfaith and interracial relationships played out on the ground in mid-twentieth century Milwaukee.

Johanna Lanner-Cusin

Working MA Title: "Prettier, Healthier, Happier: A Cultural History of US Drugstores, 1880-1910"

Research Interests: the intersection of discourses and beliefs about the body and consumer practices as well as popular culture from 1880 to the present.

Scott Mobley

Working Dissertation Title: "Progressives in Navy Blue: Naval Professionalization and the Transformation of American Strategy, Policy, and Civil-Military Relations, 1880-1920"

MA Title: “In Leahy’s Hands: William Leahy, Franklin Roosevelt, and the Crafting of Coalition Strategy during World War II”

Research Interests: the political, economic, technological, social, and intellectual trends that shaped U.S. diplomatic and military history; early America and the formation of American identity.

Scott Gerard Prinster

Working Dissertation Title: "Science and the Rise of Modern Biblical Criticism in Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century America" (anticipated 2014)

MA Title: "The Reception of Darwin’s Work in Hungary’s Nineteenth-Century Popular Press"

Research Interests: science and religion, American intellectual history, Biblical authority in American thought and society, and the history of Eastern and Central Europe.

Ben Shannon

M.A. Title: (University of Tennessee-Knoxville, 2006) "Cultural Consensus, Political Conflict: The Problem of Unity among German Intellectuals, 1914-1918"

Research Interests: political theology, intellectual history, and the New Left, with a focus on Christian protest movements in West Germany, during the 1960s and 1970s.

Kyle Steele

Research Interests: the history of US education. Steele's current research addresses changes in the structure and curriculum of Milwaukee's public high schools in the first half of the twentieth century. 

Nick Strohl

MA Title: ( University of Cambridge, 2005) "Post-History: On the Future of the Study of the Past"

Research Interests: the history of education, higher education, and American intellectual and cultural history. I am particularly interested in the history of university and college reform during the interwar period.

Derek Taira

MA title: "The Benevolent Imperialist of Paradise: American Education and the Kamehameha Schools, 1900-1931"

Research Interests: the influential role of women during the rise and spread of the social reform, settlement work, and Progressive education movements of the early 20th century; Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) history; indigenous education; and postcolonial studies.

Britt Tevis

Working Dissertation Title: “May It Displease the Court: Jewish Lawyers and the Democratization of American Law, 1881-1980”

MA title: “The People’s Court: Jacob Panken, Socialism, and American Law”

Research Interests: modern Jewish and American legal history. Britt's dissertation explores Jewish overrepresentation in the legal profession and explains the significance of this phenomenon for the development of twentieth-century American law.

Kevin Walters

MA Title: "'You All Know What I'm Referring To': 'Cold War' as an Artifact in 1947"

Research Interests: the intersections of power, ideas, and institutions. More specifically, I look at the origins of the phrase "Cold War" in the mid-1940s and how the ideas attached to those words influenced the conceptualization and implementation of government policy.

Jed Woodworth

MA Title: "Horace Mann and the Revolution in American Childhood"

Research Interests: U.S. colonial and intellectual history.

Former Advisees

Robbie Gross

Working Dissertation Title: "Regulating the Educational Marketplace: Public Policy and School Competition in the North, 1870-1930"

MA Title: "Keeping the Faith: Liberal Protestantism and Secular Public Education in the Upper Midwest, 1890-1926"

Research Interests: the history of United States public policy and education. I am particularly interested in the relationship between schools and social, religious, and legal developments in the United States.

Campbell Scribner

Working Dissertation Title:"The Exurban Exchange: Local Control of Education on the Metropolitan Fringe, 1945-1980"

MA Title:"The Right Wing and Wisconsin Schools, 1954-1974"

Research Interests: the politics of suburbs and schools in the decades after World War II, with particular attention to the intersection of local democracy and grassroots conservatism.

Keith Woodhouse

Working Dissertation Title: "A Subversive Nature: Radical Environmentalism in the Late-Twentieth-Century United States"

Research Interests: American environmental history; the ideas and politics of environmentalism in the twentieth-century United States.