The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York


The PhD Program in History Student Bios

The PhD Program in History has approximately 100 students currently enrolled, including:


Marta Millar

Major Field: Modern European History

Minor Field: African History

Degrees Conferred: M.A. History, CUNY Graduate Center (2023); Master of International Affairs, Pennsylvania State University (2018); B.A. with honors in History, B.A. German, B.A. International Politics, Pennsylvania State University (2018)Research

Interests: Germany, Namibia and southern Africa, (post-)colonialism, public history and memory, international education

Publications: “”Facing a “Difficult Heritage”: Decolonizing Baden-Württemberg’s Relationship with Namibia through Research, Restitution, and Repatriation,” German Politics and Society [forthcoming in 2024].

Contact Information:





Hamilton Craig

Major Field: Modern U.S. history

Research Interests: Farmers’ movements, capitalism and anti-capitalism, conservatism, migration

Degrees conferred: B.A. in History, Berea College (2021)

Publications: “Close Community: Rural Working-Class Culture in the 1910 Hudson River Mill Strike,” in Tufts Historical Review, vol. 13  (Spring 2021)

Contact Information:





Maggie Schreiner

Major Field: U.S. History

Minor Field: undecided

Degrees Conferred: BA, Central and Eastern European Studies (McGill University), MA Archives and Public History (New York University)

Research Interests: Housing, gender, sexuality, race, public history and memory, archival studies

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Stephanie Makowski

Major Field: Modern European History

Minor Field: Gender and Sexuality

Degrees Conferred: B.A. (Mary Baldwin College, 2009), M.A. in War, Media and Society (University of Kent, 2014), M.Phil, History (CUNY Graduate Center, 2019)

Dissertation Topic: Interracial Relationships in Britain 1919-1960

Research Interests: Gender, race, sexuality, war, cultural history, transatlantic history

Publications: “For the Duration Only: Interracial Relationships in WWII Britain” in Journal of the History of Sexuality 29, No. 2, May 2020.

Contact info:




Daniela Moraes Traldi

Major Field: Latin America/ Gender and Women’s History

Degrees Conferred: MSc History of International Relations (London School of Economics and Political Science); International Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance (Fordham University); Certificate in Global Affairs (New York University); Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism (FIAM Brazil).

Research Interests:
women’s movements in Latin America; transnational/ global feminism; gender and sexuality; feminist/ gender theory; social and political thought.

Contact info:






Bryan Guichardo 

Major Field: Modern (Afro) Latin American and Caribbean History

Minor Field: Modern African American History

Degrees Conferred: B.A. in Anthropology and Black Studies with honors (City College of New York – CUNY, 2019)

Research Interests:

  • Race, Nation, and Ideology; Black Intellectual and Political Thought; Nationalism and Transnationalism; Black Social Movements; Afro-Latin American Exile Communities, Print Culture, and Political Dissent; Afro-Latin American Intellectual and Cultural History; 19th and 20th Spanish Caribbean (Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic)

Contact Information:



Robert M. Cleary

Major Field: U.S. History

Minor Field: undecided

Degrees Conferred: M.A. in Liberal Studies, CUNY Graduate Center (2021); B.A. in American Studies, CUNY BA Program, at Hunter College (2020).

Research Interests: History of ideas, social history, queer history.

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Rachel B. Tiven

Major Field: U.S. History

Minor Field: Women & Gender

Degrees conferred: A.B., Comparative Religion, Harvard University; J.D., Columbia Law School

Research interests: the women’s suffrage movement and women’s quest for citizenship in the United States. For more, listen to CUNY’s Thought Podcast

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Jessica Georges

Major Field: US

Minor Field: African Diaspora

Degrees Conferred: M.A., The City College of New York, CUNY

Research Interests: I am broadly interested in discourses around nationalism and definitions of freedom in the early republic. My research centers on the African American colonization movement in the years leading to and following northern emancipation. I also study the history of New York and am particularly interested in the study race and gender in the Atlantic world.

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Duangkamol Tantirungkij

Major Field: US History

Minor Field: History of Capitalism

Degrees Conferred:  BA in Economics (Chulalongkorn University, 2012), M.Phil in History (CUNY Graduate Center, 2020)

Research Interests: settler colonialism, Antebellum national politics, slavery and the law

Dissertation Title: “An Act of Congress: Freedom Suits and the Emancipatory Consequences of the Northwest Ordinance”

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Blake Mcgready

Major Field: U.S. History

Minor Field: undecided

Degrees Conferred: B.A. in History, SUNY New Paltz (2013); M.A. in History, Villanova University (2017)

Research Interests:  early U.S. history, environmental history

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Maayan Brodsky
Major Field: US History
Degrees Conferred: MA (American History – Tel Aviv University), BA (Comparative Literature and American Studies – Tel Aviv University).
Research Interests: Government secrecy
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Oscar Aponte

Major field: Latin American and Caribbean history

Minor field: U.S./Latinx history

Degrees conferred: B.A. in Sociology, National University of Colombia; M.A. in History, University of Los Andes (Colombia); M.A. in History, The Graduate Center-CUNY.

Research interests: My research revolves around agrarian history, rural colonization, indigenous peoples and the state, infrastructure projects, and extractive economies in the Amazon rainforest. I’m also interested in environmental history, history of the press, labor history, Latinx studies, and critical theory.

Publications: Aponte, O. (2020). Socioeconomic Conditions of Foreign-Born and Domestic-Born Latinos in New York City, 1990-2018. Latino Data Project, Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies, The Graduate Center, CUNY [forthcoming].

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Marybeth Tamborra

Major Field: Modern European History

Minor Field:  Labor and Capitalism

Degrees Conferred: ‘AB Anthropology with honors, University of Chicago 2010

Research Interests: I am interested in the tensions between the possibilities of freedoms and forms of domination. My most recent research examined Fascist Italian housing projects in colonial Libya and settlements on the outskirts of Rome. My broad research interests include labor, capitalism, domestic service work, class, social theory, Marx, Italian Fascism, and housing.

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Erin Cully
Major Field: US History
Minor Field: History of Capitalism
Degrees Conferred: BA (2012) and MA (2013) in history, McGill University
Research Interests: History of banking and finance, political economy, global history, 20th century US history.


Tamara Maatouk

Major Field: Middle East History

Minor Field:  Cultural History

Degrees Conferred: BA in Cinema and Television (USEK, 2010); MA in History (AUB, 2017).

Research Interests: Twentieth-Century Egypt; Film as History; Cultural History; History of Emotions.

Recent Publications:   Maatouk, Tamara. “Understanding the Public Sector in Egyptian Cinema: A State Venture.” Cairo Papers in Social Science 35/3. Cairo: The American University in Cairo Press, 2019.

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Adam Kocurek
Major Field: American History
Minor Field: Gender History/Feminist Studies
Research Interests: Labor history, LGBT history, History of Sexuality, History of Gender.
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Richard A. Naclerio

Major Field: American History

Minor Field: Middle Eastern History

Degrees Conferred: BA, MA, MPhil

Research Interests: My area of interest is United States Financial and Economic History. I am presently working on my dissertation, which covers the recent growth of Credit Rating Agencies and their role in the Crash of 2008.

Contact info:

Publications:  Book: The Federal Reserve and It’s Founders: Money, Politics and Power, Agenda Publishing / Columbia University Press

Op-Ed: “Wall Street’s Grand Design: The Federal Reserve” Columbia University Press Blog

Text Book Contribution: “Progressive Era” section of The American Yawp, Stanford University Press

Article: “The Panic of 1907: How J.P. Morgan Took Over Wall Street” The Gotham Center for New York City History Blog





Arinn Amer

Major Field: American History

Minor Field: Theory and History of Violence

Degrees Conferred: BA, American Studies, Columbia University (2011); MA, MPhil American History, CUNY Graduate Center (2016, 2018)

Research interests: Early American material and print culture, tarring and feathering
Contact info:




Israel Ben-Porat

Major Field: American History

Minor Field: Early Modern Europe

Degrees Conferred: BA in History, Yeshiva University (2018); MA in History, CUNY Graduate Center (2020)

Research Interests: Transatlantic Puritanism; Hebraism and Jewish-Christian relations; biblical reception

Recent Publications:American Artaxerxes: Esther in Early Modern Political Hebraism,” in Esther in America: The Scroll’s Interpretation in and Impact on the United States, ed. Stuart W. Halpern (Maggid Books/Yeshiva University Press), 13-28; “Hebrew Bible or Old Testament? Evaluating the American Biblical Tradition,” The Lehrhaus (9/11/19)

Contact info:



Yanara Schmacks

Major Field: Modern Europe

Minor Field: Intellectual History

Degrees Conferred: B.A. Liberal Arts & Sciences (University College Maastricht, 2015), M.A. Interdisciplinary Research on Antisemitism (Technical University Berlin, 2018)

Research Interests: Reproductive politics, motherhood and maternalism, post-Nazi East and West Germany, psychoanalysis

Dissertation Working Title: Reproductive Nation: German Motherhood, Erotics, and Ecology between East and West

Recent Publications: “‘Only mothers can be true revolutionaries’: The Politicization of Motherhood in 1980s West German Psychoanalysis,” Psychoanalysis and History 23, no. 1 (2021): 49–73.

“‘Motherhood Is Beautiful’: Maternalism in the West German New Women’s Movement Between Eroticization and Ecological Protest,” Central European History 53, no. 4 (December 2020): 811–34. (Won Honorable Mention for the 2019 – 2020 Annelise Thimme Article Prize).

Contact Info:


Anastasia Kirtiklis
Major Field: US History
Minor Field: Medicine & Health
Degrees Conferred: BA, American Studies, Columbia University; MA, Health Education, Columbia University
Research interests: constructions of mental and physical wellness, identity, consumerism, sexuality, emotions, trauma, spirituality, and religion in 19th & 20th century US and transnational history; intellectual history
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Kate Kelley

Major Field: Modern Europe

Minor Field: Intellectual History

Degrees Conferred: B.A. in History and German, Hunter College; M.A. in History, CUNY Graduate Center

Research Interests: Cold War, Soviet bloc, East Germany, communism, socialism, art & culture, performance, politics, the state, nationality, memory, race, gender & sexuality

Dissertation Working Title: “How Cinderella became a Communist: The Politics of Classical Ballet in East Germany”

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Bradford Pelletier has an MA in European History and Literature from Columbia University and is currently finishing a PhD in American History at the CUNY Graduate Center. He specializes in the History of Global Psychiatry with a special focus on the ways in which race and class have influenced medical care in the United States. Currently, he is writing on inequalities in conditions and care at the South Carolina State Hospital from 1930-1970.  ​

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Jack Devine

Major Field: US History

Minor Field: Undecided

Degrees Conferred: B.A. History & Screen, Arts, and Cultures (University of Michigan, 2014); M.A. Liberal Studies (CUNY Graduate Center, 2020)

Research Interests: The American Civil War and Reconstruction, Capitalism and Slavery, Abolition Democracy, Marxism, Socialism and the American Labor Movement

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Micki Kaufman

Major Field: US History (20th C)

Minor Field: World / International History

Degrees Conferred: B.A., U.S. History with Highest Honors, Columbia University. A.A., Simon’s Rock of Bard College

Research Interests: My research focuses on computational research in U.S. diplomatic and international history, most recently an analysis of the tenure of Henry Kissinger as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State using a large collection of the DNSA’s declassified U.S. government archives dated 1968-1977. I am co-author of an article on Cold War wargaming and technology forecasting in the December 2012 American Historical Review titled “General, I Have Fought Just as Many Nuclear Wars As You Have,” and I received a 2012-2013 Provost’s Digital Innovation Grant to expand my research to include additional databases including the ‘Foreign Policy Files’ of the US State Department (NARA Secret Record Group 59). I have taught undergraduate history at Hunter College and have served as the Technology Coordinator for the Hertog Global Strategy Initiative’s 2011 “Summer Fever” and 2010 “Nuclear Summer” research programs.


David Pultz

Major Field: U.S. History

Minor Field: History of Human Rights

Degrees Conferred: M.A. American History, The City College of New York (2018). BFA Media Studies, Emerson College (1976).

Research Interests: Slavery and abolition, religious antislavery, intersection of antislavery and human rights, antebellum New York City, reconstruction.





Amanda Westbrook Brennan

Major Field:  US History

Minor Field:  Gender

Degrees Conferred: BS in Business Administration, Georgetown University (2006), MA in Humanities and Social Thought, New York University (2014)

Research Interests: 20th century US History, mutual construction of race and gender, cultural ideals, motherhood.

Dissertation Title: The History of ‘Having It All’: Black and White Women and Work-Life Balance from 1890-today

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Soheil Asefi

Major Field: Modern European History

Minor Field: Diaspora and Transnational History/Modern Middle East

Degrees Conferred: M.A. Political Science, The New School for Social Research (NSSR,) 2017. B.A. Film Studies, Tehran Art Soore University (SU,) 2008.

Research Interests: Transgenerational History of Love and Politics, Modern German History and Sexuality, Iranian Leftist Movements, Iranian Red Diaper Babies (Born and Raised in Communist Family,) Political Socialization of Youth, The Politics of Memory, Belonging, and Trauma, Revolutionary Politics, Marxism, Historical Materialism, The Cold War, Imperialism, The Commodification of Public Spheres, Public History, Political Agency in Exile, Queer Diaspora, Refugees and Migration, Radical Queer History, Diaspora Politics.

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Miranda Brethour

Major Field: Modern Europe

Minor Field: Public History

Degrees Conferred: B.A. History (University of Ottawa, 2017); M.A History (University of Ottawa, 2019)

Research Interests: History of the Holocaust in Poland, modern Eastern Europe, gender and sexuality

Recent Publications: Miranda Brethour, “Jewish-Gentile Relations in Hiding during the Holocaust in Sokołów County, Poland.”  The Journal of Holocaust Research 33, no. 4 (2019): 277-301.

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Kikuko Tanaka

Major Field: Modern European History

Minor Field: Intellectual History

Degree Conferred: M.A in History (CUNY Graduate Center, NY), B.S in Environmental Cultural History (Chiba University, Japan)

Research Interests: Global cross-pollination of philosophy, religion, and ideology; Enlightenment and Anti-Enlightenment philosophical traditions; Orientalism; politics of history-writing; philosophy of history and historiographic methods

Dissertation Topic: My dissertation probes into the political implications of Japanese philosopher Kuki Shūzō’s aesthetic and formal philosophy. Contrary to the preceding historiography that condemned Kuki as a fascist, my dissertation argues that Kuki’s philosophy contained potentiality for anti-totalitarianism.

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Madeline DeDe-Panken

Major Field: US History

Minor Field: Women and Gender

Degrees Conferred: B.A., History, Clark University (2012); M.A., History, Clark University (2013); M.Phil. in History, The Graduate Center, CUNY (2019)

Research Interests: History of science, food history, women’s history. I am broadly interested in questions of gender and authority revolving around scientific and domestic knowledge. My dissertation explores women’s involvement in scientific and sustenance mushroom foraging as it relates to a popular food fad at the turn of the 20th century.

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Deena Ecker

Major Field: U.S. History

Minor Field: Women and Sexuality

Degrees Conferred: B.A., History, Brandeis University

Research Interests:  Prostitution, history of sexuality, history of gender, women’s history, urban history, New York City history

.Contact info:





Carli Snyder

Major Field: U.S. History

Minor Field: Modern Europe

Degrees Conferred: BA in History and Women’s and Gender Studies, Pacific Lutheran University (2017), MA in History, CUNY Graduate Center (2019

Research Interests: Holocaust history and memory, museum studies, memory studies, history of feminism, oral history, histories of race, gender, and sexuality, late 20th century

Contact info:



John T. Massey
Major Field: 
Early Modern History
Minor Field: 
Degrees Conferred:
M.Phil. History, Graduate Center; B.A. History, Mathematics Saint Peter’s University
Research Interests:
I am currently writing a dissertation on the lives of seminarians entering the English College, Rome from 1598-1610 through their responses to the institution’s entrance questionnaire. I have secondary interests in early modern medicine and innovations to mathematics in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Contact info: 



Madeline Lafuse

Major Field: US History

Minor Field: Gender and Sexuality Studies

Degrees Conferred: BA Tulane University in History, Asian Studies, Linguistics, Gender & Sexuality Studies; MA CUNY Graduate Center in History

Research Interests:  I study enslaved people poisoning their masters in nineteenth-century New Orleans from a cultural perspective. I am interested in how poison reveals contradictions between the household, national expansion, and slavery. I am also interested in the history of emotions and affect studies.

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Jarrett Moran
Major field: Modern European History
Minor field: Intellectual History
Degrees conferred: MA, Modern European Studies (Columbia University); BA, Ethics, Politics, and Economics (Yale University)
Research interests: History of criticism and the idea of culture in the nineteenth and twentieth century; history of political thought (particularly liberalism); British History
Dissertation Title: “Culture and Its Discontents: Arnoldian Culture in Britain from the 1860s to the 1960s”
Contact info:


Cathy Cabrera-Figueroa

Major Field: Latin American History

Minor Field: US and Latino History

Degrees Conferred: MA in History, The Graduate Center, City University of New York. MA in Liberal Studies, Lehman College. BS in Psychology, Fordham University.

Research Interests: Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rican diaspora, early 20th century Latin America, Migration, Labor, Gender and Sexuality,

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Stephen Lazar

Major Field: US History

Minor Field: Comparative Radical Politics

Degrees Conferred: MA in History; 2018; The Graduate Center, City University of New York.  MA in African-American Studies; 2006; Columbia University. BA in Political Philosophy & Religious Studies; 2004; Brown University.

Research Interests: Post World War II Black Freedom Struggles, Education

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Benjamin Diehl

Major Field: Modern European History

Minor Field: TBD

Degrees Conferred: BA in International Relations, SUNY College at Geneseo, 2018; MA in European History, Politics, and Society, Columbia University, 2020.

Research Interests: Modern Germany, European political history, charisma and politics, electoral/popular politics, political culture, urban history, history of the state, social democracy

Contact info: ;




Mohamad Nour Hodeib
Major Field: Middle East History
Minor Field: Intellectual History
Degrees Conferred: M.A. Middle East Studies, Graduate Center (CUNY); B.A., Political Science/International Affairs, Lebanese American University
Research Interests: Power, intellectuals, ideology, political culture, cultural history, revolutionary politics, counter-culture, poetry, music, song, civil war, the Arab Levant, Lebanon, Palestine
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Rebecca Irvine

Major Field: Modern Middle East

Minor Field: History of medicine

Degrees Conferred: BA History, University of Sheffield; MA Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University

Research Interests: public health, gender, colonialism, history of Iraq

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Helena Yoo Roth
Major Field:  US History
Minor Field:  Undecided
Degrees Conferred: B.A., American Studies, Columbia University (2016)
Research Interests: early US history, transatlantic history, cultural history
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Idan Liav

Major Field: Modern Europe and Israel-Palestine

Minor Field: History of memory

Degrees Conferred: M.A. in History, Graduate Center, CUNY; M.A in Conflict Research, Management and Resolution, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; B.A. in International Relations and English Literature, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Research Interests: Israeli-Palestinian conflict, history of memory, Holocaust memory, conceptual history.

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Rafael Davis Portela
Major Field: Latin American History
Minor Field: History of Capitalism
Degrees Conferred: M.Phil in History, The Graduate Center; M.A. in Social History, Universidade Federal da Bahia; B.A. in History, Universidade Federal da Bahia.
Research Interests: History of Capitalism; Transnational History; History of Transportation; Riots and Rebellions in Latin America.
Recent publications: “O Caso da Canoa Incendiada: Perfis e Relações de Pescadores em Salvador (1853-1880)”, Revista Mundos do Trabalho Vol 7 Num 14 (2015).
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Keith Rosenthal

Major Field: U.S. History

Minor Field: Undecided

Degrees Conferred: Master of Arts in Disability Studies (CUNY), Bachelor of Arts in English (UVM)

Research Interests: Disability, Capitalism, Political Economy, Social Movements, Marxism, Historical Materialism, Class Struggle

Contact Information:




Gloria Pereira Caminha

Major Field: U.S. history

Minor Field: Latin American history

Degrees Conferred: BA in History from Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC-SP), MA in History from Brooklyn College.

Research Interests: 20th United States: social, cultural, political, diplomatic; women’s history.

Contact info:





Yuliya Barycheuskaya

Major Field: Modern European History

Minor Field: Modern American History; certified in Gender Studies

Degrees Conferred: B.A. and M.A. in History; M.A. in Liberal Arts

Research Interests: I’m at work on a dissertation that explores Russian popular culture narratives on love, gender, and sexuality during the East European transition, from the mid-1980s to the 2000s. My broad research interests include Soviet/post-Soviet history, class, cultural and social history, film and media studies, history of emotions, history of gender and sexuality. I’m profoundly interested in female culture and revel in expanding my perspective on how to be a woman and a woman’s place in society.

 Contact Information:



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