and Mary’s graduate program with an M.A. in Film Studies. His scholarly interests include
studying the visual culture, technological and communication developments, and economic
transformations within the U.S. culture throughout the late nineteenth century and twentieth
century. He is particularly interested in the ways in which electricity and corporate capitalism
interrelate with the developing visual culture throughout this historical process. His current
research concerns the development of the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company
throughout the end of the nineteenth century and twentieth century.
B.A., Honors in Film and Media Studies, English Minor – Ball State University (2013)
Kit Bauserman (they/them) is a second-year M.A./Ph.D. Student in American Studies at the College of William & Mary. They specialize in horror and gothic fiction. Their research explores how horror and the gothic’s intersections with folklore and digital media highlight non-traditional forms of haunting and spectrality, such as haunted landscapes. Additionally, Kit is interested in questions of nation’s influence on hauntological frameworks. Their current work focuses on the ethics of narrating ghost encounters.
Joseph F. Lawless is an Ph.D. student in the American Studies Program at the College of William & Mary, with an interest in the nexus shared by law, sexuality, and digital personhood. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania in 2012, where his studies were oriented toward political theory and continental philosophy, particularly that of late twentieth-century France. From 2012 to 2014, he was a member of the Las Vegas Valley corps of Teach for America and served as the chair of the English/Language Arts department of the middle school at which he taught. While teaching, he completed his M.Ed. at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, with an emphasis on critical pedagogy and curriculum development. In 2017, he obtained his J.D. from Columbia University, and in 2019 he received his M.A. in American Studies at William & Mary. His dissertation project considers the articulations of digital sexual subjectivity through Foucauldian and Lacanian frames to more thoroughly interrogate relationship between late capitalist globalization, the uneven modalities of subjectification through which queernesses emerge, and the ethical demands of a technologized politics of sexuality.
Claudia Garcia Mendoza
Claudia Garcia Mendoza is a Ph.D. student in American Studies. Her research has focused on media representation and counternarratives in digital spaces. She is interested in information technology and how minority identities navigate and challenge social, economic, and political structures. She has presented at Conferences and won Top Paper Award in the Disability Caucus at the 2019 National Communication Association Conference.
Claudia holds a Master's in Lifespan and Digital Communication from Old Dominion University. Her thesis examined conversations about sexuality from a disabled community on Twitter.
BA, Communication, Tecnológico de Monterrey Campus Guadalajara.
Christopher J. Slaby
Kelsey (they/them/theirs) is a PhD candidate in American Studies. Their work explores the process of identity formation, at the nexus of race, gender, and sexuality. Kelsey seeks to illuminate the experiences of Black queer folks, navigating the contemporary US sociopolitical landscape.
Kelsey is also a poet, a writer of lyric fiction, and other musings. If you’re interested in reading some of their writings, explore the links below:
M.A. University of Miami, Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (2016)
B.A. University of California Davis, Sociology with a Minor in African and African American Studies (2014)
Adrienne Resha is a Ph.D. candidate writing about Arab and Muslim comic book superheroes created after 9/11 and the Arab Spring. She has presented at the American Studies Association and Comics Studies Society's annual meetings. Her work has been published in Inks: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society and in Mixed-Race Superheroes.
MA, Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies, University of Virginia
BA, International Affairs and Anthropology, Florida State University
Erna Anderson is a Ph.D. candidate in American Studies who interrogates the function of fictional orphans and how they inform and are informed by American identity formation. Currently, Erna is collecting as many works of fiction she can find that center orphans, as that will enable her to discern patterns and shifts in regards to the treatment of parentless children, and what this says about how Americans have perceived themselves throughout the centuries.
M.A. American Studies, Humboldt University of Berlin, 2018
B.A. American Studies, Humboldt University of Berlin, 2015
Selected Professional Experiences
Research Assistant – Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, 2015-2018
Course Instructor – American Literature II, Humboldt University of Berlin, 2016
Laura is a Ph.D. student in American Studies. Her research lies at the intersection of dress history and art history, with emphasis on the history of fashion in the pre-twentieth century Atlantic World. At the moment, Laura is researching the different iterations of fashionable styles throughout colonial Spanish America in the eighteenth century. Through the conjunction of visual resources, material objects, and archival records, Laura explores the role played by fashion in the creation of national, gender, racial, and class identities and its importance as an economic force in the early modern Atlantic World.
M.A., Fashion Studies, Parsons School of Design, 2016
B.A., Economics, Universidad de Los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia), 2014
Selected Professional Experience
External Professor, Universidad de Los Andes, 2017
Research Assistant, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Department of Drawings and Prints, 2016-2017
Research Assistant to Dr. Hazel Clark, Parsons School of Design, School of Art and Design History and Theory, 2014-2016
Molly Shilo is an MA/PhD student in American Studies. She came from Fordham University where she obtained her B.A. in English and Communication & Media Studies. Her scholarly interests include postcolonial and feminist studies, critical race theory, and education. She is currently working on completing her master’s thesis which examines how empathy is rhetorically deployed within service-learning programs.
B.A., English & Communication and Media Studies, Fordham University, 2017
Sara Woodbury’s research explores the intersections between mobility studies and museum studies in relation to art access. Her dissertation focuses on outreach art exhibitions and how they potentially enable or restrict art access through their content, transportation, and community engagement. An experienced museum curator, she is currently collaborating with the Barry Art Museum at Old Dominion University on the interdisciplinary exhibition, Motion and Emotion: Exploring Affect from Automata to Robots, scheduled to open in 2022. Prior to coming to William and Mary, Sara held curatorial positions at the Roswell Museum and Art Center, Shelburne Museum, and the Dallas Museum of Art.
You can learn more about Sara's academic and personal interests by visiting her website.
B.A., Art History, Lake Forest College
M.A., History of Art, Williams College
Selected Professional Experience
Curator of Collections and Exhibitions, Roswell Museum and Art Center, 2013-2018
Curatorial Fellow, Shelburne Museum, 2011-2013
McDermott Curatorial Fellow, Dallas Museum of Art, 2010-2011
BA English, Roanoke College, 2012
MA English, Old Dominion University, 2018
"Digital Activism and Storytelling: Exploring the Radical Potential of The #MeToo Movement.” Resistance in Pop Culture and Contemporary Culture, edited by Leisa Clark, Amanda Firestone, and Mary Pharr, McFarland Books, 2019.
Co-authored with Megan Boeshart Burelle, “An Inquiry-Based Approach for Customizing Training for Graduate Student Tutors.” Re-defining Roles: The Professional, Faculty, and Graduate Consultant’s Guide to Writing Centers, edited by Megan S. Jewell and Joseph Cheatle, Utah State U.P., 2019.
Kelly Conway was the curator of American glass at The Corning Museum of Glass from 2013 to 2019. While in Corning, she co-curated and edited the museum’s 2017 exhibition and accompanying publication, Tiffany's Glass Mosaics, and she led the reinstallation of the permanent collection gallery, Corning: Glass in the Crystal City. Conway was also the Carolyn and Richard Barry Curator of Glass at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia, from 2007 to 2013. There, she led the design and re-installation of the renovated glass collection galleries, was a key member of the team that established a hot glass studio at the museum in 2011, and was a contributor to the 2017 publication, Glass: Masterworks from the Chrysler Museum of Art. She currently serves on the Collections Committee at the Rockwell Museum of Art, on W&M’s Faculty DEI committee, and as an Editorial Adviser for the Journal of Glass Studies. Conway’s dissertation research focuses on the historical development of museums in the American South.
M.A., History of Decorative Arts, Parsons School of Design and Smithsonian
B.A., American History, DePauw University
Vania Blaiklock is a Ph.D. Candidate in American Studies. Her research often deals with the intersection of race, religion, and education in American Jurisprudence, with an emphasis on the impact this intersection has on the political and societal advancement or oppression of Black Americans. Vania’s work often deals with the legal strategies and discourses used to maintain educational inequality for Black middle and high school students. She has written on the relationship between school choice alternatives, educational inequality, and the history of segregation. Currently, Vania is working on expanding that research in the context of religious charter schools. Additionally, her dissertation explores the relationship between Black Americans’ pursuit of literacy as a means of citizenship and the existence of a constitutional fundamental right to literacy. Prior to her work in graduate school, Vania worked as a general practice attorney in both Hampton Roads and Richmond.
M.A., American Studies, William & Mary, 2022
J.D., William & Mary Law School, 2018
B.A., Political Science, 2015
Associate Attorney, Vandeventer Black LLP, 2018-2020
Nicole Brown is an M.A. student in American Studies. Her topics of interest center around American women’s roles in education, legislation, religion, and the institution of slavery. In addition to her graduate work, Mrs. Brown works full-time as a public historian that specializes in performing, researching, and interpreting women in Virginia spanning from 1750 to 1820. She has performed at a variety of historic and cultural sites, such as The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Monticello, and the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation. She currently works full-time portraying Ann Wager and developing programming on the Williamsburg Bray School for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
Mrs. Brown’s research has also taken her across the globe. Nicole spoke in Reims, France at the 2018 National Association for Interpretation’s annual conference regarding the efficacy of using character interpretation to discuss challenging topics. She has also conducted research trips to the University of Oxford and Lambeth Palace Library to study the topics of religion, education, and slavery in Colonial Virginia. Her ongoing study of the Bray Associates and Black literacy in American history is a main focus of her current research.
MA, Art History, University of Iowa, 2020
BA, Political Science, University of Iowa, 2016
Molly Robinson is a PhD student in American Studies. She thinks about how craft practices like basketmaking preserve relationships between people and their environments, and reflect time-honored commitments to land stewardship that challenge legal theories of property. Her recent work explores some of these ideas through the lens of Lowcountry coiled baskets. Molly seeks to understand how local effects of global climate change shape artists' sense of what it means to create under conditions of environmental precarity. She was the Alan Dundes Fellow in Folklore (2019-2020) and research for her MA thesis was supported by the Center for Craft in Asheville, North Carolina.
B.A., Anthropology, University of Chicago
M.A., Folklore, University of California, Berkeley
Rachel H. R. Hunnicutt is a Ph.D. student in American Studies. Her work focuses on twentieth-century industrial, domestic, and corporate design relative to capitalism, consumerism, and labor issues. Her most recent research considers Upton Sinclair’s literature as a mediator of the military-industrial complex, its material and design innovations, and the evolution of everyday life, work, and culture across the World Wars.
Hunnicutt previously worked as cataloguer of the Donald Deskey Collection in the Department of Drawings, Prints & Graphic Design at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, where she was also a curatorial fellow in the museum’s Department of Product Design and Decorative Arts. She taught interior design history and theory as Part-Time Faculty at Parsons, and formerly served as the copyeditor and coordinator of book reviews for the Journal of Design History.
B.A., Art History, Trinity College, 2012
M.A., History of Design and Curatorial Studies, Parsons School of Design, The New School, 2019
M.A., Public History, North Carolina State University
B.A., English, Penn State University (2017)
M.A., English, University of Virginia (2021)