Elisabeth Davis, PhD Class of 2020

Elisabeth Davis.

Elisabeth Davis, PhD candidate

What do you study, and where do you see yourself after graduation?

I study the development of religion, gender, and identity in antebellum America.  My dissertation focuses on the institutionalization of the American Catholic Church by focusing on women’s religious orders (i.e. nuns and convents) east of the Mississippi River.  After  graduation, I hope to teach at a four year liberal arts school.

What drew you to graduate work at UB?

I was drawn to UB by the professors. The professors in in the history department are not only at the top of their field but have a wide field of research. Where else can you find department where one professor studies death in America while another studies nobility in early modern France?

What has been your favorite experience so far as a UB History student?

My favorite experience was TAing for Professor Seeman’s “Death and Dying in America.” Professor Seeman is an amazing lecturer and TAing for him is a real treat.

What are your favorite historical places around WNY?

Forest Lawn Cemetery; Genesee Country Village & Museum

If you could have dinner with one famous historical person, who would it be?

I would have dinner with Louisa May Alcott. Not only was she an author but she was part of most of the reform movements of the 19th century, including suffrage and abolitionist movements.  Her father was also part of the transcendentalist movement.