Initially, the prospect of working with Dr. Claire Schen drew me to UB. I became familiar with her work as a master’s student and was excited at the opportunity to study under her. What solidified my decision was the welcoming environment that I experienced during my campus visit and the interdisciplinary approach that the department takes with regards to courses and research work.
My favorite class/experience thus far has been taking Dr. Bono’s “Cultural History of the Body and Medicine” course. It really complicated the way that I think about my own work by opening my eyes to a wider swath of of sources and lenses of analysis.
My dream job would be to work for Historic Royal Palaces in England doing interpretive work. My history education has prepared me to work for HRP in obvious ways such as helping me understand the historiography of England, particularly the monarchy and its changing place in the hearts, minds, and government of the people but it has also opened up experiential opportunities like researching at the Folger, which will make me more marketable as a candidate. If this dream career does not pan out, I would also love to work for the State Department or for UN Women advocating for women in the industrializing world.
It is a bit north of Buffalo, but I absolutely LOVE the Matilda Jocelyn Gage House in Fayetteville, NY. Gage was a suffragette who has been essentially written out of the master narrative of the early women’s movement because she was so radical. She believed in equality in all forms, called marriage slavery, thought temperance and Christianity were silly, questioned the legitimacy of the government which she believed was designed to keep women and people of color subjugated, and she advocated for emulating Native American social systems which were more egalitarian. Her home in Fayetteville has been wonderfully preserved and serves not only as an interpretive center but also an activist training hub. Everyone should visit it!
It would be, without a doubt, Emmeline Pankhurst the militant British suffragette. Though my historical studies focus on an entirely different era, she has served as a source of constant fascination for me.