Publication Date

June 2, 2016

Perspectives Section

Perspectives Summer Columns

The AHA is pleased to announce the winners of our 2016 AHA Today Blog Contest. Over the course of the summer, each of these historians will be writing for AHA Today about the archival research process and historical documents relevant to their dissertations.

Erin Holmes is a doctoral candidate at the University of South Carolina and a fellow at the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon. She is currently working on a dissertation titled “Within the House of Bondage: Constructing and Negotiating the Plantation Landscape in the British Atlantic World, 1670–1820.” Erin will be blogging about how she “reads” buildings and plantation landscapes across Virginia, South Carolina, and Barbados as historical documents.

A PhD candidate at Syracuse University’s Department of History, Jesse Hysell is finishing a dissertation on Muslim-Christian relations in the early modern Mediterranean. His blog series will examine surprising and fascinating documents that highlight how material exchanges prevented and promoted conflicts between subjects of Venice and Egypt.

Allan Branstiter is a history PhD student at the University of Southern Mississippi. His dissertation examines resistance to Reconstruction’s racial reforms through the lenses of postcolonial and settler colonial theory. Allan’s blog series will be centered on his discovery of the records of a sexual misconduct investigation at the Mississippi State Lunatic Asylum in 1871 and the impact these records have had on his research.

The AHA Today Blog Contest is designed to highlight the voices of graduate students and to emphasize the importance of communicating the work of historians, broadly defined, to a variety of audiences and in a variety of media. Over the next few weeks, we will be publishing posts introducing each blogger along with a description of their research and the issues they will be exploring this summer.

For the original contest announcement, please visit

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Attribution must provide author name, article title, Perspectives on History, date of publication, and a link to this page. This license applies only to the article, not to text or images used here by permission.