Who We Are
Sam Grinsell, Chair
I am a first year PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, studying British Imperial Architecture of the Nile Valley. I studied Ancient History and History at the University of Leicester as an undergraduate before spending a few years in the wilderness of low-end employment. I returned to Leicester for an MA in Urban History and discovered a fascination with the role of the built environment in the construction of power. I am also interested in the role of digital technologies in education, and have worked for IT Services at the University of Leicester and Technology Enhanced Learning at St Mary’s University. I am looking forward to exploring the pubs, hills, architecture and coastline of Edinburgh.
Krysten Blackstone, Deputy Chair
I am a first year PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, where my research is focused on the relationship between morale and identity during the American Revolution. While I completed both my Masters and Undergraduate degrees in Edinburgh as well, I hail from Maine, USA – five hours north of the nearest lighthouse, but where potato fields are ubiquitous. My favourite pastime is explaining to people why, as an American, I chose to study American History, in Scotland. When not doing that, I love baking copious amounts of pumpkin-based sweets to compliment my frequent coffee breaks, which I use as opportunities to discuss my enduring love for Thomas Paine.
Elke Close, Contributions Editor
I am in the final stage (fourth year) of my PhD in Classics at the University of Edinburgh where I am researching the influence of the ancient Greek polis Megalopolis on the politics of a Hellenistic federal state, the Achaean koinon. In a past life, I completed my undergraduate and master studies at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium in history and ancient history. I decided to go to Thessaloniki on Erasmus in 2011 and ever since I have loved traveling and meeting new people which is why I am also the webmaster for ISHA International (the International Students of History Association). I am also one of the session leaders at the fabulous Museum on the Mound, a hidden gem in Edinburgh which is definitely worth a visit if you like to learning about money. When I’m not working, tutoring Latin, researching, or geeking about Harry Potter I enjoy watching British detective shows.
Fraser Raeburn, Contributions Editor
I am a PhD student in history at the University of Edinburgh, having completed my Masters by Research there in 2013 as well as undergraduate degrees in history, German and economics at the University of Sydney. Aside from my clear and troublesome addiction to higher education, my hobbies include cooking, a mild obsession with coffee and reading about sport just enough that I can hold a convincingly informed conversation about it but rarely if ever bothering to actually go to or watch a game. My research is on the Scottish involvement in the Spanish Civil War, which reflects my broad interest in modern European history, particularly the political and ideological history of the interwar period. I now have an academia.edu profile, just like a real academic!
Roseanna Doughty, Publicity Editor
Hi, I am an immigration historian specialising in the Irish in Britain and media history. I am currently a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh researching media representations of the Irish during the IRA bombing campaign, 1969-1997. I completed both my Bachelors and Masters degrees, in History and Modern History respectively, at the University of York. Originally from Saddleworth, a small collection of villages in the Pennines North-East of Manchester, I am learned in the art of brass banding. When I finally escape the study room I have a part time job doing SEO work for our family business, play in the university brass band and attempt to find time for that allusive pastime reading fiction.
Laura Harrison, Publicity Editor
I am a third year PhD student primarily interested in cultural memory and the commemoration of the medieval past. I am a native of Peterborough, Canada, where I learned to compulsively apologise and value maple syrup above all else. After completing my BA (Hons) and BEd at Brock University, I came to the University of Edinburgh for my MSc. I stayed at Edinburgh for my PhD, where I am researching 19th and 20th century commemorations of the Scottish Wars of Independence. Outside of my research, I am a co-founder of the Scottish History Network, one of the organisers for the ‘War Through Other Stuff’ conference, and attempting to keep some semblance of work/life balance. Find me on twitter.
Maurice Casey, Publicity Editor
I am a first year DPhil historian at Oxford University. I am originally from the small town of Cahir in Tipperary, Ireland. My research explores the international connections of interwar Irish radicalism. Essentially, I am interested in the non-political history of politics and exploring the everyday experience of radical activists. When I am not reading the (frequently awful) poetry of far left activists from the 1930s or attempting to learn Russian, I enjoy hill-walking, video games and photoshopping myself into historical scenarios.
Richard Parfitt, Topical Editor
I am a third year DPhil historian at Linacre College, Oxford. My thesis looks at the relationship between musical culture and Irish Nationalist Politics between 1848 and 1998, and I spend my weekends pretending to work while watching football, cricket, rugby and F1. I also waste a lot of time on twitter. You can read more about my academic work on my academia profile.
Drew Thomas, Technology Editor
Drew Thomas is a PhD student at the University of St Andrews. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Philosophy from Saint Louis University and a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University. His PhD is a study of the rise of the Wittenberg print industry during Martin Luther’s Reformation. He is currently the Communications Manager for the Universal Short Title Catalogue and the Digital Developer for the Caroline Minuscule Mapping Project. You can follow him on Twitter at @DrewBThomas or on Academia.edu.