Who We Are
Krysten Blackstone, Chair
I am a third 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.
Sam Grinsell, Deputy Chair
I am a third 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 enjoy exploring the pubs, hills, architecture and coastline of Edinburgh.
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.
Ian MacNeil, Publicity Editor
Hi! I am a third year PhD student at The University of Glasgow. My research explores how sport and sporting settings might be used to support the resettlement and desistance of young people after they are released from prison. I completed my undergraduate degree in Community Education at The University of Edinburgh, and have a Masters of Social Research from University College London’s Institute of Education. At various times in my life, I have worked as a wine merchant, a youth worker, and spent several years living in China. I also once had a job sticking price stickers onto CDs. When not fretting about my thesis, I am kept busy by my young son, lifting heavy objects in the gym, and obsessing about various sports involving balls (#GoBills). You can find me on Twitter under @IanAlexanderMac
Sarah Thomson, Contributions Editor
I’m a first year PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, where I’m researching the efforts to shape Ronald Reagan’s legacy during his final years in the White House. My research is co-supervised by the University of Glasgow, where I completed my MLitt. I also work at the National Library of Scotland’s film archive, where I showcase the collection’s America-themed holdings at every available opportunity! Most of my free time is either spent on trains between Edinburgh and Glasgow, or drinking coffee while reciting trivia about American presidents to anyone who’ll listen.
Sophie Almond, Contributions Editor
I am a first year PhD student studying the history of the Medical Women’s Federation (MWF) from 1879 to 1945. I am based at the University of Leicester, where I also completed my BA and MA in English. I have a passion for the history of medicine, especially women doctors in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as well as the social and cultural histories of menstruation and the menopause. I enjoy completing Wolf Runs (very muddy obstacle courses), reading, and cooking in my spare time!
Louise Morgan, Contributions Editor
I am a first year PhD student at the University of Warwick, researching the historical precedence of orthorexia nervosa and concepts of clean eating through medicine and culture. I am particularly interested in the attribution of moral characteristics to food and diet. Originally from Perth, Scotland, I studied History at the University of Edinburgh and completed my Master’s in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology at Wolfson College, University of Oxford. Most recently I have been working as a student association coordinator based in Oban. Outside of research, I enjoy swimming, baking, and attempting to read for fun.
Tim Galsworthy, Topical Editor
I’m a first year History PhD student at the University of Sussex. I hold a History BA from the University of Bristol and an American History MPhil from the University of Cambridge. My research explores American Civil War memory and the Republican Party in the civil rights era. I can often be found meandering around museums, memorials, and historic sites. For my inane views on these topics – and eclectic ramblings about sport, politics, and my collection of Presidential campaign ephemera – follow me on Twitter (@timgalsworthy). Beware my passionate hand gestures! And yes, I do know I look a bit like Benedict Cumberbatch.