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Aaron Peterka

PhD in History

Aaron Peterka graduated from Wichita State University in Wichita, KS, with a Bachelor’s of Arts in History, followed by a Master’s of Arts in 2016. He is currently developing a dissertation prospectus that centers upon a transnational comparison of racial tensions within American and French military units, which builds, in part, upon previous work he has done on African-American troops in World War I and specialized counter-insurgency forces in Vietnam. Additionally, he has incorporated digital tools and methods into his research by using R programming code to analyze the US involvement in Thailand during the Vietnam War through the National Archives’ Southeast Asian Database. He has served as a research assistant for Dr. Laura Frader and Dr. Heather Streets-Salter and is presently engaged in research on the United States’ world-wide military installations for Dr. Gretchen Heefner, focusing in particular upon their environmental impacts and their applicability to humanitarian efforts, including pandemic response.  As a member of Dr. Victoria Cain’s digital archive collection team for the international collaborative online archive COVID-19: Journal of the Plague Year, Peterka focuses upon the real-time collection/preservation of items that reflect the experiences of the American Midwest, special-needs communities, and the US Armed Forces during the current global pandemic.

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Cohort: 2018

Research Interests: Europe and Empire, US and the World, Cold War, US and European military history

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