PhD in History
Claire is a history PhD student at Northeastern University studying cultural history in the Atlantic World, the urban history of the Northeastern United States (particularly in New England), the history of the American education system, and public history methodologies (particularly in museums). After teaching for nearly a decade in Boston schools, she is especially interested in the history of teaching history – the curricula, the textbooks, and the pedagogy. Her goal is to produce public facing work that can inform educators who work both in K-12 systems and in higher ed. institutions. Claire’s experience working in a program for Boston Public School teachers called Thinking Through Art at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum has made her curious about the uses of imagery – from museums, from textbooks, and from digital media collections – in K-12 United States History curricula. Claire earned her BA in Anthropology and European History at a small liberal arts college called Franklin Pierce and graduated from Northeastern with MA degrees in World History and in Teaching before becoming an educator. Through Northeastern’s ‘Experiential PhD’ program, Claire has worked as a Doctoral Fellow in GBH Boston’s history education department (Summer 2020), and as a Doctoral Fellow in the Thinking Through Art program at the Gardner Museum (Fall 2020). She has also worked on the Journal of the Plague Year digital archive writing curriculum (Summer 2020), and recently published a review of “Land and Legacy” for Reviews in Digital Humanities (Vol 2, No. 5, May 2021). She is currently working as a Digital Integration Teaching Initiative Fellow and as a research assistant in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s education department.
Related Schools & Departments
Claire's participation in the public history courses with Professor Marty Blatt, showed her that academic work can be more public facing.
Claire obtained a digital humanities certificate from researching schools that are named after people and why and how that doesn’t connect to Boston public schools.
In the summer of 2020, Claire worked at WGBH Boston. She contributed to a project called PBS Learning Media: Assessing the Present, Envisioning the Future.
During the fall 2020 semester, Claire is working at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum as the Thinking Through Art Doctoral Research Fellow in their museums education department.
Claire has taught courses to students, exploring Boston history, public museums, and libraries. She's passionate about getting students to learn about Boston's history.
Claire hopes to have a job in museum education, public history, or cultural resources.
“Northeastern recognizes the value in connecting pragmatic, non-academic experiences with traditional university learning opportunities – not everyone wants to work on projects that have a purely academic audience of experts, and these ‘real world’ experiences allow graduate students to do work that may be more public-facing or wide-reaching.”
More Student Paths
- Savita is from Boston and is a graduate of the Boston Latin School.
- Originally a Cultural Anthropology major, Savita later became an English major with minors in Africana Studies and Writing Studies.
- Through the service-learning course, Boston in Literature, Savita volunteered with 826 Boston to tutor in English. She is now a service-learning teaching assistant.
- For her final project in Post-Colonial Women's Writers with Professor Aljoe, she researched Carnival and its cultural significance to Trinidad and Tobago.
- Inspired by Professor Aljoe, Savita joined the Early Caribbean Digital Archive, working on an exhibit about Caribbean Carnival and creating and gathering teaching materials.
- In 2020, she began a co-op with the Africana Studies program to learn more about the field of Black Studies.
- Savita wants to work to better her own community. In the future, she hopes to become a high school teacher or a college professor. ..
- Andrew grew up in Japan, and decided to pursue his undergraduate degree back in the U.S.
- Andrew applied to Northeastern as a Business major. As his high school career came to a close, he became more interested in Japanese politics, history, and social issues.
- When thinking about what truly engaged him, Andrew felt that Asian Studies and Political Science was a better fit and switched his major to Asian Studies.
- Andrew connected with Professor Daniel Aldrich after meeting him at a presentation of his book at the institute for social sciences at Tokyo University.
- From his first day of classes, Professor Aldrich encouraged and helped Andrew get involved in research projects.
- During his first semester, Professor Aldrich paired Andrew with Tim Fraser, a PhD candidate in Political Science with strong interests in disaster resilience in Japan.
- With Tim, Andrew collected biographical information on the committee members on all the reconstructional committees on municipal, prefectural, and national level. ..
- Emerson wanted a contextualized Political Science degree, and applied to Northeastern specifically for the PPE (Politics, Philosophy, and Economics) program.
- "Introduction to Economic Justice" with Professor Serena Parekh was one of Emerson's favorite courses, allowing her to study economic justice from a philosophical lens.
- Emerson was accepted by the Roosevelt Institute to do financialization research at Northeastern, examining economic priorities.
- Emerson also started a research thesis her freshman year to look at the link between modern dystopian literature and the the rise of female-led political movements.
- When Emerson found out about the HCL (History, Culture, and Law) major, she was immediately interested in adding the major to enhance her PPE studies.
- The Culture & Colonialism concentration allowed Emerson to double-credit and to develop the breadth of knowledge needed for someone who wants to work at the State Department.
- In January 2020, Emerson founded NU's Interdisciplinary Women's Collaborative (IWC) with the help of mentor and advisor Heather Hauck...
Charles T. Wallace-Thomas IV
- Charles chose to attend Northeastern because he was intrigued by the signature co-op program and wanted a curriculum that combined real-world experience without compromising thorough academic rigor.
- Initially an engineering student, Charles switched to a combined major in Economics and Mathematics to build upon his interest in economic and social justice work. He also has a minor in psychology.
- In his first year, Charles took Sustainable Renewable Energy Development in the Global South with Professor Shalanda Baker, which taught him to question systems as they exist, no matter how established.
- As part of the Ujima Global Leaders Program through the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute, Charles did community service, working on the Timebank team which helped him give back to Boston.
- For his first co-op, Charles split his time between the Center for Economic Democracy and the Boston Ujima Project, where he analyzed studies on community needs, like infrastructure and childcare.
- As Campaign Coordinator and Director of Northeastern’s Students Advancing Intersectional Dreams, Charles had spoken to people like Patrisse Cullors, Richie Reseda, Michelle Alexander, and Angela Davis.
- Over the summer of 2020, Charles was one of the co-creators of the #BlackAtNU campaign where he advocated for racial literacy courses and for a restorative and transformative justice center on campus...