Bios of Current Hagley Fellows

Rachael BeyerRachael Beyer is pursuing a Ph.D. in history with a certificate in museum studies. Rachael has an M.A. in history from Iowa State University where she wrote a comparative thesis on two utopian communities of the American arts and crafts movement. In her thesis, she examined how these communities used the written word to communicate the fundamental concepts of the movement to consumer society. Rachael is interested in exploring art history, architecture, the decorative arts, and print culture as cultural transmitters and in understanding how they informed, changed, and supported society during late-19th century industrialization. When she has free time, Rachael enjoys being a local tourist with her husband, playing with her two ferrets, exploring foodways, sketching at botanical gardens and art museums, and losing track of time on her piano.



bozanicAndy Bozanic received his B.S. in History, Technology and Society with a minor in Music from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2003 and his M.A. from the University of Delaware in 2005. He is currently at work on his dissertation, "The Acoustic Guitar in American Culture, 1880-1970," which examines the interplay between makers and users in the social construction of the acoustic guitar, an object that became the instrument of choice for the American masses in the 20th century. Andy is the winner of the 2008-2009 John Munroe Memorial Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching, and he will take up residence as a Smithsonian Predoctoral Fellow, for the 2009-2010 year at the National Museum of American History, Washington D.C. Among his other research interests are music recording technology, and historic preservation in the American Southwest. Andy's previous projects include studies in the sociology of music technology, the history of the recording industry in Atlanta, and the consumer culture of coal company stores. He also has a background in archaeology and has taken part in excavations in Italy as well as research projects for the National Park Service. After being awarded an E. Lyman Stewart internship with the Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation, Andy is currently contributing to a forthcoming institutional history of the Delaware State Parks. Outside of grad school he is an avid musician (voice, saxophone, guitar, bassoon, piano), tennis player, and softball coach.


Amanda CasperAmanda Casper is currently exploring why and how people change their homes through repair, renovation, and remodeling for her dissertation. She comes to UD with a B.A. in History from Florida State University, a M.S. in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania, and has also received a M.A. in History from the University of Delaware. Her degrees allow her to combine archival evidence with extant material in exciting ways. Her research interests include American social and cultural history of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, urban development, vernacular landscapes, building technology and material culture.  When she’s not rummaging around basements, attics, or archives, Amanda works as a historian for the National Park Service in the National Historic Landmarks Program through the Student Temporary Employment Program.



chenierChristopher Chenier comes to Hagley with a background in both history and photography. Having spent three years in New York as a commercial photographic retoucher, he is now pursuing a PhD in History. In 2006 he received a BA in History and Art from Bard College. Christopher's research interests are rooted in the history of technology and fall somewhere between the social and cultural realms. He is particularly interested in looking at user experiences with technology and he hopes to find ways of infusing these stories into our current technological discourse. In addition to this work, Christopher continues to use photography as a means of discovery and exploration into the relationship of technology to landscape, history and culture. Christopher is pursuing the Certificate in Museum Studies.

Lucas ClawsonLucas R. Clawson is working toward a Ph.D. in the Hagley Program.  His research focuses on the meaning of brass bands and popular music in pre-Civil War America.  He earned both a B.S. and M.A. in Appalachian State University’s Public and Applied History Program.  Lucas spends his copious spare time doing public interpretive programs with the National Park Service and Maryland State Parks as well as cycling throughout the beautiful Brandywine Valley.





dayAnastasia Day is currently in the Masters track program, and pursuing a certificate in Museum Studies. She received her B.A. in Philosophy, with minors in English and Latin from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, in 2012. While an undergrad, she participated in a semester-long program working and doing research at the Newberry Library in Chicago. Her life-long commitment to and interest in the environmental movement collided with her academic interests in an American Environmental History course while and undergraduate, which led her to the Hagley Program. She hopes to explore ideas of consumerism, popular environmental and intellectual thought in America, and possibly where those intersect with women's history. She enjoys tea, knitting, cooking with local and organic foods, detective fiction and backpacking in her spare time, and one day hopes to do all those things while teaching at an undergraduate liberal arts institution.


fangJennifer Fang earned her B.A. in History from Reed College and M.A. from the University of Delaware. Her research interests include constructions of ethnic identity and citizenship in twentieth-century America, and American and global consumer culture. She is currently working on her dissertation entitled, “Beyond Chinatown: Negotiating Chinese American Identity in Mainstream America, 1943-1982,” which examines the emergence of a middle-class, non-Chinatown-based Chinese American identity during the Cold War era. Her previous research projects have examined topics such as: tourism, identity, and the commodification of race in the American Southwest, public festivals and tourism in mid-twentieth-century Chinatowns, and the construction of hybridized Asian American identities after World War II. While at the University of Delaware, Jennifer has also held internships at the Hagley Museum and Library and the Oregon Historical Society. In 2009, Jennifer was a recipient of a Graduate Research Fellowship in Material Culture Studies by the Center for Material Culture Studies at the University of Delaware. She was recently awarded a 2010-2011 doctoral fellowship by the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange. Based in Taiwan with offices in North America and Europe, the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation awards grants and fellowships to scholars around the world who are conducting research related to China.


Mike ForinoMichael L. Forino comes to Hagley to pursue a Ph.D. in history. He received a B.A. in history and a M.A. in public history from Central Connecticut State University. His M.A. thesis focused on the Connecticut silk industry’s transition from domestic sericulture to industrial production. While his primary interest continues to be the American silk industry, he is also focused on the development of industrial communities, changing manufacturing technologies, the rise of foreign trade, and the architecture, design and engineering of industrial places. Mike has work experiences in private consulting, museums, and archives. Most recently he worked for the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, where he served as the project manager for a state-wide industrial survey.



Ashley GiordanoAshley Giordano is a Master’s student in the Hagley Program and is also pursuing a certificate in museum studies. She received her B. A. in History with a minor in Vocal Performance from Saginaw Valley State University in 2014. While attending SVSU Ashely completed her Honors Thesis, “Besides the Lorax, Who Else Speaks for the Trees?: Children’s Films and the Environmental Politics of Suburbanization”, detailing the environmental messages seen in five recent children’s films. Giordano presented her thesis in 2013 at the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association Conference in Washington D.C. on an undergraduate panel. Ashley is interested in popular culture and environmental history as well as the evolution of propaganda and advertising. A native of Alpena, MI, Giordano is a former Division II student-athlete as a starter on the Women’s Tennis team.



hallGregory Hargreaves earned his B.A. in History and Interdisciplinary Social Science from James Madison University in 2012. His undergraduate honors thesis dealt with the relationship between geography, politics, and economic development as expressed in the construction and operation of Virginia's James River & Kanawha Canal. He is currently working toward a PhD in American History and the History of Industrialization. His research interests include Early America and the Atlantic World, built environment, history of technology, and historical geography. His current research project involves an exploration of how natural watersheds, specifically that of the Chesapeake Bay, became units of economic production through an industrialization of the landscape, with particular attention paid to processes of damming, canalization, and mill construction. Greg enjoys hiking, cycling, photography, gardening, and spending time with his wife and son. For more information, please see his ePortfolio at:



Della KeyserDella Keyser is a master’s student in the Hagley Program and is also pursuing a certificate in museum studies. She received her B.A. in history from Wesleyan University in 2011. Between 2011 and 2013, she was on the staff of the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia, a center dedicated to the history of the chemical and molecular sciences. There she facilitated the collection of oral histories/biographies of prominent figures in the chemical industry and served as a research assistant on a biography of Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Intel Corporation. Her research interests include the history of the body since the late nineteenth century, US business history, and historical memory. A graduate assistant in the Museum Studies Program, she is the current editor of MuseWeekly and Museum Studies in Motion.



jensenJennifer Jensen received her B.A. in History and in English Literature from the University of Idaho in 2008 and an M.A. in History from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey in 2010. Jennifer's Masters thesis explored the relationship between child laborers as consumers through their purchase of vice during the Progressive Era. Currently, Jennifer is working toward a Ph.D in 20th century history as well as the Museum Studies Certificate. She intends to focus her research interests on changing kitchen technologies in postwar America and how those transformations influenced notions of gender, community, and identity. In addition, Jennifer is interested in the history of food and how new kitchen technologies altered traditional methods of food production and consumption in the late 20th century. When she is not at school, Jennifer spends her time cooking, exploring the area, and playing with her cat.



Ai HisanoAi Hisano is a Ph.D. student in 20th-century U.S. history, with particular focus on food history. Before joining the Hagley program in 2009, she received her B.A. (2004) and M.A. (2006) in American Studies at the University of Tokyo, Japan. Her research explores into the relations between food marketing and the development of “taste” in the U.S. by specifically exploring the political and cultural role of advertising, technological artifacts, and color. In her previous project, Ai examined gender politics in food marketing by focusing on Betty Crocker. Her articles on Betty Crocker were published in several academic journals. She has also conducted research on the alcohol industry. In 2010, as a summer intern at the Hagley Museum and Library, she examined Joseph E. Seagram papers and Ernest Dichter papers, Hagley’s two major collections related to the alcohol and food industries. Two articles in preparation based on the internship – one focused on the wine industry and the other broadly tracing the significance of food marketing research in the current food history scholarship – explore the making, embodiment, and negotiation of taste.


Hillary NebenHillary Neben comes to the Hagley PhD program with a M.A in the History of Women and Gender from New York University and an interdisciplinary B.A. from the University of Minnesota entitled Interpreting Gender in American Culture. Her master’s thesis, “How to be Charming: The Concept of Charm, Consumerism, and Gender in America,” focused on the early twentieth-century concept of charm in relation to ideologies of the marketplace, cultures of consumption and constructions of gender. Her current research interests are in the influences of technology, consumerism and advertising on gender, sexuality, and the body in nineteenth and twentieth-century America. She is also pursuing a certificate in Museum Studies and is interested in investigating memory and its relationship to knowledge, history, material culture, and historic preservation. In her free time, Hillary enjoys running, exploring the local area, searching for old books, cooking, quilting, and playing 78s on her 1916 Victor Victrola IX.


PospishilMichael Pospishil received his B.A. in History from Washington University in St. Louis in 2003. He spent several years at work including a year spent in transit between North America's largest factories and distribution centers as a tractor trailer driver for Schneider National Inc. – the largest private trucking company in the world. He returned to school and was awarded an M.A. in History from SUNY Albany in 2010. His thesis analyzed the interplay between technical needs and social expectations in the evolution of New York's steamboats, 1807-1840. Michael enters the Hagley program with a special interest in the proliferation of steam power in the 19th Century, the concomitmant materials shift from wood to coal and iron, and the relationship between technological development and environmental change. He spends his summers hosting natural history tours in Denali National Park in Alaska.

pruettGretchen Pruett earned her B.A. in Philosophy and Anthropology, with a minor in Ancient Greek Language and Literature in 2010 from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  She also earned her M.A. in Education from the University of Michigan in the following spring. After graduating, Gretchen volunteered with Superior AmeriCorps in Calumet, Michigan for a year, teaching and mentoring socio-economically disadvantaged youth.  Gretchen enters the Hagley program as a Master’s student and also pursues the Museum Studies Certificate. She is interested in studying labor history, consumerism, and the social and cultural changes that developed in the course of industrialization.  A native of Flint, Michigan, Gretchen is particularly interested in examining the effects of deindustrialization on both the individual and the landscape.

Benjamin TomakBenjanim Tomak comes to the Hagley Program with an M.A. in Eighteenth-Century Studies from the University of Liverpool. He earned his B.A. in History from Indiana State University in 2012. Benjamin’s research interests include the early modern Atlantic world, the history of medicine, settler colonialism (particularly in the Caribbean), labor and the plantation economy, and early industrialization.




Jamin Wells received both his B.A. and M.A. in History from the University of Rhode Island. His masters research project, “Professionalization and Cultural Perceptions of Marine Salvors, 1850-1950,” sought to combine his interests in maritime history and underwater archaeology. He has also worked on numerous archaeological projects in Lake Huron, Long Island Sound, and Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island. Since joining the Hagley Program in 2007, Jamin researched and wrote "Building the Lydonia II," a digital exhibit for the Hagley Museum and Library. His current research interests include modern America’s relationship to the sea; particularly the relationship between the environment, culture, and shipwrecks. Jamin is a recipient of a 2009-2010 University Competitive Fellowship.


Ben WolletBen Wollet earned his B.A. in History and German from Ohio Northern University in 2009 and his M.A. in History from Ohio University in 2012. He also received a fellowship and earned a certificate from the Contemporary History Institute at OU. Ben’s Masters thesis examined the ways in which environmental and economic policies reshaped the place of U.S. railroads in urban and rural landscapes in the 1960s and 1970s. As he pursues a Ph.D., Ben plans to delve deeper into the interconnection among modes of transportation, land-use patterns, deindustrialization, and suburbanization in the 20th century. Narratives of landscape, place, and economy capture Ben’s attention. When he pauses from reading and writing, Ben enjoys wandering by foot and car, photographing the built environment, and laughing to classic Simpsons episodes.