British Images

Students in British Studies at Columbia

A directory of students in British Studies at Columbia, and their interests.

Anna Danziger Halperin

Anna Danziger Halperin studies twentieth century American and British social policy and its effects on women and children, with a particular interest in child care. She graduated from Barnard College in 2006 with a degree in History and Human Rights. Before returning to Columbia in 2010, Anna conducted research and coauthored several reports on U.S. child care policies and other related issues affecting low-wage working families during her employment with the Urban Institute and the Institute for Women's Policy Research.

Asheesh Kapur Siddique

Asheesh Kapur Siddique entered the Columbia graduate program in History in 2009 after receiving his AB from Princeton University (2007) and M.Phil from the University of Oxford (2009). His interests lie in the history of the book and the social history of political thought in the modern Atlantic World.

Ben Parker

Ben Parker is a Ph.D. student in the Department of English and Comparative literature since 2006, having received his BA from Columbia in 2005. His dissertation lacks a finalized title, but the subtitle will certainly be "Plot and the Cognitive Modalities of Victorian Fiction." Research interests include: Victorian financial crises, bourgeois political economy, and theories of historicism (particularly Marxist debates).

Deborah Aschkenes

A PhD student in the Department of English and Comparative Literature, Deborah Aschkenes specializes in the nineteenth-century British novel. Her dissertation project asks: how did British thinking about the formation of mental images shape description in the novel? Other research interests include classical rhetoric, natural history, and Victorian psychology and aesthetics.

Hegele Arden

Arden Hegele is a PhD candidate in the Department of English and Comparative Literature who specializes in British literature of the Romantic and Victorian periods. Her dissertation discusses how Romantic writing behaves as a medical science through formal experimentation with intended therapeutic effects. A portion of this work, on dropsical forms in Wordsworth's The Excursion, is forthcoming in The Wordsworth Circle. She has previously published on Byron, Montagu, Edgeworth, and Austen, and has presented at conferences on the Brontës, Barbauld, and L. M. Montgomery. Other research interests include women's education in the early nineteenth century; early colonial literatures; and nineteenth-century climatology and its attendant technologies (such as ballooning).

Alma Igra

Alma Igra is a doctoral candidate in the department of history, focusing on British history and its international aspects in the Mediterranean. Her main fields of interest are International and Global History, Environmental History, and history of food consumption. She is currently studying animal trade and meat consumption in the British Empire and Mandate system in beginning of the 20th century, and is particularly interested in the moral, religious, nationalist and humanitarian values projected onto various practices of food consumption and animal usage. Alma earned her BA in history and literature in Tel Aviv University, and her MA in Nationalism Studies at the Central European University.

Katie Gemmill

Katie Gemmill is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. She holds an MA in English from McGill and a BAH in English and Italian from Queen's University. She focuses on British prose of the long 18th century, which she values for its simultaneous elegance and eccentricity. She is particularly curious about the period's Anglo-French literary relations and intellectual exchange. She has published two articles on Jane Austen's novelistic practice, and her most recent work focuses on Frances Burney's archive of French journals.

Lucas Kwong

Lucas Kwong (B.A., Yale) is a PhD candidate in English specializing in religion and Victorian literature. He is currently writing his dissertation on the representation of religious practices in late Victorian gothic and fantasy fiction, focusing on the ways that such representations index shifting attitudes towards the emergent pluralism of the period. Portions of his chapter on Dracula were selected for presentation at both the 2012 MACBS and NAVSA conferences. His other interests include postcolonial theory and rethinking secularization.

Nicole Longpre

Nicole Longpre is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History. She received her MA and BAH from Queen's University, Canada in 2009 and 2008 respectively. Her current interests include twentieth century British political history, immigration, social policy, and Atlantic conceptions of conservatism.

Olivia Moy

Olivia Moy is a PhD candidate in English specializing in nineteenth century poetry. Her dissertation work explores confinement and claustrophobia in poems of the Romantic and Victorian eras. She completed her undergraduate degree at Princeton in 2006, where her work on W.H. Auden was awarded the Thomas H. Maren thesis prize.

Peter Walker

Peter Walker (B.A., University of Oxford, 2008; M.Phil., University of Oxford, 2010) studies modern British history, with interests in national identity, citizenship and religious toleration in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. His M.Phil. dissertation was entitled '"A Free and Protestant People"? The Campaign for the Repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts, 1786-1828'.

Rashmi Sahni

Rashmi Sahni is a Ph.D. student in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. She taught English Literature to undergraduates at the University of Delhi before joining Columbia University. Her dissertation work examines the significance of prayers, premonitions, curses and providential design in novels dealing with detection and punishment of crimes in eighteenth-century Britain. Other research interests include British cultural and intellectual history, eighteenth-century women's writing, Restoration drama, oriental tales, and genre and narrative theories.

Ryder Kessler

Ryder Kessler is a PhD candidate in the department of English and Comparative Literature, focusing on British and American novels from the mid-nineteenth through early twentieth centuries. He is particularly interested in how these novels thematically and formally explore the conflict between chance and choice in shaping individuals' life outcomes.

Sarah Minsloff

Sarah Minsloff came to Columbia from the University of Wisconsin to study British literature and theories of sexuality and gender. She is currently writing her dissertation on poetry quotation and the concept of the poetic in nineteenth-century English novels. Other interests include the Victorian marriage plot, detective fiction, and French and British Medieval romance.

Simon Sarah Jessica

Jessica Simon is a PhD student in the English and Comparative Literature department and Subcommittee on Theatre who completed her master’s degree at University of Chicago and her undergraduate education at New York University. Her interests include melodrama, the interrelation of theatre and the novel, and theories of emotion and physiology in the Victorian period. Her dissertation considers the relationship between sensation and affect in sensation drama and the sensation novel and its implications for theatrical and novelistic realism.

Simon Stevens

Simon Stevens came to Columbia from Cambridge University, and is now a third-year PhD student in International and Global History. His research interests focus on the policies toward South Africa in the apartheid period of governments, activist groups, corporations, and sporting bodies, primarily in Britain and the United States. He is the author of "'From the Viewpoint of a Southern Governor': The Carter Administration and Apartheid, 1977-1981," forthcoming in Diplomatic History.

Stephen Wertheim

Stephen Wertheim is a doctoral candidate in History. He specializes in international ideas and institutions and U.S. foreign relations since the nineteenth century. With the support of a Javits Fellowship, he is researching the transformation of "liberal internationalism" in Britain and America from the end of the nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth. Stephen received his BA from Harvard University (2007). Some of his writings may be found on his website.

Stephanie O'Rourke

Stephanie O'Rourke is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Art History and Archeology specializing in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century art. Her research interests include the sublime, Romanticism, theories of spectatorship, and scientific discourses of the body.