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Graduate Students

Students in American Studies can seek funding and fellowships to aid in their research while also benefiting from the facilities of a research university as well as the rich archival and institutional resources in the St. Louis region.

The Department of American Studies maintains relationships with the State Historical Society of Missouri, the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, the St. Louis Circuit Court Records Project, the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, the Sheldon Concert Hall and Art Galleries, the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, the Saint Louis Art Museum, and the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Current Graduate Students

Michael Brickey, Ph.D. Student

Michael Brickey studies urban history, race, ethnicity, and the varied cultures of space, place, and region across the United States. He wrote his master’s thesis on the relationship between urban planning efforts and the civil rights struggle in East St. Louis, Illinois. He has presented portions of this research at the Society for American City and Regional Planning History and the Urban Affairs Association conferences.

tori cannon
Tori Cannon, Ph.D. Student

Tori Cannon’s interests include leisure culture, recreation, and tourism, especially in the 20th-century American West.

emily colmo
Emily Colmo, Ph.D. Student

Emily Colmo’s interests include political, social, and cultural aspects of the 1960s as well as the factors that led to the rise of the modern American city.

manuela engsler
Manuela Engsler, Ph.D. Student

Manuela Engstler earned her undergraduate degree in Germany. Her studies explore the facets of German culture and presence inside American movements and time periods. Her master’s thesis focused on the creation of a unified German culture during times of internment. She currently studies the relationships between German student movements and the Black Power movement of the 1960s and 70s. Her other research interests include transnational studies, civil rights and Black Power, and modern European history.

robin hoover
Robin Hoover

Robin Hoover studies transnationalism, race, and class in the 19th and 20th centuries. His research interests include exploring U.S. Empire and its effects on American culture.

cicely hunter
Cicely Hunter

Cicely Hunter holds undergraduate degrees in history and political science. Her research interests include early 20th-century Black women’s history with an emphasis on memory and feminism.

Cara Lebonick
Cara Moore Lebonick, Ph.D. Student

Cara Lebonick holds undergraduate degrees in history and museum studies and a minor in religious studies. Her master’s thesis focused on historical music cities and how the community growth of St. Louis affected the development of blues music in the area. Her dissertation will focus on the effect of the New Deal on local community building in St. Lous. Lebonick currently works as an archives technician for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

Uğur Öztürk, Ph.D. Student

Uğur Öztürk is originally from Turkey. He studies American neoliberalism as a cultural structure that brings market rationality, competition, individualism, and fetishization of wealth into all spheres of life.

emily quarterone
Emily Quartarone, Ph.D. Student


cindy reed
Cindy Reed, Ph.D. Candidate

Cindy Reed studies 20th-century African American literature, representations of black girls and women in American literature and multi-media texts, and the culture of East St. Louis. She seeks to understand how race, gender, class, and urban environments converge in black literature. Reed is a 2016 winner of the Saint Louis University Rhelda Marbry Morgan Endowed Book Award and a 2018 fellowship recipient of the Mellon Foundation’s Divided City Initiative.

Georgii Svanidze, M.A. Student

Originally from Moscow, Russia, George Svanidze holds undergraduate degrees in international relations and American studies with a focus on the interplay of the U.S. and European defense and security policies within the transatlantic framework. His research interests include American cultural history, film industry, music, literature, women’s studies, and intellectual history. He focuses on the impact of core American values on civil movement formation in present-day United States.