Two history PhD candidates awarded King V. Hostick Scholarship
Congratulations to Rachel Boyle and Christopher Ramsey, doctoral candidates in History, who were recently awarded a King V. Hostick Scholarship in support of their dissertations. The Hostick Award provides financial assistance to graduate students writing dissertations on Illinois history.
For Rachel, the scholarship enabled her to travel to Springfield several times over the summer to conduct primary source research at the Illinois State Archives. "By poring through penitentiary convict registers and governors' correspondence, I traced the institutional trajectories of women convicted of violent crimes in Chicago," explains Rachel. "My goal is to understand what incarcerated women reveal about local, state, and national projects of law and order." Rachel's dissertation is titled She Shot Him Dead: Criminal Women and the Struggle over Social Order in Chicago, 1870–1920. She is especially grateful to Drs. Timothy Gilfoyle, Michelle Nickerson, and Elizabeth Fraterrigo for their feedback and support in the endeavor.
Christopher recently published an article in Illinois Heritage ("Chicago Lawn: Ghosts of the Past; Scary Times of the Present," May–June 2015, 28–32) on his dissertation research into how white ethnic residents on Chicago’s Southwest side pursued non-violent strategies of neighborhood “preservation” when they realized they could no longer resort to violent means to prevent racial turnover and economic disinvestment without attracting unwanted media attention and public scorn in the 1960s.
"This was a refreshing experience,” explains Chris. “I think it becomes very easy to lose sight of the forest for the trees while working on a dissertation. Writing for the magazine forced me to translate my research into a more popular format, and the process attuned me to some thematic elements that had been somewhat obscured by all the archival research I have done. It speaks to the value of sharing your work with different audiences.” Chris' dissertation is titled Forgetting How to Hate: The Evolution of White Ethnic Responses to Racial Integration in Chicago, 1945–1987. He also notes the valuable support provided by Drs. Timothy Gilfoyle, Elizabeth Fraterrigo and, Ted Karamanski in providing feedback on his work and in pointing out special opportunities like this publication opportunity and fellowship.