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The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington offers fellowships to support the growing community of scholars whose research focuses on the life and leadership of George Washington and his place in the development of American civic life and culture. Both long and short-term fellowships are available for trained scholars of all professional levels.

Learn More about the Mount Vernon Fellowship Program

Jessica Anthony

Jessica Anthony

Washington In Extremis: A Novel

Anthony is lecturer in English and Director of Creative Writing at Bates College. She received her MFA from George Mason University, and is the author of The Convalescent (McSweeney’s/Grove) and Chopsticks (Penguin/Razorbill). Her latest novel, Enter the Aardvark, will be published in March 2020 by Little, Brown & Co. Anthony has recently received fellowships from the Creative Capital Foundation for Innovative Literature, the Bogliasco Foundation in Bogliasco, Italy, and the Maine Arts Commission.

Annette Atkins, Ph.D.

Annette Atkins, Ph.D.

Walking Across Mount Vernon: Slippers, Boots, and Barefeet, 1760 - 1820

Atkins is professor emerita of History at Saint John's University and the College of Saint Benedict (Minnesota).  She is the author of four books and currently at work on a larger work on what shoes -- from yucca-fibre sandals in the southwest in 1000 AD to Air Jordans now -- teach us about American history.  

Kristen E. Beales, Ph.D.

Kristen E. Beales, Ph.D.

Spirited Exchanges: The Religion of the Marketplace in Early America

Beales received her Ph.D. in American History from William & Mary in 2019 and is currently a visiting assistant professor of History at Case Western Reserve University. Her current book manuscript, Spirited Exchanges: The Religion of the Marketplace in Early America, examines the relationship between religion and capitalism between 1720 and 1815. Her research is supported by over twenty grants and fellowships from institutions including the American Antiquarian Society, American Philosophical Society, Clements Library, Huntington Library, Library Company of Philadelphia, Massachusetts Historical Society, and the Program in Early American Economy and Society.

Keith Buetler, Ph.D.

Keith Buetler, Ph.D.

Mount Vernon as a Memory Palace, 1799-Today

Beutler is professor of History at Missouri Baptist University. He received his Ph.D. at Washington University in St. Louis in 2005, and is the author of a book manuscript under contract with University of Virginia Press, George Washington's Hair: How Early Americans Remembered the Founders. Beutler's research into memory of the American Revolution and Founding has been published as a chapter in a University of Massachusetts Press anthology, cited in the New York Times, and supported by numerous research fellowships, including from the International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello, the Virginia Historical Society, the Gilder Lehrman Institute, the David Library of the American Revolution, and the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.  

Scott E. Casper, Ph.D.

Scott E. Casper, Ph.D.

Documenting Mount Vernon's Enslaved Community, 1802-1861

Casper is Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and professor of History at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). He is the author of Sarah Johnson’s Mount Vernon: The Forgotten History of an American Shrine (2008) and Constructing American Lives: Biography and Culture in Nineteenth-Century America (1999), and the author or editor of seven other books. He has participated in Mount Vernon’s institutes and workshops for K-12 teachers since 2000, and has also worked extensively with the Center for Civic Education (We The People: The Citizen and the Constitution) and the Northern Nevada Teaching American History Project. 

Cynthia E. Chin, Ph.D.

Cynthia E. Chin, Ph.D.

Embodied and Envoiced: The Global and Local Nexus of Martha Washington's Silk Gown

Chin is a material culture historian working on the embodied global ecosystems of objects in British North America. Her current project expands upon her doctoral dissertation (Georgetown University) through identifying and envoicing the enslaved seamstresses who lived and labored on the Washingtons' estate. Her project also includes replicating a extant silk gown owned by Martha Washington as a form of academic practice to move closer to understanding the intersectional histories of its makers and wearers. She received her B.A. in art history from Colgate University and an M.A. from the Johns Hopkins University.

Frank Cogliano, Ph.D.

Frank Cogliano, Ph.D.

The Relationship between George Washington and Thomas Jefferson

Cogliano is professor of American History at the University of Edinburgh, where he also serves as the University's Dean International for North America. He is the author of five books including, most recently, Emperor of Liberty: Thomas Jefferson’s Foreign Policy (Yale, 2014) and Revolutionary America: A Political History, 1763-1815, 3rd ed. (Routledge, 2017). He is the editor of three books including The Atlantic Enlightenment (Ashgate, 2008, with Susan Manning) and The Blackwell Companion to Jefferson (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012). He is currently writing a book on the relationship between George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

Charles Stuart Clark

Charles Stuart Clark

First Son: The Life and Legacy of George Washington Parke Custis

Clark, a veteran journalist, is exploring the life of George Washington Parke Custis, an under-sung “child of Mount Vernon.” A native of Arlington, Va., he continues to write the weekly “Our Man in Arlington” column for the Falls Church News-Press. He has written two books, Arlington County Chronicles and Hidden History of Arlington County, both published by The History Press. In July 2019, he retired as senior correspondent for Government Executive Media Group, part of Atlantic Media. He previously has worked as an editor or writer for The Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly, National Journal, Time-Life Books, Tax Analysts and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. He lives in Arlington with his wife, Ellen.

Lukas Etter, Ph.D.

Lukas Etter, Ph.D.

Benjamin Banneker, Frances ‘Fanny’ Bassett Washington,
and Early Republic Arithmetic

Etter is a postdoctoral researcher in the American Literature section of the Seminar für Anglistik, University of Siegen (Germany). Etter's book, Distinctive Styles and Authorship in Alternative Comics (De Gruyter) is the result of his doctoral dissertation, whereas his current research focuses on the social and aesthetic dimensions of word problems in American schools mathematics before 1861.

David K. Hildebrand, Ph.D.

David K. Hildebrand, Ph.D.

The Colonial Music Institute Moves to Mount Vernon: New Access and Purpose for Cultural Historical Records and Applications

Hildebrand is a returning research fellow whose work integrates music more fully into the Library's offerings and ongoing programming. For more than twenty years, he served as Director of the Colonial Music Institute, and at Mount Vernon, he will set up new archives of Washington-related music performance guidelines and concert programs. Hildebrand has long specialized in early American music, producing six full-length recordings, including George Washington: Music for the first President (1999). He earned his Masters from George Washington University, his doctorate from Catholic University, and he is the author of Musical Maryland (Johns Hopkins University, 2017). He teaches American music history at the Peabody Conservatory and has appeared on C-Span Television, the BBC radio, NPR, History Detectives, and the documentary film Anthem: The Story of `The Star-Spangled Banner.'

Vitor Izecksohn, Ph.D.

Vitor Izecksohn, Ph.D.

Race and Militias in Colonial Rio de Janeiro and the Provinces of Massachusetts and Virginia, 1750-1775

Izecksohn is associate professor in the Graduate Program of Social History at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). His earned his Ph.D. in History from the University of New Hampshire and has earned fellowships from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the John Carter Brown Library, and the Max Planck Institute of European Legal History. He is the author of, Slavery and War in the Americas: Race, Citizenship, and State Building in the United States and Brazil, 1861-1870 (University of Virginia Press, 2014), and his current research, “Race, and Militias in Colonial Rio de Janeiro and Massachusetts," analyzes how wartime recruitment refracted political dynamics at local, regional and Imperial levels.

Recipient of the Society of Colonial Wars Fellowship.

Cynthia A. Kierner, Ph.D.

Cynthia A. Kierner, Ph.D.

The Tory’s Wife: Jane Spurgin and her Family in Revolutionary America

Kierner is a professor of history at George Mason University. She is the author of Martha Jefferson Randolph, Daughter of Monticello: Her Life and Times (a finalist for the 2013 George Washington Book Prize) and Scandal at Bizarre: Rumor and Reputation in Jefferson’s America, along with other books and articles on early American and women’s history. Her most recent book is Inventing Disaster: The Culture of Calamity from the Jamestown Colony to the Johnstown Flood. Kierner is an OAH Distinguished Lecturer and past president of the Southern Association for Women Historians (SAWH). Her research has received support from the American Historical Association, the Virginia Historical Society, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the American Antiquarian Society, the International Center for Jefferson Studies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Recipient of the Amelie W. Cagle Fellowship.

Jean B. Lee, Ph.D.

Jean B. Lee, Ph.D.

Mount Vernon and the Nation: From the Revolution to the Civil War

Lee is professor emerita of History at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a specialist in the American Revolution.  Her doctorate is from the University of Virginia.  She is writing a history of the multifaceted relationships between the nation born of revolution and Mount Vernon and its people, from George Washington’s earliest associations with the estate until the Civil War.  Among her publications are Experiencing Mount Vernon: Eyewitness Accounts, 1784-1865 and The Price of Nationhood: The American Revolution in Charles County [Maryland].  Published essays include “Historical Memory, Sectional Strife, and the American Mecca: Mount Vernon, 1783-1853,” which was awarded the prize for best article published in the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography in 2001. 

Turk McCleskey, Ph.D.

Turk McCleskey, Ph.D.

Debt Litigation and Intercolonial Rivalry at Fort Pitt, 1773-1775

McCleskey is a member of the Virginia Military Institute’s Department of History.  He is engaged in a quantitative social analysis of debt litigation in pre-Revolutionary Virginia, to include lawsuits in competing county courts commissioned by Virginia and Pennsylvania for the vicinity of Fort Pitt.  His 2014 book, The Road to Black Ned's Forge: A Story of Race, Sex, and Trade on the Colonial Frontier, won the Virginia Historical Society's Richard Slatten Award for excellence in Virginia biography and was one of three finalists for the Library of Virginia's Literary Award in Nonfiction.

Lisa McGunigal, Ph.D.

Lisa McGunigal, Ph.D.

Mount Vernon Ladies' Association: Restoring and Changing the 19th Century Patriotic Landscape

McGunigal is a visiting assistant professor in the Department of English at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. Her first book project examines the intersection of performance studies and nineteenth-century American literary realism, focusing on how authors adopted and adapted strategies from performance sites in their novels to interrogate societal attitudes about race, class, and gender. Her work at Mount Vernon will compare the formation of the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association with the female-hosted salon scene prominent in Washington, D.C. In 2019-2020, her work was supported by fellowships from the Center for Mark Twain Studies and the University of Southern California Special Collections Library. McGunigal received her B.A. from the University of Rhode Island, M.A. from the University of Virginia, and Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University. 

Timothy Andrew Murray, Ph.D.

Timothy Andrew Murray, Ph.D.

The Comparative Historical Archaeology of Plantations in Virginia and the Great Estates of eastern Australia 1788 -1840

Murray is Charles La Trobe Professor of Archaeology at La Trobe University (Australia), as well as a fellow of the Academy of Humanities in Australia and the Society of Antiquaries of London. He holds a PhD. from the University of Sydney and a Doctor of Letters from La Trobe University. His research and publications focus on the history and philosophy of archaeology, archaeology of the modern world and heritage archaeology. The author of over 30 books, his most recent include The Commonwealth Block, Melbourne: A Historical Archaeology (2019) and Exploring the Archaeology of Immigration and the Modern City in Nineteenth century Australia (2019). 

Charles P. Neimeyer, Ph.D.

Charles P. Neimeyer, Ph.D.

Lieutenant General George Washington: The Politics of Command, 1775 - 1781

Neimeyer recently retired as the director of the Marine Corps History Division and Gray Research Center at Marine Corps University at Quantico, VA. He served as a Marine Corps officer, and while on active duty, earned a doctorate degree (with honors) from Georgetown University and began a second career in professional military education. He was an award winning- professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College where he also served as the Dean of Academics. His most recent publication, War in the Chesapeake: The British Campaigns to Control the Bay, 1813-1814, (US Naval Institute, 2015), won the Simmons-Shaw Award for best history by a federal historian in 2016.  

Tyson F. Reeder, Ph.D.

Tyson F. Reeder, Ph.D.

Foreign Intrigues: James Madison, Party Politics, and Foreign Meddling in Early America

Reeder is an editor with the Papers of James Madison and affiliated assistant professor at the University of Virginia’s Corcoran Department of History. He is an expert in early American foreign relations. In 2019, he published Smugglers, Pirates, and Patriots: Free Trade in the Age of Revolution (University of Pennsylvania Press) based on research in Portuguese, Spanish, French, and English. He is the editor of the forthcoming Routledge History of U.S. Foreign Relations. He has published in the Washington Post and major historical journals including the Journal of American History, Journal of the Early Republic, Oxford Research Encyclopedia, and other venues. 

Monica Rico, Ph.D.

Monica Rico, Ph.D.

George Washington’s Greenhouse: Horticultural Knowledge in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World

Rico is an associate professor of History at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, where she also teaches in the environmental studies program. She is the author of Nature’s Noblemen: Transatlantic Masculinities and the Nineteenth-Century American West (Yale, 2013). She was selected as one of the inaugural fellows of the Bright Institute at Knox College for historians of early America. She is currently working on two projects: the first is a study of the greenhouse in the eighteenth-century Anglo-American world and the second is a family biography of Charles Willson Peale and his children. She received her Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Berkeley.

Recipient of the Dr. William M. and Betty H. Busey Family Fellowship.

Andrew W. Robertson, Ph.D.

Andrew W. Robertson, Ph.D.

Democracy in the Early Republic: America’s Other ‘Peculiar Institution'

Robertson teaches at the Graduate Center and at Lehman College, City University of New York, and is currently finishing a book entitled Democracy in the Early Republic: America’s Other ‘Peculiar Institution.’  In 2017-18 he was Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at the Kinder Center on Constitutional Democracy at the University of Missouri.  With Eduardo Posada-Carbó of Oxford University, Robertson is co-editor of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Revolutionary Elections in the Americas, 1800-1910 (Oxford University Press); he is also co-editor, with Jeffrey L. Pasley and David Waldstreicher, of Beyond the Founders: New Approaches to the Political History of the Early American Republic (University of North Carolina Press, 2004).   He is the author of The Language of Democracy: Political Rhetoric in the Early American Republic, 1790-1900 (University of Virginia Press, 2005). 

Seynabou Thiam-Pereira

Seynabou Thiam-Pereira

A Comparative study of the free black loyalists in the Maritime Provinces (1783-1812)

Thiam-Pereira is a Ph.D. candidate in American civilization at the University of Paris VIII (Vincennes Saint-Denis). She holds a B.A from Sorbonne University and a M.A from the University of Paris VIII. Her dissertation focuses on the black Americans (mostly fugitive slaves) who fought for the British army during the American War of Independence. She examines their contribution to the racial and social loyalists’ mosaic in three Canadian provinces following their migration in 1783. The living conditions of the migrants and the hopes they founded on this "promised land" are the main topics of her study. Her doctoral work involves archival research on slavery, American patriots, black identity and loyalism.  

Hannah Knox Tucker

Hannah Knox Tucker

George Washington’s Maritime Marketplace: Networks, Credit, and Intelligence in the Maritime Chesapeake, 1720-1776

Tucker is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Virginia studying early American history. Her work explores the development of markets, culture, and middling identity in colonial British America through the lives of ship captains. Supported by more than ten grants and fellowships, Tucker's project follows captains from the decks of their ships into plantations, taverns, coffee houses, and courts to trace the changing nature of trade in early America. She is a graduate of the College of William & Mary and an Alabama native. 

Recipient of the James C. Rees Entrepreneurship Fellowship.

Maurizio Valsania, Ph.D.

Maurizio Valsania, Ph.D.

George Washington: Portrait of the First American Male

Valsania is professor of American History at the University of Turin, Italy. Author of The Limits of Optimism: Thomas Jefferson's Dualistic Enlightenment (UVA Press, 2011), Nature's Man: Thomas Jefferson's Philosophical Anthropology (UVA Press, 2013), and Jefferson’s Body: A Corporeal Biography (UVA Press, 2017), he is the recipient of several fellowships from leading academic institutions, including the American Antiquarian Society, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the Library Company, the John D. Rockefeller Library, the DAAD (Germany), and the International Center for Jefferson Studies. He has written for the OUP Blog (Oxford University Press’s Academic Insights for the Thinking World) and collaborated with the BBC World Service.

Recipient of the James C. Rees Fellowship on the Leadership of George Washington. 

Rachel Walker, Ph.D.

Rachel Walker, Ph.D.

Founding Faces: Power, Politics, and Popular Science in Early America

Walker is an assistant professor at the University of Hartford. She is currently working on her first book project, which examines connections between beauty, politics, and popular science in the early American Republic. Her scholarship has been supported by numerous archives and institutions, including the Smithsonian Museum’s National Portrait Gallery, the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, and the American Antiquarian Society. 

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