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The George Washington Presidential Library at Mount Vernon 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

Zara Anishanslin, Ph.D.

The Prince and the Pines: Art, Slavery, War, and Freedom in the American Revolutionary Era

Anishanslin specializes in Early American and Atlantic World History with a focus on eighteenth-century material culture. She received her Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization at the University of Delaware in 2009 where her dissertation won the prize for Best Dissertation in the Humanities. In 2011, it also won the University of Pennsylvania’s Zuckerman National Prize in American Studies. She is the author of Portrait of a Woman in Silk: Hidden Histories of the British Atlantic World (Yale, 2016). 

Krysten Blackstone

The Hardest Conflict: Morale and Identity in the Continental Army during the American Revolution, 1775-1783

Blackstone is a Ph.D. student in history at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland whose research examines the morale of the Continental Army during the American Revolution. Her research focuses on the revolutionary period and its soldiers by analyzing the burgeoning relationship between the army, national identity, and the effects it had on the wider community. Morale served a dual purpose - in motivating soldiers to fight it also contributed to creating and sustaining a national identity. Her work at Mount Vernon will investigate the emphasis that officers of the Continental Army placed on troop morale, in an effort to understand better the relationship of morale to victory and American identity.  

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

Kristen Brill, Ph.D.

"The Presence of a Lady”: The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association and Confederate Loyalty in the American Civil War

Brill is an assistant professor of history at Keele University, UK, where she teaches courses in nineteenth-century American history with an emphasis on gender, race, and nationalism. She earned her Ph.D. from Cambridge University. She is the editor of Lucy Wood Butler: Diary and Letters of a Civil War Bride (forthcoming 2017) and author of Women in the American Civil War: Lived Experiences in the Nineteenth Century (forthcoming 2018).

Iris de Rode

The Franco-American networks of François Jean de Chastellux (1734-1788)

Iris de Rode is a Dutch PhD-candidate in France, at the University of Paris VIII, under supervision of Prof. Bertrand Van Ruymbeke. Her dissertation focuses on the Franco-American networks of François Jean de Chastellux (1734-1788), a French philosopher and Major General of the French expeditionary forces during the American War of Independence. The aim of her research is to give insights in Franco-American circulations of ideas at the end of the 18th century. The main sources for Iris’ work are the (largely) unpublished correspondences of Chastellux, with Americans such as Washington, Jefferson, Knox, or Governour Morris and with Frenchmen like Voltaire, Raynal, Lafayette and Rochambeau. Iris also teaches American and Transatlantic history at the University of Paris VIII and at SciencesPo Reims.

Recipient of the Chastellux Research Fellowship funded by the Richard Lounsbery Foundation 

Steven Elliott

The New Jersey Highlands War: Soldiers, Civilians, and Environment in Northern New Jersey, 1777-1781

Elliott is a Ph.D. candidate in history at Temple University and park ranger at Morristown National Historical Park who studies the Continental Army’s experience in New Jersey during the War of Independence. His research explores how the relationships between the army, civilian population, and natural world shaped Washington’s strategy with a focus on the Continentals’ New Jersey winter encampments. 

Recipient of the James C. Rees Entrepreneurship Fellowship funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation

Rachel Engl

America’s First Band of Brothers: Friendship, Camaraderie, and Collusion within the Continental Army during the Revolutionary Era

Engl is a Ph.D. candidate at Lehigh University whose research explores the lived experience of men who fought in the Continental army during the Revolutionary War by uncovering the significance of personal connections they developed throughout the conflict and their ability to sustain these bonds into the years of the early republic. In reinterpreting the history of the army through the lens of emotions and relationships, her work reveals new insights about the constructs of manhood as well as the nature and legacy of the American Revolution.

Recipient of the Amanda and Greg Gregory Fellowship

Michael D. Hattem

Past and Prologue: History Culture and the American Revolution

Hattem is currently finishing his Ph.D. in History at Yale University. His work focuses on the role of the past and historical memories in shaping the political and cultural dynamics of the American Revolution. He is a Contributing Editor of The Junto: A Group Blog on Early American History and Producer of The JuntoCast, a monthly podcast about early American History.

Recipient of the M. Elaine Rand Fellowship

Lawrence B.A. Hatter, Ph.D.

Negotiating Independence: American Overseas Merchant Communities in the Age of Revolution

Hatter is an assistant professor of early American history at Washington State University. He is the author of Citizens of Convenience: The Imperial Origins of American Nationhood on the U.S.-Canadian Border (Charlottesville, 2017), which won the 2016 Walker Cowan Memorial Prize.

Stephanie Lawton

In Memory of the Best: The Classical Commemoration of American Presidents in the Nineteenth Century

Lawton is a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of Virginia and earned her B.A. in history at UCLA where she studied American and Roman history. She has interned for several public and digital history organizations including the Civil War Trust, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, and the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities. Her current dissertation investigates how participants in presidential funeral ceremonies used the historical memory of Ancient Greece and Rome to define the ideal American citizen, to legitimize and build a national community, and to predict its prosperity or destruction amid partisan disputes.  

Mark Edward Lender, Ph.D.

Cabal! The Challenge to General Washington Revisited

Lender holds a Ph.D. in American History from Rutgers University and is Professor Emeritus of History at Kean University, from which he retired as Vice President for Academic Affairs in 2011. He has written and taught widely on early American social, military, and institutional history with an emphasis on the War for Independence, and he is the author or co-author of ten books, including A Respectable Army: The Military Origins of the Republic, 1763-1789 (with James Kirby Martin), and Citizen Soldier: The Revolutionary War Diary of Joseph Bloomfield (also with Martin). Lender’s scholarship has won a number of awards including the Cincinnati History Prize, the Mark Keller Award, the Richard P. McCormick Prize, and the Richard J. Hughes Award.

Charlene Boyer Lewis, Ph.D.

The Traitor’s Wife: Peggy Arnold and Revolutionary America

Lewis is professor of History and director of American Studies at Kalamazoo College. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. She specializes in women’s history, Southern history, and American cultural and social history in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She is the author of Ladies and Gentlemen on Display: Planter Society at the Virginia Springs, 1790-1860 and, most recently, Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte: An American Aristocrat in the Early Republic. Her next project is an examination of Margaret Shippen Arnold, the wife of Benedict Arnold, and American culture in the Revolutionary Era.

Robert Paulett, Ph.D.

The Proclamation of 1763 and the Idea of a Beautiful America

Paulett is an Associate Professor of American History at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. A near-total product of Virginia public education, he received degrees from James Madison University and the College of William and Mary. His 2012 book, An Empire of Small Places, explored the intersection of British ideas of landscape and the spaces of the Anglo-Creek trade. At Mount Vernon, he will be researching British policy in the early 1760s as a product of an emerging mid-eighteenth-century “aesthetics of empire.” He also writes about maps, mystics, and madmen.

Recipient of the Society of Colonial Wars Fellowship

Alyssa Penick

The Fate of the Parish: Religion and Government in the Chesapeake, 1720-1820

Penick is a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of Michigan. Her dissertation marries religious, legal, and social history as she follows the Anglican parish in the Chesapeake and its fate after disestablishment. She highlights the colonial parish’s extensive civic power as well as the immense resources that parishes raised through taxation. Her work revises the narrative of religious disestablishment by focusing on the significant transfer of power and property from church to state.  

Samantha Seeley, Ph.D.

Race and Removal in the Early American Republic

Seeley is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Richmond where she teaches courses on race, slavery, and freedom in the Atlantic world, the American Revolution, and the early republic. Her current research examines the forced migration of African Americans and Native Americans beyond the bounds of the United States in the forty years after the American Revolution. She is the co-editor of “The Question of Recovery: Slavery, Freedom, and the Archive,” a special issue of Social Text (December 2015). Her work has been supported by fellowships from the Newberry Library; the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Freedom; the McNeil Center for Early American Studies; and the Huntington Library. She holds a B.A. in History from Brown University and a Ph.D. in History from New York University. 

Elisa Vargas, Ph.D.

George Washington: His First Years in Office and the Beginning of the Bilateral Relations with Spain as Reported by Diego María de Gardoqui, Spain’s First Diplomatic Envoy to the United States

Vargas holds a Ph.D. in Spanish-American History from the Universidad Complutense of Madrid, Spain based on her investigation “Territory, Landscape and the Construction of a New Republic.” She also holds an Advanced Studies Diploma in American History from the Universidad Complutense of Madrid, a Master in International Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, and a B.A. in Anthropology from the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. Dr. Vargas was a fellow for the Program in Preventive Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution of the International Visitors Program of the U.S. Department of State after serving as political Advisor of the Presidency of the Republic of Colombia. She has served as a diplomat in the Mission of Colombia to the United Nations and has held a lecturer position at the History department/PLAS program at Johns Hopkins University.


James Vaughn, Ph.D.

A Very British Revolution: Civil Society, American Independence, and the Origins of Liberal Democracy in the Atlantic World

Vaughn is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History and the Assistant Director of the British Studies Program at the University of Texas at Austin. His first book, The Politics of Empire at the Accession of George III: The East India Company and the Global Crisis of Britain's Imperial State, is being published by Yale University Press in January 2019. He is presently working on an edited volume on the British imperial world after the Seven Years' War and a new book project on the American Revolution and the early U.S. republic in the context of British imperial and political history during the later eighteenth century.