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Graduate Students

PhD Students


Arad Gigi

Email Address: agigi@fsu.edu

Major Field: Old Regime France, French Revolution, Napoleon.

Minor Fields: The Early-Modern Atlantic World; Modern Europe; War and Society.

Major Professor: Rafe Blaufarb

Dissertation: Fortifying Colonialism: Colonial State and Society in the French Caribbean 1660-1789.

Bio: Arad Gigi is a Ph.D. candidate at Florida State University and a member of the Institute on Napoleon and the French Revolution. Before coming to FSU in fall 2011, Arad earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and was a fellow of the George L. Mosse Program in History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Gigi specializes in the history of early modern France and the French Atlantic, with a particular emphasis on the intersection of war and culture. His dissertation explores the history of the French imperial defense system, particularly the construction of fortification, in the Lesser Antilles during the Old Regime. It seeks to shed new light on the history of the colonial state, society and creole-metropolitan relations in the early-modern Atlantic World. A major concern of this study is illuminating the employment of slave labor by the state for the execution of public works, primarily through the colonial corvée. This research has been supported by a number of fellowships. During the spring 2016 semester Gigi was hosted by the Institut d’Histoire de la Revolution Française in Université Paris-1, Panthéon-Sorbonne as a recipient of the Chateaubriand Fellowship in the Humanities.  He is the recipient of the John Carter Brown Short Term Fellowship (2016-2017); Martin-Vegue (fall 2016); and Florida State University Graduate School International Dissertation Research Scholarship (spring 2017).

Ben Goff


Email Address: bngoff@fsu.edu

Major Field: Early Modern Europe

Minor Fields: Atlantic World, Science, Medicine and the Environment, Middle East

Major Professor: Rafe Blaufarb

Dissertation: "Provincial and Militia Units in the French Military during the Eighteenth Century."

I study militias in eighteenth-century France. The field of early modern French military history has produced important scholarship on: the officer corps, the social composition of the soldiery, and numerous administrative reforms. As such, these works have all focused primarily on the standing army, to the detriment of provincial and militia units. Despite this lack of scholarship, these neglected units were essential components of the French military apparatus and deserve further investigation. Through the study of militias, it may be possible to shed greater light on the, often, contentious interactions between the French state and French society during the eighteenth century.  

Bio: I am a second year student in the doctoral program under the tutelage of Dr. Rafe Blaufarb. My interests broadly include: early modern military history, early modern state formation, and Atlantic world history. I received my B.A. in History from Penn State University in 2011, and my M.A. in History from Duquesne University in 2014.

Joseph Harmon


Email address: jph14c@my.fsu.edu

Major Field: Early Modern Europe

Minor Fields: Modern Europe, the Islamic World, the Atlantic World

Major Professor: Rafe Blaufarb

Dissertation: I study the impact of the French Revolution on Catholic religious practice during the revolutionary period (c.1788-c.1815). My point of entry into this subject is the nationalization and sale of the properties owned by the corporate bodies of the Catholic Church in France (dioceses, monastic orders, religious congregations, and other groups).

Bio: I received my B.A. in History from Rutgers University in 2010, and a M.Ed. with a concentration in Social Studies Education from the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University in 2011.

Chris Juergens


Email: cjuergens@fsu.edu

Major Field: Early Modern Europe

Minor Fields: Early America, War & Society, Economics

Major Professor: Rafe Blaufarb

Dissertation: "Chasing Fabius: the Revolutionary Army of Hessen-Kassel and its Mission in America" (working title)

Bio: I am a doctoral candidate in the History Department and am the founder and director of the  War & Society Workshop. My dissertation focuses on the German “soldier trade” during the Age of Revolutions and the American War of Independence specifically. I am generally interested in themes of war & society, violence, revolution, and counterrevolution in the Early Modern World. As history is fundamentally the story of individuals and their actions, I weave the accounts and perspectives of ordinary and extraordinary people into the greater political, cultural, social, and military contexts of the past. On the side, I like to work on underutilized German military sources of the World Wars.

Personal Website

Erik Braeden Lewis


Email: Eblewis87@yahoo.com

Major Field: French Revolution & Napoleon

Minor Fields: Modern Europe, Modern Middle East, Gender & Sexuality

Major Professor: Rafe Blaufarb

Dissertation: I am examining the French Revolution through the lens of sex, asking: “Was the French Revolution a sexual revolution?” I am framing this project with Faramerz Dabhoiwala’s Origins of Sex and Michel Foucault’s History of Sexuality.

Bio: Erik is a second year doctoral student under Dr. Rafe Blaufarb at the Institute on Napoleon and the French Revolution. Erik earned his M.A. at the University of North Texas. His Master’s Thesis discussed the theft and smuggling of Madame du Barry’s jewelry to England from France at the height of the Terror. 

Dave Lunger

Email: dal16b@my.fsu.eduGraduate Student Photo.jpg

Major Field: Napoleon and the French Revolution

Minor Fields: Medieval History, European History to 1789, and History of Science

Major Professor: Rafe Blaufarb

Dissertation: My dissertation focuses on Napoleon's famous Imperial Guard, particularly the Horse Grenadiers of the Imperial Guard.  In examining the military, social, political, and cultural formation of this elite unit, I hope to explore notions of merit, talent, prestige, and achievement within the Napoleonic army.

Bio:  I am a retired USAF Colonel who is pursuing a PhD in European History.  Broadly, I am interested in researching topics relating to strategy and tactics during Napoleonic era, for which the Napoleon Collection will serve as an excellent foundation.

Alexander Rowney


Email: arowney@fsu.edu

Major Field: Modern Europe

Minor Field: Early America, Middle East, Asia

Major Professor: Rafe Blaufarb

Dissertation: My as-yet untitled dissertation focuses on the gendered expression of property in the First French Empire. Specifically, French women pursued varied legal strategies to defend property that they felt to be rightfully theirs, despite the paternal power accorded to men by the Napoleonic Code.

Bio: I am an eight-year Army veteran pursuing a PhD in European History under Professor Rafe Blaufarb. I earned my B.A. in Sociology at the University of Central Florida in 2005. From 2005 to 2013 I served in the United States Army, including one tour each in Iraq and Afghanistan. I will graduate with my M.A. in History from Florida State University in Fall of 2016 before continuing on to earn my PhD.

Richard Siegler

Email: rsiegler@fsu.edu20170421_115600-Crop.jpg

Major Field: Modern Europe

Minor Fields: Atlantic World, British Empire, Indian Ocean World

Major Professor: Rafe Blaufarb

Dissertation:  "A Revolution in Duties: Political Legitimacy, Public Goods, and the French Revolution"

My dissertation examines the French Revolution as a revolution in public duties.  It traces the struggle of the French revolutionaries to articulate and fulfill the public duties delegated to the state.  I argue that the new regime’s inability to fulfill its promises and rhetoric drove the radicalization of the Revolution and impeded the new regime from obtaining political legitimacy.  It was Napoleon who aligned the Revolution’s language of public duties with the material fulfillment of its promises of security, welfare, public works, and the gamut of public services.


Zachary Stoltzfus

Email: zms14@my.fsu.edu

Major Field: Modern Europe

Minor Fields: Atlantic World, British Empire, History of Science

Major Professor: Rafe Blaufarb

Dissertation: The Napoleonic Civil Code

Bio: I am currently a doctoral student at Florida State University studying under Dr. Rafe Blaufarb, having graduated with a BA in History in 2009 from Millersville University (Pennsylvania), followed by an MA in European Studies from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) in 2010. My primary area of research is the legal development of France during the French Revolution and Napoleonic Era, particularly concerning the transfer of property. More broadly, I am interested in changing ideas about the source of legitimate political and legal authority during the Early Modern and Modern European Eras. I can be reached at zmstoltzfus@gmail.com.

MA Students

Adam Hunt

infr photo adam.jpg

E-mail: arh17@my.fsu.edu

Major Field: Early Modern Europe (Ancien Regime and the French Revolution)

Minor Fields: Atlantic World and War and Society

Major Professor: Rafe Blaufarb

Bio: I am a first year Masters student after graduating from the University of North Florida with a BA in French Studies. My research thus far entails the legislative political contributions to the French Revolution of Catholic clergy members, namely the Jansenists. I wish to further explore the religious ties to the French Revolution around the French Monarchy’s fiscal crisis, specifically the Catholic Church’s debt holdings and if this question of the fiscal crisis influenced the clergy to chose revolution over defaulting the Monarchy’s debt.

Marina Ortiz


E-mail: MCO11@my.fsu.edu

Major Field: Modern European History with a focus on the French Revolution

Minor Fields: Public History, Atlantic World, East Asia

Major Professor: Rafe Blaufarb

Bio: My research primarily focuses on the role of the arts in state-building and politics during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Era.  My scholarship thus far has been centered on the role of art as a tool of Empire, both commissioned by Napoleon as well as acquired through conquest.

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