Miller Center

Miller Center National Fellowship

Beginning in the 2017-2018 academic year, the National Fellowship Program, a longstanding initiative of the Miller Center, will fall under the leadership of the Jefferson Scholars Foundation at U.Va.. The Jefferson Scholars Foundation, created in 1980, currently offers the premier graduate fellowship and undergraduate scholarship at the University. To learn more about the National Fellows Program, including how to apply, click here.

Meet The Fellows

Clara Altman - History, Brandeis University

Project: Courtroom Colonialism: Philippine Law and U.S. Rule, 1898-1935

Altman photo

Fellowship year: 2013

Mentor: Mary Dudziak, Emory University

Clara Altman is the Director of the Federal Judicial History Office at the Federal Judicial Center.

In that capacity, she works to promote the preservation of the history of the federal courts and the federal judiciary in a variety of ways.  In particular, the Federal Judicial History Office develops programs relating to the history of the judicial branch and assists federal courts with their own judicial history programs.

Altman earned a B.A. in History and Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis, a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School, and a Ph.D. in American History from Brandeis University.  She was previously a Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, Jurisprudence, and Social Thought at Amherst College.  Her scholarly work concerns legal history and the U.S. in the world with a focus on U.S. engagement with foreign legal cultures and institutions from the nineteenth century to the present. Her dissertation, “Courtroom Colonialism: Philippine Law and U.S. Rule, 1898-1935” is a historical account of the development of the Philippine legal system under U.S. rule between the occupation of the islands and the start of the Philippine Commonwealth.  The project was based in archival research in English and Spanish language sources in the Philippines and the United States and was supported by grants from the American Historical Association, Bentley Library at the University of Michigan, and the Mellon Foundation, in addition to the Miller Center. Altman has also written on the state of the field of legal history.  In her chapter, “The International Context: An Imperial Perspective on American Legal History,” in A Companion to American Legal History (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013) Altman proposes a new, global framework for the field, emanating from three categories of analysis: the constitutional order, the international order, and what some scholars have called “legal borderlands."


Peter Henne - Government, Georgetown University

Project: Varieties of Hesitation: Religious Politics and US-Muslim Counterterrorism Cooperation

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Fellowship year: 2013

Mentor: John Owen, University of Virginia

Peter Henne is Assistant Professor of Political Science

Peter Henne is currently assistant professor of Political Science at the University of Vermont. Henne's research and teaching focus on the Middle East and global religious politics. He is particularly interested in the different ways states restrict or support religion, and what effect this has on their international and domestic politics. His first book—which will be published by Cambridge University Press—analyzes how Muslim states' relationship with Islam affects their counterterrorism policies; the study includes a large-n statistical analysis as well as in-depth case studies of Pakistan, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates

Henne received his PhD in Governemnt from Georgetown University, and a B.A. in Political Science from Vassar College. Henne's dissertation analyzes the effects of religion on Muslim states’ cooperation with U.S.-led counter-terrorism initiatives. Muslim responses to US counter-terrorism initiatives—both before and after 9/11—have been marked by both significant religiously-influenced opposition among Muslim societies and general cooperation on the part of Muslim states. At the same time, there has been great variation in the extent of Muslim states’ cooperation, and occasional periods of tension between the United States and Muslim states. Peter points to debates over the proper role of religion in society and the political and institutional conditions of religion in Muslim states to explain these patterns of opposition and cooperation. In response to religious-secular divide in recent decades, some Muslim states have established close ties to religious groups over recent decades, granting these groups disproportionate political power and giving the state an incentive to adopt religiously-motivated policies. Others have allied with secular groups, and maintained some autonomy from religious groups. When the former domestic situation coincides with a religiously-contentious international issue—like the American-led “Global War on Terror”—religious groups gain influence over the state’s foreign policy. This can result in tensions over US counter-terrorism initiatives. The latter group of states, in contrast, can insulate their foreign policy from domestic religious politics. Peter’s dissertation includes a quantitative study of counter-terrorism cooperation and case studies of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. 

Peter Henne was the lead researcher for a report the Pew Research Center released in February 2015. The report analyzes trends in government restrictions on religion and social hostilities involving religion around the world. He has made several media appearances to promote the report, including on NPR's All Things Considered.

Selected Recent Publications

"Pew Study On Religion Finds Increased Harassment Of Jews." interview by Tom Gjelten, All Things Considered, NPR, February 26, 2015.

"Latest Trends in Religious Restrictions and Hostilities.Pew Research FactTank, February 26, 2015.

"A look at the damage governments inflict on religious property.Pew Research FactTank, July 10, 2014.

"How Religious Harassment Varies by region Across the Globe." with Angelina Theodorou, Pew Research FactTank, May 2, 2014.


Katherine Krimmel - Politics, Princeton University

Project: Special Interest Partisanship: The Transformation of American Political Parties

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Fellowship year: 2013

Mentor: Nolan McCarty, Princeton University

Katherine Krimmel is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Barnard College.

Krimmel specializes in American Politics where her research analyzes democratic representation in the United States from several angles.  Her book project, Picking Sides: Group-Party Linkages in Postwar America, analyzes changes in the relationship between political parties and special interest groups since the New Deal.  She also have two other projects examining the relationship between public opinion and different political outcomes.  The first, co-authored with Jeffrey Lax and Justin Phillips, analyzes opinion and representation on gay rights issues.  The second, co-authored with Kelly Rader, investigates why the states most opposed to federal spending tend to receive disproportionately large amounts of federal money.

Selected Recent Publications

"Gay Rights in Congress: Public Opinion and (Mis)Representation." Public Opinion Quarterly (August 20, 2014)


Stephen Macekura - History, University of Virginia

Project: Of Limits and Growth: Environmentalism and the Rise of 'Sustainable Development' in the Twentieth Century

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Fellowship year: 2013

Mentor: John McNeill, Georgetown University

Stephen Macekura is Assistant Professor of International Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. He received a Ph.D. in history from the University of Virginia in 2013, and then was a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute, where he continues to serve as the associate director of the Program on Culture, Capitalism, and Global Change.

Macekura's scholarly work explores the history of the United States in the world, global environmental history, and the history of political economy. Other interests include the history of international development, civil society, and human rights.

Macekura is currently at work on two book-length projects. The first is a book manuscript entitled Of Limits and Growth: Global Environmentalism and the Rise of ‘Sustainable Development’ in the Twentieth Century under contract with Cambridge University Press. The book chronicles the tensions between economic growth, modernization, and environmental protection worldwide from the late 1940s through the early 1990s. In particular, it charts the rise and evolution of international environmentalism as environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) struggled to implement environmental protection measures in the developing world in the 1950s and 1960s and then critiqued and reformed the development approaches of the U.S. government, World Bank, and UN system in the 1970s and 1980s. The second is a book-length project that explores various critiques of “economic growth” since the 1960s by revealing how reformers have challenged and sought to rethink the ways in which the concept of “growth” has been measured.
His writing has been published by Cold War History, The Journal of Policy History, Political Science Quarterly, and The Hedgehog Review.

Selected Recent Publications

“Development and Economic Growth: An Intellectual History,” in Iris Borowy and Matthias Schmelzer, eds. History of the Future of Economic Growth: Historical Roots of Current Debates on Sustainable Degrowth (London: Routledge, forthcoming 2017).
“Crisis and Opportunity: Environmental NGOs, Debt-for-Nature Swaps, and the Rise of ‘People-Centered’ Conservation,” Environment and History, Vol. 22, No. 1 (February 2016), 49-74.

Of Limits and Growth: Global Environmentalism and the Rise of ‘Sustainable Development’ in the Twentieth Century (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015). 

Our Mis-Leading Indicators.PublicBooks, September 15, 2014.


Oriana Skylar Mastro - Politics, Princeton University

Project: Settling the Score: The Interactive Effect of Fighting and Bargaining on War Duration and Termination

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Oriana Skylar Mastro is an assistant professor of security studies at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University where her research focuses on Chinese military and security policy, Asia-Pacific security issues, war termination, and coercive diplomacy. She is also the 2016-2017 Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Dr. Mastro also serves as officer in the United States Air Force Reserve, for which she works as a Political Military Affairs Strategist at PACAF. Previously, Dr. Mastro was a fellow in the Asia-Pacific Security program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a University of Virginia Miller Center National Fellow and a Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Pacific Forum Sasakawa Peace Fellow. Additionally, she has worked on China policy issues at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, RAND Corporation, U.S. Pacific Command, and Project 2049. Highly proficient in Mandarin, she also worked at a Chinese valve-manufacturing firm in Beijing as a translator and has made appearances on a Chinese-language debate show. She holds a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Stanford University and an M.A. and Ph.D in Politics from Princeton University.

Her current research is focused on: coercive diplomacy, military transparency, U.S. military posture in Asia, Chinese military modernization, patterns in Chinese foreign policy, and the effects of economic liberalism in Asia. She is working on a book manuscript that evaluates the conditions under which leaders offer peace talks during wars.

Selected Recent Publications

 "A Global Expeditionary People’s Liberation Army: 2025-2030." in The Chinese People’s Liberation Army in 2025. ed. Roy Kamphausen and David Lai. Carlisle (PA: U.S. Army War College, 2015), 207-234

"China's Military is About to Go Global.The National Interest, December 182014.

"Why Chinese Assertiveness is Here to Stay.The Washington Quarterly 37, no. 4 (2014): 151-170.

"The Problems with the Liberal Peace in Asia," Survival 56 (2014): 129-158.
 


Victor McFarland - History, Yale University

Project: The Oil Crisis of the 1970s: An International History

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Fellowship year: 2013

Mentor: David Painter, Georgetown University

Victor McFarland is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Missouri.

His research interests center on oil and the energy industry, along with related topics including the environment, political economy, and U.S. relations with the Middle East. He is currently working on a book manuscript that examines the oil crisis of the 1970s.

Originally from North Idaho, Professor McFarland received his B.A. from Stanford University and his M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Yale University.

McFarland's dissertation examined the changing relationship between the United States and the Middle East during the oil crisis of the 1970s. In that decade, oil prices soared and control over the world's richest petroleum reserves passed from Western-owned companies into the hands of oil-producing nations like Saudi Arabia. The project used both American and Arab sources to explore the ways in which the oil crisis affected the American economy, triggered an economic boom in the Arab Gulf, and permanently changed the relationship between the United States and the Middle East.

Selected Recent Publications

Review of Nathan Citino, “The Ghosts of Development: The United States and Jordan’s East Ghor Canal,” Journal of Cold War Studies16:4 (Fall 2014): 159-188, published online by H-Diplo, October 21, 2016

"The Paris Climate Agreement in Historical Perspective." Humanity Journal, December 15, 2015.

"The New International Economic Order, Interdependence, and Globalization." Humanity Journal, March 18, 2015.


Tore Olsson - History, University of Georgia

Project: Agrarian Crossings: The American South, Mexico, and the Twentieth-Century Remaking of the Rural World

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Tore Olsson has been selected as the Ambrose Monell Foundation Funded Fellowship in Technology and Democracy.

Tore Olsson is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Tennessee.  Olsson's teaching and research examine the twentieth-century United States in global perspective, with an emphasis on agriculture, food, environment, rural history, and Latin America, particularly Mexico.

He is currently working on his first book, titled Remaking the Rural World: The American South and Mexico in the Twentieth Century (under contract, Princeton University Press), which weaves together the agrarian history of two places seldom discussed in common context: the American Cotton Belt and Mexico. On one hand, it illustrates how U.S. southerners and Mexicans in the first half of the twentieth century confronted similar problems in their countrysides, particularly uneven land tenure, racialized labor regimes, and plantation monoculture. More importantly, however, it reveals how cosmopolitan rural reformers in each place acknowledged their common struggle and fostered a lively transnational dialogue on questions of land, agriculture, and rural life. The book makes two primary arguments: first, it demonstrates how the American South served as the domestic laboratory for the Green Revolution, the most important Third World “development” campaign of the twentieth century. Secondly, it argues that the rural New Deal in the United States was radicalized by observations of Mexican revolutionary rhetoric and action. Rather than a comparative history, Remaking the Rural World is a history of comparisons and the way that comparison impacted policy, moved people, and remade landscapes.

Olsson’s book is based on his 2013 dissertation, which was recently the winner of the Oxford University Press USA Dissertation Prize in International History, granted by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, and the Gilbert C. Fite Dissertation Award for best dissertation in agricultural history from the Agricultural History Society. His research for the dissertation and manuscript has been funded by the Social Science Research Council, the Miller Center, and the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, and several others.

At the University of Tennessee, Professor Olsson teaches courses on food and agriculture, U.S. foreign relations, and U.S. and Latin American social and political history.

Selected Recent Publications

Remaking the Rural World: The American South and Mexico in the Twentieth Century (in progress, under contract in Princeton University Press’s “America in the World” series).

Sharecroppers and Campesinos: The American South, Mexico, and the Transnational Politics of Land Reform in the Radical 1930s.” Journal of Southern History (August 2015).


Justin Peck - Politics, University of Virginia

Project: Reclaiming Power: An Analysis of Congressional Reassertion Efforts, 1828–2002

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Justin Peck is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at San Francisco State University

His research is in the areas of separation of powers (Congress and the presidency), American Political Development, and American political institutions, and race policy.  His work has appeared in Studies in American Political Development (“Between Reconstructions: Congressional Action on Civil Rights, 1891-1940” (April 2010), co-authored with Jeffery A. Jenkins and Vesla M. Weaver University of Virginia), and is forthcoming at the Law and History Review (“Building Toward Major Policy Change: Congressional Action on Civil Rights, 1940-1950,” coauthored with Jeffery A. Jenkins, University of Virginia.) His writing has also been published by the online edition of Dissent magazine.

Justin received a B.A. in Politics and History from Brandeis University in 2005. After graduating he went on to work on the legislative staff and presidential campaign of then-Senator Christopher J. Dodd. After spending two years in Washington, D.C. he made the transition to University of Virginia.

Justin's dissertation examines Congressional efforts to reassert authority vis-à-vis the executive branch.  He defines congressional reassertion as any attempt by Congress–using the formal law-making process–to challenge or contest executive branch governing authority. Through a detailed search of the History of Joint Bills and Resolutions, he compiles an index of legislative reassertion bills.  He then categorizes reassertion strategies over time, systematically analyzes the motivations underlying those who instigate such efforts, and specifies the political conditions that generate them.  In so doing, he uses both historical and large-n methodology to provide insight into one neglected aspect of Congressional behavior, to illustrate patterns in reassertion activity over time, and to demonstrate the policy consequences that inhere to conflicts over “who governs” in our system of separate institutions sharing powers.

Selected Recent Publications

"Congressional Reassertion of Authority.” in Oxford Bibliographies in Political Science. ed. Rick Valelly. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013)

Building Toward Policy Change: Congressional Action on Civil Rights, 1941-1950.” with Jeffery A. Jenkins.  Law and History Review 31 (February 2013): 139-198


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