Career Development Blog

Career Development Blog

James Vernon

Professor Helen Fawcett Distinguished Professor Fields

Britain and its Empire, Late Modern Europe


I moved to Berkeley in 2000 having previously studied and taught at the University of Manchester since 1984. I am a historian of modern Britain with broad comparative and theoretical interests in the relationship between local, national, imperial and global histories.

Trained as a political historian of nineteenth century Britain, my first publications — ...

Simon Brown (Current Ph.D. candidate)

August 13, 2020

At the time of this interview Simon Brown was in the fifth year of the program, where he continues to study early modern European history. He focuses on British history between the Reformation and Enlightenment, and his dissertation examines the history of “useful knowledge” as an aspiration and project from the late sixteenth to the early eighteenth century in England and its empire. He is particularly interested in the way that both Protestant theology and political economy informed how people thought about what makes knowledge useful in the period, when many began to insist that all...

Lois Rosson (Current Ph.D. candidate)

August 13, 2020

Lois Rosson studies American science institutions in the 20th-century, NASA, space and popular culture, astronomical illustration, and photography. At the time of this interview, she was a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate.

Hello! Could you tell us a bit about your dissertation, and especially the part you worked on as Guggenheim Predoctoral Fellowship at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum?

The project looks at how astronomical illustration responded to the onset of the Space Race in the United States. I argue that while these...

Brandon Kirk Williams (Ph.D. 2020)

August 13, 2020

Brandon Kirk Williams finished his dissertation on Cold War economic development, building partner capacity, and national security history under the direction of Daniel Sargent, with James Vernon and Mark Brilliant serving on his committee. His research included global fieldwork in Switzerland, India, and Indonesia on a Fulbright-Hays grant, and he was a research associate at the RAND Corporation and Illumio, a cybersecurity firm, in 2019.

Congratulations on finishing your degree! What are your plans beyond Berkeley?


Adrianne Francisco (Ph.D. 2015)

August 13, 2020

Adrianne Francisco received her Ph.D. in 2015 and started a career as an independent school teacher 3 days after submitting her dissertation, which looked at the relationship between American colonial education and Philippine nationalism during the years of direct U.S. rule, from 1900-1935. Currently she is a Social Studies teacher at Drew School in San Francisco. Besides teaching, she advises Drew's APIDA (Asian Pacific Islander Desi American) student affinity group, mentors new faculty, and serves as an 11th-grade advisor.

Are there any general...

Teaching in Senior Living Communities, with J.T. Jamieson

January 14, 2020

Berkeley’s History graduate students are fortunate to have so much exposure in the undergraduate classroom and a culture that values pedagogy and encourages the cultivation of teaching personas. But our training as teachers is still, in some ways, constraining. While we’re given degrees of freedom to explore and understand ourselves as teachers in discussion sections, courses like R1Bs or 103s aren’t always easy to come by – a more unfettered freedom to craft lessons and experiment with pedagogy isn’t always readily available. We might also be left to frequently wonder how exactly to gauge...

Historians working in Libraries: a conversation with Dr. Jeffrey Wayno (Columbia University Libraries)

January 2, 2020

Jeffrey Wayno completed his Ph.D. in medieval history at Columbia in 2016. He is currently the Collection Services Librarian at The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University Libraries

Derek: To jump right into the question of what it looks like to work as a historian outside the professoriate: has your sense of what it means to be a historian shifted--and how?--since transitioning from your Ph.D. to a postdoc and current job?

Jeffrey: In many ways, my...

Historians in Public Humanities: a conversation with Jason Rozumalski (Ph.D., 2017)

January 18, 2020

Jason Rozumalski finished his Ph.D. in Early Modern European History at Berkeley in 2017, where he taught European History, Art History, and Economic Theory. He is currently the Global Programs Manager at the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI), which is housed at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he is also a post-doctoral fellow.

Derek: Please tell us a bit about your work since Berkeley. How'd you land at the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes? and what are the most interesting projects you've worked...

Natalie Mendoza (Ph.D., 2016) on teaching as a historian

January 18, 2020

Natalie Mendoza (Ph.D., 2016) is Assistant Professor of U.S. History at University of Colorado, Boulder, where she specializes in Mexican American and Chicanx history, US Latinx history, US civil rights history, and the history of race and racism in the United States. In addition to studying the past, Dr. Mendoza has an active research agenda in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in History (HistorySoTL). Dr. Mendoza has also done extensive work to improve history education at multiple levels. She has consulted for K-12 social studies teachers in both California and...

Historians in Government: a conversation with Chris Casey (Berkeley Ph.D. 2017)

January 27, 2020

Christopher Casey completed his Ph.D. in History and his J.D. in in August 2017. His book, Nationals Abroad: Globalization, Individual Rights, and the Making of Modern International Law, will be released in mid-2020 with Cambridge University Press. He currently works as an analyst at the Congressional Research Service in the Library of Congress, where he conducts research for the United States Congress, and as an Instructor at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

Derek: Please tell us a bit about your work since Berkeley....