McNeil Fellowship

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McNeil Fellowship

Each year the Historical Society of Pennsylvania awards four Robert L. McNeil Jr. Fellowships for research in early American history. These fellowships support one month of residency in Philadelphia during the summer of the fellowship year for advanced, postdoctoral, or dissertation research. The stipend is $2,500.

The Library Company's Cassatt House fellows' residence offers rooms at reasonable rates, along with a kitchen, common room, and offices with internet access, available to resident and nonresident fellows at all hours.

The Robert L. McNeil Jr. Fellowships began in the 2012–2013 academic year and are generously endowed by a bequest from Robert L. McNeil Jr.


Current Fellows

  • Katherine Bondy, PhD Candidate in English, University of California, Berkeley, Freedom Flora: Botanical Details in Nineteenth-Century American Friendship Albums
  • Amy Huang, PhD Candidate in Theatre Arts and Performance Studies, Brown University, Spectacular Secrecy: Privacy, Race, and Nineteenth-Century Theatre
  • Eva McGraw, PhD Candidate in Art History, City University of New York, Xanthus Smith: Marine Painting and Nationhood
  • Dr. Christy Potroff, Department of English, Merrimack College, Citizen Technologies: The U.S. Post Office and the Transformation of Early American Literature

Past Fellows


  • Dr. Jean Franzino, Department of English, Beloit College, Dis-Union: Disability Cultures and the American Civil War
  • Dr. Helen Hunt, Department of English, Tennessee Technological University, Provoking Pleasure: Erotic Dominance and Submission in Early American Fiction
  • Zachary Isenhower, PhD Candidate in History, Louisiana State University, At the Edge of Humanity: American Indian Legal Identity and the Development of American Citizenship
  • Spencer Wigmore, PhD Candidate in Art History, University of Delaware, Albert Bierstadt and the Speculative Terrain of American Landscape Painting, 1863–1888


  • Michael Hattem, PhD Candidate in History, Yale University, The Past is Prologue: The Origins of American History Culture, 1730–1800
  • Bethany Mowry, PhD Candidate in History, University of Oklahoma, Relative Distances: Men and Women on the Philadelphia Waterfront, 1770–1830
  • Marissa Rhodes, PhD Candidate in History, State University of New York at Buffalo, Body Work: Wet-Nurses and Politics of the Breast in the Revolutionary Atlantic
  • Dr. Amber Shaw, Department of English, Coe College, The Fabric of the Nation: Textiles, Nationhood, and Identity in the Mid-Nineteenth Century


  • Dr. Meredith Neuman, Department of English, Clark University, Coming to Terms with Early American Poetry
  • Justine Oliva, PhD Candidate in History, University of New Hampshire, Anne Lynch Botta and the Formation of America's Professional Middle Class
  • Johanna Ortner, PhD Candidate in African American Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst, "Whatever concerns them, as a race, concerns me": The Life and Activism of Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
  • Catherine Tourangeau, PhD Candidate in History, Yale University, An Ocean of Joiners: Voluntary Associations in the Anglo-American Atlantic, 1740–1800


  • Dr. Bronwen Everill, Department of History, King’s College London, African Trade and Ethical Consumption in the Atlantic World, 1760–1840
  • Alexander Mazzaferro, PhD Candidate in English, Rutgers University, Political Innovation and Atlantic Political Science
  • Dr. Susan Oliver, Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, University of Essex, Transatlantic Periodicals and the Visual Image: Lithography and Photography, 1828–1860
  • Dr. Jordan Stein, Department of English, Fordham University, The Myth of the Woman Novel Reader


  • Dr. Jennifer Brady, Committee on Degrees in History and Literature, Harvard University; Sentimental Reading in the Antebellum United States.
  • Laurel Daen, Ph.D. Candidate in History, College of William & Mary; Civic Capacity and the Constitution of Disability in the Early American Republic, 1770–1840.
  • Dr. Andrew Heath, Department of History, University of Sheffield; Consolidating Philadelphia: The Reconstruction of an American Metropolis, 1837–77.
  • Dr. Kacy Tillman, Department of English, University of Tampa; Damned Tories of the Penny Post: Female Loyalist Letter-Journals of the American Revolution.


  • Shana Klein, Ph.D. Candidate in Art History: University of New Mexico; The Fruits of Empire: Contextualizing Food in Nineteenth-Century American Still-Life Representation.
  • Angel-Luke O’Donnell, Ph.D. Candidate in History, University of Liverpool; Tangible Imaginations: Construction of American Identity in Philadelphia, 1764-1776.
  • Sean Trainor, Ph.D. Candidate in History and Women’s Studies, Pennsylvania State University; The Culture and Economy of Men’s Grooming in the Nineteenth-Century U.S.
  • Dr. Caroline Wigginton, Department of American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies, Rutgers University; Epistolary Neighborhoods: Intimacy, Women’s Writing, and Circulation in Eighteenth-Century North America.