Erstwhile is a collaborative space for graduate students in the History Department at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The entire staff reviews each post and article before publication. In this way, all “Erstwhile-ians” act as contributing editors.


Beau Driver – PhD Candidate – Beau’s research interests lie in Labor and Working-Class, Intellectual, and Cultural History, including a recent move into Gender Studies with a focus on Masculinity. The bulk of his research focuses on the Gilded Age and Progressive Era United States. Beau is currently researching his dissertation topic, which will explore the intersections of class and gender in the Progressive Era by examining middle-class men’s “vital contact” with the working class between 1880 and 1920. You can find Beau on Twitter at @DrBeaunus.



Alessandra La Rocca Link – PhD Candidate –  Alessandra is a doctoral student specializing in Native American history and the history of the American West (in its broadest interpretations). She is drawn to topics that address the complicated intersection of culture, technology, and the environment. This interest is evident in her dissertation research, which explores the ways in which Native Americans adapted to the socio-economic and cultural changes wrought in the wake of railroad expansion. Research aside, Alessandra is a baking enthusiast, some time runner, and reluctant gardener. You can find her on Twitter at @AlessandraLink2.



Sara Porterfield – PhD Candidate  – Sara’s love of the Colorado River led her to her current life as a doctoral student at the University of Colorado Boulder where she studies the environmental history of the Colorado River watershed. She believes that a change in an ethic of Western water use comes from experience on and appreciation for the river, and that our future water use must be informed by lessons learned from the history of that use. Her work has been published on The Dirtbag Diaries podcast, in COLUMBIA: The Magazine of Northwest History, The Canyon Country Zephyr, the Willamette Week, Annals of Wyoming, and H-Net Reviews: H-Environment. You can follow Sara Porterfield on Twitter at @ParadoxofPlace.



Sam Bock – PhD Student – Sam works on a variety of topics related to the environmental history of the American West. His most recent research investigates the rise of the craft beer industry as it relates to the emergence of a new western environmental ethos. This “research” is, of course, simply an excuse to spend a lot of time in brewpubs. When he’s not drinking beer or teaching classes at CU, Boulder, Sam works as a research assistant for Professor Patricia Limerick at the Center of the American West. Look for his forthcoming work in the Journal of the West and the Digital Encyclopedia of Colorado. You can follow Sam on Twitter at @BamSock.



Caroline Grego – PhD Candidate – Caroline Grego is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate at CU-Boulder. Originally from South Carolina, Caroline graduated from Middlebury College with a BA in geography in 2011, and earned her MA in geography from the University of British Columbia in 2013.  Check out her article in BC Studies, published July 2015!  She writes about hurricanes, race, the South, and the environment.  You can find Caroline on Twitter at @CarolineGrego88.


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Julia Frankenbach – PhD Student – Julia is a third-year Ph.D. student specializing in immigration history and identity in the American West. Her most recent work explores the specialized knowledge Mexican American horsemen brought to industrial-scale cattle ranches in California and Nevada around the turn of the twentieth century. Julia continues to research and write about histories of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, migration and identity, and varied experiences of belonging (and not belonging) in the American West. She believes that literature is a vital companion to history, particularly for publicly engaged scholars. Julia has published her work in Labour/Le Travail. You can find her on Twitter at @JulFrankenbach.



Graeme Pente – PhD Candidate – Graeme studies the 19th-century intellectual history of the United States and France. His long-term research project focuses on the transatlantic movement of reform doctrines with an emphasis on questions of power, government, and democracy within emerging labor movements. His most recent work has focused on the state of Colorado, including such topics as the Chautauqua movement’s relationship to U.S. imperialism, Populism in the Rocky Mountain West, and memorialization of the Ludlow Massacre.


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