Kristin O’Brassill-Kulfan

PhD Student,
School of History University of Leicester

Email: kobk1@le.ac.uk
Twitter: @obrassillkulfan

MA Modern History, Queen’s University Belfast, 2012
BA History and English Literature, Millersville University of Pennsylvania, 2011

Working title of PhD:
“Those who lie in barns and wash their cravats in hog trough:” Vagrants, Criminality, Mobility, and Subsistence in the Jacksonian Era Mid-Atlantic

Preliminary brief of research:
My research explores the experiences of vagrants and criminal paupers in the early nineteenth century, focusing on the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. By utilizing narratives of indigent migration given by paupers themselves, I aim to trace their paths in the Atlantic World and within state boundaries in order to glean details about their corporeal experiences of transiency. The goal of this project is to follow these convicted vagrants and other indigent travelers who made institutional contacts closely through the record, examining the methods of subsistence available to them, their interactions with the law and judicial system, their geographical movements, and as much as possible, the physical experience of their vagrancy, in an effort to learn more about their extra-institutional lives.

Supervisors:
Dr. James Campbell & Dr. Elizabeth Clapp

Presentations and Publications:
  • "Illicit Mobilities: Vagrants and Fugitive Slaves in Jacksonian Era Pennsylvania,” Pennsylvania Historical Association Annual Meeting, 2014
  • “Women’s History & Pennsylvania Politics,” Pennsylvania House of Representatives’ Legislative Fellowship Workshop, Harrisburg, PA (biannually, 2012-present)
  • “’He slept in the markethouse that night:’ Vagrants, Voting Rights, and Pennsylvania's 1837 Constitutional Convention,” University of Leicester School of History Postgraduate Conference, 2014
  • "The Antebellum Era (1820-1860)," and "The Colored Female Free Produce Society," in Women in American History: An Encyclopedia, forthcoming from ABC-Clio, 2016

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