Bios of your hosts

Hilary Coulson, PhD

Hilary Coulson is a visiting assistant professor of history and gender studies at the University of Mississippi. Hilary is originally from San Diego and earned her PhD at the university of California, San Diego in 2016. She has taught undergraduate history courses as a lecturer since 2014 and has taught a wide range of courses that play to her interdisciplinary strengths as a researcher. Hilary studies the history of institutions in the Antebellum South with a particular focus on gender and race within early prisons and universities. Her work on incarcerated motherhood appears in an edited volume on women in prison, Incarcerated Women: A History of Struggles, Oppression, and Resistance in American Prisons. Her more recent work on media representations of women convicted of murder in the 19th century can be found in Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies. 

Hilary is happily working on her first book project that examines Virginia’s early penitentiary system and how it intertwined with the deeply rooted system of slavery in the Antebellum period. Her research is focused, but she has a lot of fun delving into topics unrelated to her work. This is why she’s excited to work on this Podcast. She loves to talk about all things history and finds teaching outside her specific field of study is the most rewarding because it affords the opportunity to continue being intellectually curious. Because she values interdisciplinary work and was trained in the Humanities, she strives to include a broad humanities approach to research as well as teaching. 

When she’s not working, Hilary loves being outside. She hikes with her two rescue dogs everyday and even though she lives in the Mississippi heat, she likes to look for coffee shops with outdoor seating. She has two rag doll cats that are too inept to join her on outdoor adventures, but they get plenty of attention inside when it’s time to wind down for the day and watch Netflix. 

Geoffrey West, PhD

Geoffrey received his PhD in history from the University of California San Diego. He considers himself an intellectual historian and he specializes in late nineteenth century imperial ideology in the United States and its connection with citizenship and military service. He connects these ideas with similar trends in the imperial histories of Britain, France, and Germany. Geoffrey also incorporates recent developments in the history of violence as well as gender and class into his work. He is currently working on turning his dissertation, Tallgrass Empire: Aspirational Citizenship, Martial Service, and the Creation of Subjects in the Northern Great Plains – 1876-1898 into a monograph.

He is a lecturer in the Humanities at both San Diego State University and the University of California San Diego. He also teaches in the Fleet Seminar at the US Naval War College. He has taught classes on Classical Athenian philosophy, digital approaches to the humanities, the long nineteenth century, as well as more esoteric topics like the history of torture and a multi-disciplinary course on the problem of evil. All of his courses have strong digital components and he hopes his involvement in this podcast will contribute to not only the new digital history but an increased focus on engaging with the public on historical questions.

Geoffrey lives with his partner Rick and rescue dog Harvey in San Diego. He enjoys all reading and travel as well as the city’s largest annual event, ComiCon! He’s something of a nerd and loves spending time with friends playing board games while enjoying craft beers. He loves wheat beers and the recently re-released version of Avalon Hill’s classic Dune. When he’s not at a local game store or brew pub you can find him at Disneyland, just up the freeway from his home.