Field & Specialties
Early American Republic
(Hons.) BA and MA in History from The University of Western Ontario
“Liberty Poles and the Fight for Popular Politics in the Early Republic.” Journal of the Early Republic vol. 28 (Winter 2018).
“Taxation and Representation: The Whiskey Rebellion and the Tyranny of the Minority.” Past Tense Vol. 1, no. 2 (2013)
2018 "Why the White House is pushing a doctored video," The Washington Post
2017 "Liberty Poles and the Two American Revolutions." Age of Revolutions
2017 “Liberty Poles and Protest in the Founding Era,” Nursing Clio.
2014-2017 Contributor, Grad Hacker, a blog featured on InsideHigherEd.com
Shira has presented papers at the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic Conference, the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture Conference, the Society of Early Americanists Conference, the American Society of Eighteenth Century Studies Conference, the Pennsylvania Historical Association Conference, the International Center for Jefferson Studies, the Newberry Library, and the Rothermere American Institute at the University of Oxford.
My dissertation, Politics at the Poles: Liberty Poles and the Popular Struggle for the New Republic, argues that conflicts over liberty poles in the 1790s ignited a national conversation over the place of dissent in a republic. From 1794 to 1800, Republicans raised over one hundred liberty poles to protest the Federalist administrations of George Washington and John Adams. Republicans believed that the Revolution’s legacy guaranteed citizens the right to criticize and resist government when it overreached. In contrast, the Federalist party denounced Republican liberty poles as an improper form of political expression because they challenged an elected government. Federalists believed that the Revolution secured representative government as the means to protect American liberty and maintained that citizens must support and obey decisions made by a majority. Federalists tore down the poles, leading to violence, acerbic press coverage, legal fights, and electoral fallout. My dissertation argues that in their battles over liberty poles, both parties enacted and defended contradictory ideas of the type of popular participation that would sustain and strengthen republican government.
Awards & Honors
2018-2019 Graduate Research Fellow, Power, Violence, and Inequality Collective, University of Virginia
2017-2018 Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, The Bankard Fund for Political Economy
2014-2018 Doctoral Fellowship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
2018 American Philosophical Society – Jack Miller Center Fellowship, American Philosophical Society
2018 Residential Fellowship, David Library of the American Revolution
2017 Lapidus Early American and Transatlantic Print Culture Predoctoral Fellowship, Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture
2017 Dilworth Fellowship, Historical Society of Pennsylvania
2017 Research Fellowship, New England Regional Fellowship Consortium
2016 John Frantz Graduate Student Travel Award, Pennsylvania Historical Association
2016 Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Research Award, Office of the Vice President for Research, University of Virginia
2015 Summer Research Grant, Corcoran Department of History, University of Virginia
2013 Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Master’s Fellowship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
2013 Ontario Graduate Scholarship, Ontario Ministry of Advanced Training and Skills Development, Declined
2012 Robert LaVerne Eagleson Gold Medal in History, The University of Western Ontario
2018 Instructor, The Coming of the American Civil War (Summer), The University of Virginia
2016 Teaching Assistant, The Coming of the American Civil War, The University of Virginia
2016 Teaching Assistant, Colonial British America, The University of Virginia
2013 Guest Lecturer, “The First Party System,” The Presidency in American History, The University of Western Ontario
2012-2013 Teaching Assistant, The Presidency in American History, The University of Western Ontario