Crystalina Peterson

Field & Specialties

Early Modern Europe
Women's and Gender History


Bachelor of Arts; Public History

Certificate; Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Certificate; Journalism


Crystalina is a second-year Bridge Fellow in the Department of History, where her focus is on post-Reformation Christianity and women's and gender history. 

Her passion lies in reading and writing, so Crystalina has been excited to explore gender history through a lens of the French Empire, intersecting the gender identities of people throughout history with their religious identities and faith practices. She has been seeking these voices through the published works that the typical person would have been able to publish in and would have been able to read (or have read to them) - namely, pamphlets, flyleafs, and newspapers. She is currently focusing on sources first published in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

During her undergraduate career, Crystalina became heavily involved in student government and advocacy groups, including serving as an undergraduate TA, ESL tutor, and Peer Diversity Educator. This passion has carried over into her time here at UVA, and she currently serves on the Graduate History Student Association (GHSA) as the Bridge Student Representative. 

Crystalina is also involved in the greater Charlottesville community as a member of the Policy Council for the Monticello Area Community Action Agency, which runs the Head Start pre-K education program in the Charlottesville City and Albemarle County area.

In her time not spent researching or working on coursework, Crystalina enjoys hanging out with her children, singing, playing and listening to music, reading fantasy and science fiction novels, and getting together with her friends to play games or watch movies. She also has a podcast called The Witchy Historian, where she discusses the people, laws, and events that led up to the witch trials of the early modern period and juxtaposes the stereotypes about witchcraft against modern pagan practices and their historical and cultural roots.


"Black Masculinity in the Civil Rights Era: Non-Violent Protest Versus Armed Self-Defense." University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, ASTRA Journal, 2022.

Current Research

In progress: Faith and Femininity in Print: A textual analysis of the writings of Rachel Speght. I will be using approaches that work within themes of religous and gender identity, reframing existing concepts of intersectionality to expand into different areas of identity, as well exploring sources written by and consumed by rather ordinary people (whose ideas may or may not have been considered ordinary by their contemporaries).

Plans for the future: Analyzing the printed works of ordinary women and gender-non-conforming persons throughout the French Empire (including colonized Africa, Haiti, and French Canada) with an aim for demonstrating themes of intersectionality between religion and gender within the context of colonialism and race relations of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.