I’m William J. Hansard, and I’m a first-year BA to Ph.D. student in the Transatlantic History program, also pursuing a certificate in Archival Administration. Since Fall 2015, I have served as the president of our chapter of Phi Alpha Theta. My research interests thus far have been broad, and I have produced work on several different topics. Over the past year I have put this to use as a research assistant to Dr. Milson and other professors in the Geography program, using my GIS experience to help explore a wide range of topics from medieval monasteries in southwestern Germany to scientific explorers in the Louisiana Territory.
My personal interests are in 20th century popular culture, especially animation, puppetry and animatronics, and theme and amusement parks (in no particular order). I’m particularly interested in the agency and influence of famous figures, such as Walt Disney. In order to align my personal interests with my academic career, I hope for my dissertation to be related to the works of Jim Henson, examining him as an agent of cultural exchange between the United States and Europe, and beyond.
Visit my Academia.edu page.