Loyola University Chicago’s history graduate program is home to dozens of students with a wide range of interests. This spotlight series highlights some of these interests and celebrates the history department’s diverse graduate student community.
This “Student Spotlight” focuses on Pamela Johnson. Pam is in her third (and final!) year of the European History MA program. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Arkansas in 2006.
What are your fields of interest?
I study both modern and early modern Europe, with an emphasis on France. I’ve studied the French Revolution, but I’ve found myself more drawn to the Third Republic. I particularly enjoy micro-history, women & gender, race relations, and urban studies. It’s been wonderful having the opportunity to study those different fields in my courses here at Loyola. I feel that it’s given me a well-rounded view of French history.
Why did you choose Loyola?
I chose to apply to Loyola after being accepted into a few other history programs here in Chicago and finding that they were not the right fit for me. After researching the department, I knew I wanted to work with Dr. Suzanne Kaufman, because she’s done work on modern France. Loyola was definitely the best decision for me.
What has been your most memorable experience in the program?
Learning how to write a historiography! I struggled with the concept of historiography for a while. I would write draft after draft of each one (ask my professors how many drafts they read for me before the final one was complete). I couldn’t differentiate between a lit review and a historiography. I remember turning in a historiography in the spring of 2013 and my professor wrote, “You nailed it. Whatever formula you used this time, stick with it. You’ve finally figured out historiography.” I was so pumped! What a relief. That was a great moment.
What do you hope to do with your degree?
I would love to be an adjunct instructor. I want to teach western civilization. I talk to so many students who have negative feelings about their history classes in the past; they deem history to be “boring.” I want to introduce them to a different perspective, the way that my western civilization professor did for me my freshman year. History is exciting. It’s all in the presentation, though.
What are your non-history hobbies?
I’m a worship leader at an amazing church in Wicker Park called People Church. Serving in church has been such a rewarding, incredible, purposeful experience that I would not trade for anything. I also mentor students on campus who are interested in attending graduate school, professional school, or who are looking for internships and jobs after college. Basically, my job is to help prepare them for life after graduation. This has also been an incredibly rewarding experience. I learn just as much from my students as I hope they learn from me.
I also love movies and reading. And fashion! My blog, thescholarlywoman.blogspot.com is evidence of all of these passions that I enjoy.