Meet the Editors

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Editor-in-Chief Maren Harris

Maren is a senior majoring in History and Geography with a certificate in Environmental Studies. This is her third year serving on the ARCHIVE  Editorial Board. After graduation, she hopes to work in the UW System in admissions or advising, then return for graduate school in Environmental Policy. Along with ARCHIVE, she works in the History Department office and is membership coordinator for Phi Alpha Theta, the History Department honor society.


If she could invite three historical figures for a dinner party, she would choose U.S. history superstar Henry Clay, the so-close-but-yet-so-far almost president. Also, she would invite Rachel Carson in order to ask her about her experience as a woman pioneer in science. Finally, she would invite King George VI of England to ask him about one of her favorite historical movies, “The King’s Speech.”


Madeline SweitzerMaddie feat. turtles.jpg

Madeline Sweitzer is a graduating senior majoring in History, Political Science, and Journalism. This is her second year as a member of the ARCHIVE Editorial Board. In addition, she recently completed an internship with the Wisconsin Historical Society Press and currently serves as Editorial Board chair and copy chief at The Badger Herald while interning at and the Wisconsin State Journal. Her historical research has mainly focused on women in history and her work on Japanese World War II brides was recently published in the Vanderbilt Historical Review.


If she could invite any three historical figures over for a dinner party she would invite Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and Aaron Burr. Why? so she could have a truly live rendition of “Hamilton.”



Connor Touhey14695359_10207383715217675_6596944737792773658_n

Connor is in his fourth of five years at UW, majoring in History, Political Science, Journalism, and Strategic Communications. This is his first year serving on the Editorial Board. In addition to sitting on the board of ARCHIVE, Connor serves as the Opinion Editor and Editorial Board member at The Badger Herald. Previously, he has spent time working in communications for Wisconsin political organizations. His historical research focuses on the history of war and conflict spanning all the way from ancient Rome to the Vietnam war.

If he could have dinner with any three historical figures, he would likely choose to sit down with Mark Twain, James Connolly, and President Harry Truman, all men who he admires greatly.


Isaac Mehlhaff mehlhaff-046-2-zf-3672-24388-2-001

Isaac is a junior majoring in history, political science, and economics. He has interned with Martin Schreiber & Associates, a Madison-based public affairs and lobbying firm, as well as the Office of Governor Scott Walker in addition to serving as president of his fraternity. His senior thesis will examine how agricultural communities react to international trade by appealing to perceptions of national identity and traditional lifestyle, specifically through the lens of coffee farmers in southern Mexico in the early 1990s. After graduation, he intends to either work in international trade policy or go directly to graduate school.


If he could meet three historical figures, he would first choose Atahualpa – the last emperor of the Inca, then Jean-Jacque Dessalines – the ex-slave who led the fight for Haitian independence, and finally an entirely unremarkable individual whose name has been lost to time because he thinks our most intimate connections to history are forged not through prominent figures but through the masses of common people with whom we share more uniquely human characteristics than we realize.



Lucas Sczygelskilucas

Lucas is a junior majoring in Political Science and History. In his undergraduate research he has focused on populist movements from the Roman Gracchi through 20th century labor movements. As a political writer for the Daily Cardinal student newspaper, he got the chance to take note of similar populist impulses firsthand during the 2016 presidential election.


If he could invite three historical figures over for lunch, Lucas would first invite Ludwig van Beethoven, the composer he likes to play the most on piano. He’d ask him about his schizophrenic sonatas and equally passionate politics. Then Lucas would ask over the science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke. Clarke was the author Lucas read most eagerly as a kid and penned some deeply unsettling visions for humanity’s future. He’d probably have a lot to say about the information age. Lastly, Lucas would call up Plato and ask him tired questions like: does democracy really have to descend into tyranny due to its own excess?


Emma WathenEmma Wathen Photo.jpg

Emma is a senior majoring in Communication Arts and History with a certificate in Entrepreneurship. She has interned with the Hollywood production company Eclectic Pictures, the estates law firm Walny Legal Group, and the Office of Representative Josh Zepnick. As a writer, she has published a short story and academic article, directed her own play, and worked on several acclaimed short films. This spring, Emma will be acting as the director of photography for her independent film capstone and completing her senior honors thesis on Wisconsin’s eugenic marriage law. Following graduation, she intends to pursue a career as a screenwriter or lawyer.


If she could have dinner with three historical figures, She’d choose Hypatia because she is regarded as one of the most intelligent people in history (a remarkable feat as a woman about whom very little information survives), and she could teach her what was lost when the Library of Alexandria was destroyed. She would also meet Arthur Conan Doyle because as a writer and legal scholar, she would be fascinated to hear how he developed the character of Sherlock Holmes, intervened in real court cases, and got involved with Spiritualism. Finally, she’d solve the mystery Arthurian scholars have been debating for centuries by meeting the historical King Arthur, learning how the legends began, and entertaining him with our stories of his life.


Rachel Poperachel-pope-photo

Rachel is a junior majoring in History and Communication Arts, with certificates in German and Digital Studies. She is currently interning at the Wisconsin Historical Society Press and at the Office of the Chancellor. During her time in the university, she has specialized in the history of class anxieties during the 1800’s cholera outbreaks in London. After graduation, she hopes to go into motion-image archiving.


If she could have dinner with three historical figures, she would choose Walt Disney, Amelia Earhart, and Henry VIII. Each of these three figures has an air of mystery around them that intrigues her greatly. Walt Disney has inspired and motivated Rachel throughout her whole life, and she would enjoy experiencing his creativity firsthand. She would find out the secret of where Amelia Earhart disappeared to. Lastly, she would gain insight on the thinking of King Henry VIII and all his wives.


Hilary Millerhilary-miller_picture

Hilary is a sophomore majoring in Political Science and History with a certificate in Jewish Studies. Given her keen interest in Jewish history, Hilary has dedicated much of her studies to learning about the history and politics of Israel. This summer she conducted independent research with Professor Tony Michels and Professor Tal Elmaliach on the history of Zionism in the United States. She is the president of the Student Alliance for Israel-Madison, and is also an editor for Sifting and Winnowing, the political science undergraduate journal. Hilary also enjoys learning about international affairs and human rights. She hopes one day to work for the Anti-Defamation League or in foreign diplomacy. This summer Hilary will be interning for the Consulate General of Israel in Chicago.

While I greatly admire these three historical figures for different reasons, I would be most excited to have dinner with Louis Brandeis. Brandeis was the first Jewish Supreme Court Justice in American history. Widely known as the “people’s lawyer,” Brandeis was a notable progressive who used the law as an instrument for social change. Nominated to the Court by Woodrow Wilson in 1916, Brandeis underwent a grueling confirmation process in which many questioned whether or not his Judaism and liberalism would interfere with his ability to serve. Also, Brandeis was a leading figure in the American Zionist movement. He helped to popularize the cause for a Jewish national home among the American Jewish elite and working class. Raphael Lemkin is another historical hero of mine for being one of the world’s most influential international human rights lawyers. After WWII Lemkin was a key player in creating the modern human rights system. An active figure during the postwar Nuremberg Trials and formation of the United Nations, he termed the word “genocide” in order to label the atrocities of Nazi war criminals. He advocated for an international legal code that would protect groups from persecution. Given my historical interest in WWII and the law, I can guarantee that my dinner with Attorney Lemkin would last for a very long time. Sigmund Livingston was the first president of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Founded in 1913 in response to anti-Semitism in the United States, the League today fights for equality, justice and rights for all individuals. Livingston was a vocal advocate for tolerance and social justice, and worked to make the ADL an organization that could effectively eliminate bigotry and violence in society. His efforts in the early years of the ADL allowed it to become the nation’s premier civil rights and human relations agency. I admire him for his tireless efforts and ability to challenge popular belief.


David Clerkindavid-clerkin-photo

David is a senior pursuing a major in History with a certificate in African Studies. During his time at the University of Wisconsin he has explored a wide range of historical topics, stretching from Ancient Rome to modern Japan,with a focus on East Africa. In pursuing his History major he has conducted independent research into the culture of political assassination in Shanghai in the early 20th century, and the influence of German immigration on Wisconsin’s drinking culture. He currently works in the Wisconsin Historical Society Library as a reference assistant, and plans to pursue a Master’s degree in the School of Library and Information Studies in the fall.

If  he could have dinner with three historical figures, in no particular order, he would first choose Julius Nyere. Despite leaving a mixed legacy, he has remained an important figure for Africans seeking political and economic independence and mulling over the successes and failures of his time as leader of Tanzania would be a difficult but informative discussion. The second figure David would choose is Marcus Aurelius. His Meditations have persisted through the centuries as a defining document of Stoic wisdom, and discussing them with the man himself would be enlightening. Finally, he would like to sit down with John Brown. His ideas, passion, and action were a pivotal part of American history and it would be interesting to hear his perspective, especially on the events following his execution.