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Taylor Soja

Doctoral Candidate
Teaching assistant

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M.A., History, University of Washington, 2016
B.A., History, The George Washington University, 2015

I am a doctoral candidate and pre-doctoral instructor here in the Department of History where I specialize in Modern British History, Comparative Gender History, Europe and the Modern World, and Collecting & Early Modern Globalism. My dissertation, "Greater Wars: Personal Experiences and Popular Cultures of Combat in Modern Britain," focuses on the British experience of the First World War in relation to earlier, imperial conflicts. It examines the lives of a wide variety of British men and women who directly experienced multiple wars in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Their stories remind us that despite the fact that World War One is most often framed as a European story, to be British at the turn of the century was to have read about, talked about, and perhaps participated in earlier imperial wars. By making use of individual biographies and material culture evidence, my work draws intergenerational and personal connections between the Great War and those colonial wars that came before it in order to understand how World War I’s most lasting icons – the trench, the veteran, the nurse, and the wounded soldier – may have already felt familiar to many Britons in 1914. 

I currently serve as a Pre-Doctoral Instructor and Teaching Assistant in the Department of History and have worked one-on-one with students as a Graduate Writing Tutor at the Odeggard Writing and Research Center on the UW campus. In 2018, I won the Thomas M Power Prizes in the Department of History for both Best Graduate Paper and for Outstanding Teaching Assistant.

I am also committed to both public scholarship and digital history. I have attended both the Digital Humanities Summer School at the University of Oxford and the Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI) in Victoria BC, the latter with the support of the Simpson Center for the Humanities at UW, where I am also part of the Graduate Resarch Cluster in Modernism. I have also worked as a Fellow at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle WA, where I designed an educational activity on the history of science for K-8 students. Previously, I interned with the Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park, a small museum just outside of Chicago. I've also written an encyclopedia entry on Mary Ball Washington for the Digital Encyclopedia of George Washington, at the Mount Vernon Estate.

I have archival research experience at the Imperial War Museum and Tate Galleries (London), the Bodleian Library Special Collections (Oxford), and the National Archives & Library of Congress (DC).