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Home » Discover Rackham » Student Spotlight: Amanda Healy

Amanda’s research focuses on postbellum historical fiction that represents the events of the U.S. past. Many of the novels she studies were written by or about women and the family and were long considered unimportant or apolitical. Her dissertation research shows that family ties were actually an important way that Americans in this period understood their relationship to the past, and their role in America's present and future.

Michigan has so much to offer graduate students – and Amanda has taken advantage of much of it. From interdisciplinary work groups to Arts of Citizenship public scholarship projects to Community of Scholars, Amanda has developed a long list of accomplishments and the network to accompany it. “Being a Community of Scholars recipient has been a gift.” This four-month summer fellowship program, sponsored by Rackham and the Institute on Women and Gender, supports U-M graduate students who are engaged in research, scholarship, or other creative activities that focus on women and/or gender.

Being involved in many initiatives, she still comes back to her research and work, leading her to her driving passion. “I love teaching. Because of alumni support, I have the resources to affect scholarship of others. I can really focus on the students I teach and pursue my research at a level I never expected.” Amanda participated in the Rackham Preparing Future Faculty Seminar last summer and plans to pursue a faculty position after graduation.

“Grad students can easily get overwhelmed. It is hard balancing dissertation, meeting faculty, balancing groups on campus, programs like Arts of Citizenship. It is a challenge to move things forward on all fronts. Having mentors and a core community who support you makes all the difference.”