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Department of History


Gabrielle McCoy

Title: Graduate Student
MA, Public History
Department: History
College of Arts and Sciences
Gabriielle McCoy

Pronouns: she/her

Advisor: Thomas Brown

Education:  BA History (University of Maryland, May 2021) and MA Public History (University of South Carolina, May 2023)


Gabrielle is a fourth-year History PhD student also pursuing a Certificate in Women's and Gender Studies. Her dissertation analyzes middle-class American women's growing participation in recreational and competitive horseback riding from 1830 to 1890. She argues that while some women used horses to perform traditional womanhood, others undermined gender expectations by constructing alternative femininities on horseback. This dissertation demonstrates that horses, and women’s relationships with horses, were exceptional tools to reinforce, perform, and subvert nineteenth-century gender expectations.

In addition to her dissertation, Gabrielle is also working on a public history project that uncovers the identities and stories of those enslaved at historic Ross House in Frederick City, Maryland from 1815 to 1864. She has published on this topic with the American Historical Association ""Perspectives on History"" and the ""New York History Journal."" Her other public history experience includes a collections management internship at the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum, an exhibit design internship at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, and an education programming internship at the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington DC.

Gabrielle has been awarded a variety of scholarships for her research including the R. Means Davis Fellowship in Southern Studies (2023), the National Society of the Colonial Dames Scholarship (2023), and the South Carolina Humanities Graduate Student Scholarship (2022).

When she is not conducting research, Gabrielle works as a Teaching Assistant in the History and Women's and Gender Studies departments. She has also served in a variety of leadership positions including serving on the Graduate History Association board for two years (2022-2024), acting as the Student Caucus Leader for WGS South (2024), and serving as the Committee Chair for the first annual WGST Graduate Student Conference (2023-2024)."n and as Committee Chair for the upcoming Women's and Gender Studies graduate student conference.

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