Sarah Jacobson

Advisor: Karrin Hanshew

Committee: Sean Forner, Edward Murphy, Aminda Smith

Fields: Modern Europe; Modern Germany; Modern Italy; Women and Gender Studies

Research Languages: Italian and German

Educational Background: M.A. History, Michigan State University (2016). B.A. History, Brigham Young University (2013).


I am a doctoral candidate in Modern European History. My research interests center on the movement of people and ideas across social and geographic boundaries. I am particularly interested in questions of space, citizenship, and belonging. In my dissertation, entitled “Squatting to Make Ends Meet: Southern Italian Migrants and the Right to a Home in 1970s Italy and West Germany,” I trace the ways in which southern Italian emigrants protested unhygienic and discriminatory rental conditions in two different places. Some of the ways they pushed back on their status as second-class citizens included rent strikes, marches, and illegal housing occupations – the crux of my research. My work examines the long-term ramifications of their actions in making a claim to more than shelter, rather a right to belong.

My research has been generously funded through the Muelder-Lowe Graduate Award (2019), a guest stay research grant at the University of Cologne (2018), the Milton E. Meulder Graduate Fellowship in History (2017), the Gliozzo Dissertation Scholarship (2017), the College of Social Sciences, and the Department of History. I am grateful to my students for nominating me for the IAH Sommers Teaching Excellence Award, which I received in 2017.