Sarah Lewin

Sarah Lewin


  • PhD Student

Sarah Lewin is a PhD candidate currently working on her dissertation. She obtained ABD status Fall 2018. Sarah holds a BA and MA in History from Oglethorpe University and Mississippi State University, respectively. She also obtained her Master’s in Library and Information Studies from the University of Alabama. She currently works as a Senior Librarian for The New York Public Library. Her dissertation project focuses on the usage of arsenic in 19th century Britain. Her project argues manufacturers knowingly used arsenic as an ingredient in consumer projects; this led to an unprecedented toll in illnesses and death of British peoples, particularly of lower class. Sarah demonstrates scientists and medical professionals set out to prove and warn the dangerous effects of arsenic, but were either dismissed or only reaching the upper echelons of society. Her dissertation is an episodic look into numerous unintentional arsenic poisonings through everyday products. It explores the lack of arsenic testing unless expected homicide and lack of regulation. It seeks to enter to historiography of arsenic poisons from medical and scientific aspects by demonstrating the “panic of arsenic” in Britain unknowingly extended far beyond intentional poisonings; while the previous historiography focused on upper class intentional poisonings, the project sheds light on the lower classes exploited by consumer products.
Her past research focused on early modern European history of gender, medicine, and the occult. This project involved examining the seemingly intertwined relationships of witchcraft, demonic possession, and melancholia in Western Europe. Presented at numerous conferences, this research project identified how medical, judicial, and lay experts examined feminine bodies exhibiting abnormal behavior. The goal is to uncover how women presenting similar symptoms were “diagnosed” with medical abnormalities on some occasions, and supernatural afflictions in other instances. By reexamining the current medical and supernatural historiography of the early modern period, historians may gain greater insight into body politics, gender, and conceptions of expertise.

Ph.D., Student, History, August 2015 – Present Mississippi State University ● GPA: 3.79 ● ABD (October 2018) ● Comprehensive Fields of Expertise: Early Modern Europe; Modern European History; History of Medicine, Science, and Technology

M.L.I.S., Library and Information Students, August 2021 – August 2022 The University of Alabama ● GPA: 4.00 ● Area of Concentration: Archival Studies, Technical Services, and Information Literacy

M.A., History, August 2015 – May 2019 Mississippi State University ● GPA: 3.79

B.A., History, August 2010 – May 2013 Oglethorpe University ● GPA: 3.79 ● Magna Cum Laude

● Leo Bilancio Award

● President of Phi Alpha Theta (Sigma Sigma Chapter)

● Early and Modern European History

● Social History

● History of Science and Medicine

● Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

● Folklore, the Occult, and Poison

● Body Politics

● “Melancholic Monsters: Distinguishing Melancholy and Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe,” presented at the Southern History of Science & Technology Conference; Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi (March 2018)

● “Diagnosing Demons: Witchcraft, Demonic Possession, and Melancholia in Sixteenth and Seventeenth- Century Europe,” poster talk displayed at the History of Science Society Conference; Toronto, Canada (November 2017)

● "Poison For All: Arsenic Crisis in 1830s Britain," presented at the Southern Conference on British Studies; Dallas, Texas (November 2017)

● "Diagnosing Demons: Witchcraft, Demonic Possession, and Melancholia in Sixteenth and Seventeenth- Century Europe," presented at the Sixteenth-Century Studies Conference; Milwaukee, Wisconsin (October 2017)

● "A Business of Death: Arsenic Abuse in 1830s Britain," presented at the Southern History of Science & Technology Conference; Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee (April 2017)

● "Internship Opportunities within the History Department," presented at the Liberal Arts & Sciences Symposium; Oglethorpe University, Atlanta, Georgia (April 2012)

● James W. Garner Scholarship, Mississippi State University (2015 - 2019)

● Grant from the History of Science Society (2017)

● Super Graduate Teaching Assistantship, Mississippi State University (2015 - 2017)

● Leo Bilancio Award, Oglethorpe University (2013)

● Dean’s List, Oglethorpe University (Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013)

● Oxford Scholarship, Oglethorpe University (2010-2013) ● Hope Scholarship, Oglethorpe University (2010-2013)

● Reading 19th century to find, transcribe, and document information regarding Queen Caroline (Supervisor: Dr. William Hay)

● Reading Harper’s Weekly during the Civil War to find, transcribe, and document information regarding American and European ways of war (Supervisor: Dr. Andy Lang)

● Completed research in the Mitchell Memorial Library Special Collections archive by finding and photographing maps and information about the Southern Black Belt Region (Supervisor: Dr. Mark Hersey)

● Researched project regarding air warfare between WWI-WWII for a professor’s military textbook entry (Supervisor: Dr. Kathleen Barbier)

● Completed research utilizing the Local History and Genealogy Annex at Starkville for the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum on the origin of road names in Starkville, Mississippi; the research was used to create an exhibit at the museum (Supervisor: Dr. Alan Marcus)

Language Skills

● French

● Latin

● Teaching Assistant, Early U.S. History, Mississippi State University, August 2016 - May 2017, August 2018 – December 2018

● Instructor of Record, American Women and Gender History, Mississippi State University, January 2018 – May 2018

● Teaching Assistant, Modern U.S. History, Mississippi State University, August 2015 – December 2015, August 2017 - December 2017

● Teaching Assistant, Modern Western World, Mississippi State University, January 2016 – May 2016

● American Historical Society

● American Library Association

● Association for Library Service to Children

● History of Science Society

● New York Library Association ● Omega Nu Lambda (National Honor Society)

● Phi Alpha Theta (History Honor Society)

● Public Library Association