Nicholas Burns

Queen Mary, University of London Postgraduate Award, Queen Mary, University of London - History

I am from Ventura, California and graduated from Stanford in 2018 with a degree in history. My chief academic interests might seem somewhat disparate: ancient Greece, nineteenth-century Europe, and modern Brazil. As an undergraduate, I was drawn to each of the three out of sheer fascination with the ideas and cultures of these places and periods, taking classes in Portuguese, ancient Greek and French. I studied nineteenth-century political thought as a visiting student at Oxford, spent a summer in Greece studying classical archaeology and myth, and after I graduated, I interned at the Wilson Center’s Brazil Institute, a Washington think-tank with a focus on Brazilian politics. At Queen Mary, I will be exploring the strands that connect these seemingly unrelated interests through the history of ideas. I will investigate how nineteenth-century French thinkers looked back to ancient Greece for inspiration, and how the drafters of the Brazilian constitution of 1824 looked, in turn, to these same French thinkers—shaping Brazilian history for decades to come. During my time in London I also hope to continue writing book reviews and articles on art exhibits and popular music for magazines in the US and UK.