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Kaitlin Simpson

Doctoral Candidate


Kaitlin is a historian of the 20th century United States in a global context. Her research focuses on themes of agriculture, labor, gender, the environment, and the transnational connections that link the U.S. with South America and a broader global community. Kaitlin’s dissertation, “The Flowers of El Dorado: Gender, Production, and the Cut Flower Industry in Colombia and the United States,” analyzes the globalization of the cut flower industry in the late-20th century. In particular, she looks at the exportation of the North American cut flower industry to Colombia and the impact of this shift on the Colombian economy and environment, the lives of women and men working in the industry, and U.S. cut flower production and consumption.

Her research has been supported by travel funds from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, the Agricultural History Society, the Economic History Association, the University of Tennessee’s Center for Global Engagement, and the UTK Humanities Center. Along with working as a teaching and research assistant for the department, Kaitlin has served as a member of the Southern Historical Association Graduate Student Council, a representative to the UTK Graduate Student Senate, and as a representative for the American Caucus of the History Graduate Affairs Committee. She is currently working as a Graduate Student Fellow with the University of Tennessee Humanities Center.

Research Interests

20th Century United States and the World, U.S. and Latin America, Agriculture, Labor, Gender, and the Environment


B.A. in History, The University of Louisiana Monroe, 2018

M.A. in History, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 2020


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