Christopher VanDemark

Christopher VanDemark
Mentor: Dr. Alice Freifeld
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
"I chose to specialize in Austro-Hungarian history after taking a Habsburg history class with my adviser, Dr. Alice Freifeld. I found the internal struggles of subjugated minorities within Austria-Hungary, particularly those of women and Jews, fascinating as they sought to secure their place within the floundering empire. Thus, I chose to focus on the intersections between nationalism and the struggle for feminine self-determination in Hungary for my USP project."


History; Political Science


East/Central European Studies

Research Interests

  • Austro-Hungarian Cultural History
  • Nineteenth Century European Nationalism
  • Minority Participation in Nationalist Movements

Academic Awards

  • University Scholars Program
  • Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship Recipient
  • Travel Grant to Study in Budapest and Vienna
  • Intern at the UF Archives at Smathers Library


  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Social Chair of UF CLAS Ambassadors
  • President of The Staff: UF's All-Male Acapella Group
  • Pride Student Union


  • Undergraduate Advising with the CLAS Ambassador Program

Hobbies and Interests

  • Classically Trained Light Lyric Tenor
  • Pianist
  • Traveling Abroad
  • Running/Cross Training

Research Description

Gender, Fashion, and National Self-Determination: The Struggle for Feminine Autonomy amid the Doomed Hungarian Revolution of 1848

This project will explore the intersections between nationalism, fashion, and gender in the immediate aftermath of the failed 1848 Hungarian Revolution. Using primary sources such as "Pesti Divatlap", an eminent fashion publication of the time, I plan to construct a thesis which delves into the revolution for feminine self-determination raging within the greater Hungarian Revolution of 1848. At the time, fashion was the primary means for women to express themselves; thus, the clothing women wore was impregnated with meaning as women sought to solidify their influence within the largely patriarchal Hungarian body politic.