About Us

Meet your resident historians…

Shana (left) and Riley in Antwerp

To your left, you’ll find the ringleaders of this rebellion against everything you thought history was supposed to be.  We’re two history nerds who have been lucky enough to have educators who helped us find our niches.  More importantly, we’ve both been lucky enough to have teachers and professors who were passionate about history and who sparked the same in us; professors who allowed us to “think outside the box” historically speaking and who encouraged our unorthodox interests and methods rather than encouraging us to play it safe and not rock the boat (which is unfortunately common for students of history).  Because of that support – as well as our own innate curiosity about the world and its history –  our passion for all things history has only grown.  Now, we want to share it with you so that just maybe you’ll discover a heretofore unknown passion for history in yourself!

Riley (historybreakriley) is a queer punk historian with an MA in History from Southern New Hampshire University where she developed expertise in Cold War gender and cultural history, culminating in a thesis titled Cultures of Exclusion: Understanding the Roles of Women and Queer People in Punk, 1976-Present.  In addition to these research history topics, she studied practical aspects of public history with an emphasis on the importance of inclusiveness in public history spaces and the social ramifications of a lack of inclusiveness.  She lives in Texas with two cats (and a very grumpy lizard) and enjoys taking pictures of things, going to rock shows, and finding the history that hides in plain sight.

Shana (historybreakshana) was originally interested in studying Classical Antiquity, but was charmed into Medieval History in her first year of college instead and hasn’t regretted it ever since. She earned her MA in History at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium), where she studied all things Early Middle Ages, specifically cultural and religious history. She’s passionate about reading between the lines of primary sources and wrote a thesis titled Between Name and Fame: The Strategies of Self-Representation of Gerbert of Aurillac from his Letters (c. 980-999). When she’s not working in the library field, you’ll find her drinking tea, trying not to die in Dragon Age: Inquisition and checking out Riley’s music recommendations.