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Nicole Dannielle Gilhuis

Contact Information

Email    ngilhuis@ucla.edu
Office  Not Available

Nicole Gilhuis is a PhD Candidate in the History Department. She is cross listed between African and Latin American History, studying Atlantic History. Her work focuses on seventeenth and eighteenth century cultural and borderlands history in the French Altantic. Her research explores the Mi'kmaq Native American community and the french settlers that joined its kinship networks in the Early Modern Atlantic World. This interdiciplinary work incorporates historical, archealogical, and anthrological sources and methods.

Alongside an active research program, Nicole has also taught a variety of courses at UCLA and in Canada which include: World History to AD 500s; World History 1760 to Present; History of the United States and its Colonial Origins: Colonial Origins and First Nation Building Acts; The Terror of History: Mystics, Heretics and Witches in the Western Tradition, 1000 – 1700; Colonial Latin America, 2014-2016; Survey of East Asian History. In addition she has designed and taught her own course on the introduction to historical practice entitled: Savages, Heretics, and Rogue Colonies, Shifting Alliances in the Atlantic World, 1600-1800.

Field of Study

Latin America


Atlantic World, Early Modern World History, Indigenous History, Cultural History, Borderlands History, Entangled History, Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, and Colonial Empires.


I am currently completing a Phd in African and Latin American Fields of the UCLA History Department, concentrating on Atlantic History. My dissertation “Atlantic Made: The French in Mi’kmaq Kinship, Daily Practice, and Family, 1680-1803” is being written under the direction of co-chairs Carla Pestana and Robin Derby. My dissertation focuses on the daily practice and cultural exchange of the Mi’kmaq on the Eastern Coast of Acadie and the group of European-descended people incorporated into the Mi’kmaq community and culture in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. By following the Guédry and Mius families I analyze how these families became intertwined with and were formed by the Mi’kmaq community. Although these families have been treated as members of the Acadian community, this work shows how they adopted Mi’kmaq fishing, hunting, marrying and celebratory practices. Using an interdisciplinary approach and a range of sources—including census records, colonial maps, court records, travel records, archaeological surveys, and fishing equipment--this project follows these families as they integrated into Mi’kmaq kinship networks in the late seventeenth century, were forced to relocate to Ile Royale in the 1740s and faced deportation to Louisiana in the 1750s.

Grants and Awards

Gary B. Nash Graduate Fellowship in Early American History 2018

Joyce Oldham Appleby Endowed Chair of America in the World 2018

OAH President’s Travel Fund for Emerging Scholars, 2017

Canadian Studies Graduate Student Travel Award, UCLA, 2016

Graduate Dean`s Scholarship, UCLA 2014, 2015

Latin American Institute Field Research Grant Recipient 2014-2015

Peter Reill Research Funding Recipient 2015

Hoxie Early Modern Summer Research Travel Stipend 2015

Benjamin Nickoll Summer Research Travel Stipend 2014

Conference Presentations

‘‘Transposed Maps: Acadie or Mi’kma’ki?’’ Atlantic Canada Studies Conference, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada (presenter), 5 May 2018.


“From Refugee to Master: Métis Acadians in Louisiana in the Eighteenth century,” Hidden Histories of Louisiana: New Orleans at 300, Louisiana Historical Association 60th Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana (presenter), 13 April 2018


“Enemies among Brothers: Negotiating Alliances in 17th-c. Acadia through the Melanson Family,” Zones of Contestation, Annual Meeting, FEEGI Conference, Honolulu, Hawai’i, (presenter) 23 February 2018


“Creating the Cajuns: The Melanson Family and Acadian Religious Practice 1657-1785,” Emergent forms of Religious Practice in the Early Americas, Annual Meeting, Organization of American Historians, New Orleans, Louisiana, (Panel Organizer) 7 April 2017


“Settler, Acadian, Cajun: French Routes in Atlantic Borderlands,” Atlantic Speaker Series, UCLA Department of History, May, 2015   


Carla Pestana (co-chair), Robin Derby (Co-Chair), Stephen Aron, and Andrew Apter.


M.A. in History, University of Western Ontario, Ontario, Canada (2011)
B.A. Specialization in History, Minor in Philosophy, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (2010)