Xaris A. Martínez

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PhD Student

Major Field: United States History
W. Fitzhugh Brundage


BA University of California at Los Angeles, 2008 (History)
University of Mississippi, 2011 (Southern Studies)
MA Thesis: “Minds in Place: Thornwell, Palmer, Dabney, and Breckinridge in Fast Day Sermons: Or, the Pulpit on the State of the Country (1861)”

Research Interests

My research focuses on late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century United States history, with particular attention to American Civil War memory, the social and cultural history of the American South, and women’s and gender studies. My doctoral dissertation, tentatively titled “Confederate Daughter: Varina Anne ‘Winnie’ Davis (1864–98) and the Representation of Lost Causes,” examines the process by which Winnie, the sixth and last child of Jefferson Finis and Varina Howell Davis, came to be acclaimed, imagined, and remembered as “the daughter of the Confederacy.” I plan on using the brief life and enduring commemoration of Winnie Davis by white southern heritage associations to ask the following questions: How did a young white woman come to serve as a visual symbol for a failed socio-political experiment? And what cultural “work” did (and does) Winnie-as-symbol perform for Confederate memorialization in general and the Lost Cause in particular?

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