Jen Andrella is historian of the nineteenth-century United States specializing in Western territorial expansion, the Reconstruction era, and Native American ethnohistory. Her dissertation, “When the War Raged On: Montana Territory, the Politics of Authority, and National Reconstruction, 1860-1900” explores the national scale of Reconstruction through territorial incorporation in the West. Even in the remote prairies and Rocky Mountains of Montana Territory, questions about authority, Indigenous sovereignty, citizenship, and nation building further exposed the limitations of National Reconstruction.

In addition to her Ph.D., Jen is pursuing a graduate certificate in Digital Humanities and specializes in text analysis, geospatial analysis, digital mapping, and developing digital pedagogy. She is the creator of the digital project, Mapping the Upper Missouri: Visualizing Negotiation, Diplomacy, and Culture on the Northern Plains, 1801-1853, made possible through the support of the Cultural Heritage Informatics fellowship at Michigan State University.

In 2016, she graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history with departmental honors and a minor in writing at the University of Toledo. During her undergraduate career, she wrote an honors thesis based upon original research titled, “On the Banks of Bear River: Press, Perception, and Memory of the Piegan Massacre, 1870.” This project examined local and national newspaper coverage of the Piegan massacre to explore the massacre’s history and memory production, influence on federal Indian policy, and national impact on politics in a post-Civil War context.


Ph.D., Michigan State University, expected 2022

B.A. with Honors, The University of Toledo, 2016


Mapping the Upper Missouri: Visualizing Negotiation, Diplomacy, and Culture on the Northern Plains, 1801-1853, funded by the Cultural Heritage Informatics initiative, Michigan State University.


Upcoming Talks and Conferences

  • Newberry Library Consortium of American Indian Studies Conference, (Feb. 5) Chicago, IL

  • Society of Civil War Historians, Roundtable on Reconstruction and the West, (June 2-4, 2022) Philadelphia, PA

  • Western History Association Annual Conference Fall 2022, San Antonio, TX



  • American Historical Association

  • Western History Association

  • Southern Historical Association

  • Society of Civil War Historians

Jen Andrella

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