Holly Harris

Ph.D. student, Department of History


Holly’s research focuses on allied airmen prisoners of war on the Eastern front during World War II. Her relative Warren Gribbons was an American prisoner of war for a year and a half, which initially sparked her interest in the topic. She is interested in how this event connects to geopolitics, military welfare and strategy. To carry out this work, Holly visits archives with primary source material like diaries, letters and reports. She then aggregates the data and findings with Python and ArcGIS.


Before her time at SMU, Holly earned her B.A. in history at Texas Christian University as a chancellor’s scholar. She completed an archival internship with the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, which led to her appreciation of archival work. She also completed a yearlong oral history internship with the Race and Reconciliation Initiative at Texas Christian University. To conduct her own research, Holly has received research grants from Texas Christian University and a prestigious fellowship with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in New York City. Outside of school, Holly enjoys hiking, surfing and drawing.