Photo by Stephen DeVries

Photo by Stephen DeVries

Putting a creative life into words

Born and raised in Colorado, I spent my childhood among the creative personalities and interests of my family. With a bronze sculptor for a father, and a tailor mother, my parents constantly challenged my two siblings and me to find new, hands-on ways to spend our time. They especially urged us to discover what we loved most and make a career of it.

I found my own creative drive in writing while getting by bachelor’s in English and History at the University of Denver. My experience there took me to graduate school at Rutgers University, where I received my PhD in History in October 2013. During my time in graduate school, I had the opportunity to delve into a deep exploration of the world. I looked at how a global range of influences facilitated the development of Cairo. As a U.S. Fulbright Student to Egypt in 2010, I did research in Egypt and England. I also met my husband Stephen in Cairo. He was on a photo assignment and I was enrolled in a semester-long Arabic program. Our relationship brought me to Birmingham, AL, where I started out splitting my time between finishing my dissertation, teaching history, and freelance writing.

Our life and work together has fostered a blend of adventurous experiences — from reporting on veterans of Birmingham’s civil rights movement, to shedding light on present day injustice in the D.R. Congo, to helping local nonprofits spread their message. With all of our travel and activity, I have also maintained my love for hands-on creativity through sewing, knitting, and food (specifically, the gluten-free variety). I am currently the assistant professor of world history at Samford University, where I teach, write, research, and get to think creatively everyday. 

Contact me at annalise.devries@gmail.com.