Hello and welcome to the website of Zara Anishanslin!

I'm a scholar who specializes in telling stories about the past through things.

I’ve got my dream job as a professor, but I also believe passionately in spreading historical knowledge to the wider public. I've worked in museums and historic preservation, and when I'm not researching, writing, or teaching, you can sometimes find me talking history on a podcast or TV show (especially, of late, on the Travel Channel).

In addition to all things eighteenth century, I have a love for Lapsang Souchong tea, the city of London (especially Spitalfields), the rocky beaches of Bainbridge Island, fashion from the ZARA store, the Oxford comma, and (last but obviously not least), my two children. I'm also (somewhat more shamefully) slightly addicted to Twitter, good period dramas and sci fi (PoldarkOutlander, and Dr. Who rank high), and—when writer’s block strikes—I’ve been know to nibble on a Cool Ranch Dorito or two. You'll often find me and my children dancing in our kitchen to the soundtrack from Hamilton! The Musical

At the moment, I’m beyond excited that my first book—Portrait of a Woman in Silk: Hidden Histories of the British Atlantic Worldwas  just released by Yale University Press. 

Thanks for stopping by, and please stay in touch.

With best wishes,

Zara Anishanslin, PhD


Banner image: adapted from Anna Maria Garthwaite, watercolor on paper, damask silk design for Simon Julins, 1743, T. 391–197, p. 55. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.