John Gillespie is a fifth year PhD candidate in the History Department. He received his master's degree in European History from Middle Tennessee State University in December 2017. He is interested in modern central European history with a current emphasis on the intersection of politics and culture in the twentieth-century. John's master's thesis was entitled, “The People's Drink: The Politics of Beer in East Germany (1945-1971).” In this work, he explored the political importance of beer for East Germany's socialist leadership in the early decades of the Cold War to demonstrate how cultural traditions impact and are impacted by ideology. In 2022, he published an article in Contemporary European History titled “Imbibing the Future: Alcohol Moderation and Modernity in 1960s and 1970s East German Broadcast Media.” His dissertation explores the political and cultural importance of beer in postwar West Germany, East Germany, and Czechoslovakia.