Ashton G. Ellett is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Georgia whose research interests include modern U.S. political and cultural history focusing on the development of political parties in the American South and the interplay politics and policymaking at the local, state, and federal levels. Secondary interests include business and corporate history, political biography, and the history of higher education in the United States.
His dissertation explores the development of the Republican Party in Georgia since World War II. Drawing upon a rich manuscript source base, a diverse body of printed materials, and numerous oral history transcripts, this project explores how a Republican Party organization long defined by persistent factionalism, penniless campaigns, and the lingering taint of Civil War destruction, Reconstruction rule, and country-club elitism, eventually supplanted the Democratic Party of Jefferson and Jackson as the sole vehicle for conservatism in Georgia and the South.
Ellett has worked as an exhibition research and curatorial intern at the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies where he has collaborated on several exhibits including the award-winning Food, Power, and Politics: The Story of School Lunch (2014-2015) and the forthcoming The Interstates: Roads to Modern Georgia and Beyond. Ellett also serves as an oral history interviewer at the Russell Library.
Most recently, he has collaborated with Professors Stephen Durham and Shane Hamilton on a commissioned report detailing the history of the Georgia Department of Transportation. Their research has been featured prominently as part of GDOT’s ongoing centennial celebration (1916-2016).
Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award, UGA Graduate School, 2011
Award for Excellence in Student Research – Graduate Level, Georgia Historical Records Advisory Board (GHRAB), 2012
Carl Vipperman Teaching Assistant Award, UGA Department of History, 2013
Vincent J. Dooley Graduate Research Award in History, University of Georgia, Research Grant , 2013
Jason Manthorne Memorial Award, UGA Department of History, 2014
Grants for Research in Congressional Collections Award , Association of Centers for the Study of Congress, 2014
Vincent J. Dooley Graduate Research Award in History, University of Georgia, Research Grant, 2015
Award for Excellence in the Educational Use of Historical Records, Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council (GHRAC), 2016