Bianca Scoti is a third year part-time doctoral candidate in American studies at the University of Glasgow and a member of BAAS, HoTCUS, and The Glasgow American Studies Postgraduate Research Group. Her thesis, Persian Rugs: A Touch of The Exotic in Gilded Age America, investigates the meanings behind the purchase of this class of commodities. Ultimately, she aims to illustrate how Persian rugs unveil the American middle class' tension between their quest for sophistication and the desire to express their class identity in the post-Civil War era.