I have taught history on the college level since 1993 at a number of institutions, both as a visiting scholar and as a regular returning faculty member. My interest in history has always been diverse, perhaps the result of my early interest in literature and philosophy, as well as in science, music and the arts. Consequently, my record in teaching has reflected this diversity of interests...
U.S. History, Upper Level:
History 364, The New South
The course is designed to survey of the economic, social, and political development of the American South since 1870, including the eleven former states of the Confederacy, plus those border states that are often a part of any general treatment of the South. Prerequisites: History 221 & 222.
History 433, U.S. 19th Century Colloquium
The course is designed as a colloquium to provide an in depth look at the political, economic, social, and cultural changes the nation underwent during the nineteenth century as it moved from an agrarian republic to become a major industrial and emerging world power by 1900. Although the course is listed with prerequisites, History 221-222, these may be waved based upon student background and degree of interest. The course is usually taught in a blended format, with emphasis on interpretive understandings of the 19th century, critical examination of perspectives, documentary resources, the use of online materials, and historians’ methods. As a colloquium, History 433 places emphasis on student-teacher dialogue in a social science, laboratory setting.
History 434, U.S. 20th Century Colloquium
The course is designed as a colloquium to provide students with an in depth look at the political, economic, social, and cultural history of the 20th century U.S., from the age of Progressivism in U.S. politics, to the post-Sixties era of resurgent conservatism and globalization in an age of dominant American influence in world affairs. Although the course is listed with prerequisites, History 221-222, these may be waved based upon student background and degree of interest. The course is usually taught in a blended format, with emphasis on interpretive understandings of the 20th century, critical examination of perspectives, documentary resources, the use of online materials, and historians’ methods. As a colloquium, History 434 places emphasis on student-teacher dialogue in a social science, laboratory setting.
U.S. History Surveys:
History 221, U.S. History, Colonial to Reconstruction
History 222, U.S. History, Reconstruction to the 21st
These survey courses examine the major political, social, cultural, economic, and intellectual
developments that shaped American history from its colonial beginnings to recent times and events. Taught usually in a blended format, students use the internet to draw from original sources, web collections, and online films, music and other original resource materials. Online discussion boards are usually required, along with interactive tests, and a short online journal.
About My Education
At the University of South Carolina, where I received my graduate education, I focused early on the Southern regional and African American experience and its wider relationship to U.S. history—and the American reform tradition in U.S. politics. My MA Thesis, “The Case of the Wilmington Ten: From Civil Rights to Black Nationalism, 1898 to 1980”, sought to put the internationally notorious “Case of the Wilmington Ten” into the perspective of the civil rights movement.
I found that the political ramifications of this case ran in so many directions, with a record so vast that it poses many problems for the historian. As important as this case was in the context of the 1970s, for North Carolina as well as the nation, it still troubles me that we have no really accepted study of what may have been the last major case that still belonged to or originated in the period we call “The Sixties”. Though most scholars would agree that we have had an explosion of writing on the subject of the civil rights endeavor, the picture that we have of North Carolina during this time is by no means complete.
For my doctoral training, I also studied U.S. Constitutional history, and then turned more directly to the study of social history in broad terms. Graduate level seminars in Antebellum U.S., the New South, and Victorian America gave me a solid grounding in 19th Century America—and introduced me to the growing contemporary literature that has been responsive to post-World War II interpretive themes of social history. Twentieth century studies in The 1930s, the Cold War, and Black Experience helped me to unravel as sense of how America and the South changed fundamentally in the American Century.
The director of my doctoral dissertation, Prof. Marcia Synnott, urged me on toward a more comprehensive understanding of major social movements of the modern age: particularly women, industrial workers, and African Americans—three groups that as a Southern white, I particularly needed to understand. Yet I was also fortunate to be able to do a course in the French Annales School—which has all but established the standard for the advanced study of social history in Europe; and to do a fourth doctoral field in Ancient Greco-Roman History, which helped to round out my understanding of the role of Classical Antiquity in the shaping of American and Western culture.
My dissertation, Wilmington and the North Carolina Way: Race, Culture and Economy Through the Civil Rights Years, was very much inspired by the Annales School, but also by the Lacy Ford seminars Antebellum and New South history at the University of South Carolina. My writing was much in the spirit of the new social history that has sought to unravel the complex inter-woven fabric of community life and economic relationships….
History 111, Western Civilization, Part 1, First Cultures to Early Modern Europe
History 112, Western Civilization, Part 2, Early Modern Europe to the West in the Age of Postwar Globalization.
These survey courses examine the major political, social, cultural, economic and intellectual developments which gave rise to Western civilization and its continuance. Typically these courses draw from documentary readings, and online resources, while focusing on one short additional thematic book on which students are asked to write a short paper. Taught also in a blended format, students engage in discussion boards and keep a short online journal.