Faculty and Staff
Dorothea BrowderAssistant Professor of History
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 2008
Fields: U.S. Women, Labor
Office: 237 Cherry Hall
Phone: (270) 745-5725
Research Interests:I focus on U.S. women's history and gender history, and am especially interested in the history of working-class women, the intersection of religion and working-class activism, race relations, and the social construction of race. I am currently researching the history of the Young Women's Christian Association's Industrial Program, which ran from 1904 through the 1940s. I explore how YWCA industrial club participants reformed the middle-class women who sought to reform them, and how they forged a nation-wide movement of working women across differences such as race, religion, nation of origin, occupation, and unionized status. My most recent publication, "'A 'Christian Solution of the Labor Situation': How Working Women Reshaped the YWCA's Religious Mission and Politics" (Journal of Women's History 19:2, 2007), examines how working-class YWCA members persuaded the Association to endorse a platform of labor rights at the height of the 1919-1920 Red Scare. I am also working on a document project for SUNY Binghamton's Women and Social Movements website, drawing on the YWCA Industrial Program materials.
Teaching Interests:I regularly teach courses on U.S. women's history and the U.S. history survey, as well as the second half of the Western Civ survey. In Spring 2008 I am teaching a Special Topics (490) course that explores changes in the role that work has played in women's lives in the United States. Women have always worked, but the conditions and meanings of labor--and workers' relationship to their work-has changed for both men and women wage-earners, as has the experience and image of unpaid household labor. This course will explore the various changes as they directly affected American women economically, socially, and politically and will open up discussions of the impact of race and class as well as gender.
I may also periodically teach the history of sexuality class, as well as special topics courses in labor history, the social construction of race, and the history of religion and working-class activism.
Carol Crowe-CarracoProfessor of History
Ph.D., Georgia, 1971
Fields: Kentucky, Tudor-Stuart, Women
Office: 208 Cherry Hall
Phone: (270) 745-5728
Research Interests:Trained in English and American History, my fields are Kentucky History, State & Local History, and Tudor-Stuart England. My research interests are in Southern history, women, material culture, and British history. At present, I am working on a biography of Harry Innes, an early Kentucky jurist, a study of a Georgia antebellum couple, Adam Leopold and Sarah Gilbert Alexander, overviews of various Kentucky houses, women's sketches for a forthcoming African American encyclopedia, and a literacy book for adults learning to read. I am a frequent speaker across the state for civic and professional organizations and conduct numerous workshops on a variety of topics.
Teaching Interests:I have taught both halves of the Western Civ. survey, the English History surveys, Tudor-Stuart England, the Senior Seminar. I also regularly offer a course on Kentucky history and an occasional seminar in both Kentucky history and British history.
Robert DietleDepartment Head
Associate Professor of History
Ph.D., Yale, 1991
Fields: Early Modern Europe, France
Office: 240A Cherry Hall
Phone: (270) 745-5731
Research Interests:My research reflects my interest in the fields of intellectual and cultural history.
Teaching Interests:I teach courses on the French Revolution and Napoleon (History 422) and on the Eighteenth-Century Enlightenment (History 322). I also occasionally teach our department's course on Ancient Greece (History 305) as well as the history of sexuality (History 420).
Chunmei DuAssistant Professor of History
Ph.D., Princeton University, 2009
Fields: Modern East Asia, Chinese Diaspora
Office: 236 Cherry Hall
Phone: (270) 745-5743
Research Interests:My research uses the case of Gu Hongming 辜鴻銘 (1857-1928), a Western educated overseas Chinese who became a premier exponent of Confucianism to the early twentieth century Western world, to examine Chinese nationalism and conservatism in transnational contexts. Using Gu as a case study, my project further analyze two transnational networks that I term “diasporic Chinese professionals” from colonial Southeast Asia, and “spokesmen of the East” from China, Japan, India, and Russia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
In the future, I plan to work on the topic of modern Western imaginations of China and the “East,” by examining a number of English-language literary hoaxes created by Westerners masquerading as Chinese in the early twentieth century. I am interested in how these hoaxes relied upon and reinforced existing stereotypes and how these works influenced contemporary Western imagination of the “East.” In addition, I intend to expand my current research to include a broader social and cultural history of Western-educated Chinese diasporic professionals in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Teaching Interests:I teach Modern East Asia, Histories of China and Japan, Western Civilization II survey course on a regular basis. In the future, I plan to offer courses on Modern Chinese Cultural History, Chinese Diaspora, and Chinese Film and Popular Culture.
Marc EagleAssistant Professor of History
Ph.D., Tulane, 2005
Fields: Latin America
Office: 214B Cherry Hall
Phone: (270) 745-7026
Research Interests:My work focuses on the seventeenth-century Spanish Caribbean, especially on the administrative framework that connected the region with the metropolis. My dissertation was on the Audiencia of Santo Domingo, an appellate court with jurisdiction over most of the Caribbean; in it I argue that even though this tribunal faced poverty, enemy attacks, and antagonistic leadership, it was a flexible and durable ' if inefficient ' component of colonial administration. I am currently working on several article-length studies of other aspects of seventeenth-century Spanish Hispaniola, while my next project will be on the relations between the Spanish and non-Spanish populations in the Caribbean region during the colonial era.
Teaching Interests:Together with professors from the Geography and Political Science departments, I teach the Introduction to Latin America survey course every semester, and I will be teaching Colonial Latin America, Modern Latin America, and the Western Civilization I survey course on a regular basis. In future semesters, I will offer courses on the history of Mexico, U.S.-Latin American relations, piracy, and popular culture in Latin America.
John HardinProfessor of History
Ph.D. Michigan, 1989
Fields: African American, Africa
Office: 223-A Cherry Hall
Phone: (270) 745-2233
My central scholarly interests are 20th century African American history. In 2005,
the editorial board of the University Press of Kentucky unanimously approved the publication
of the Kentucky African American Encyclopedia. I will be serving as one of the three
general editors of this unique book. This five-year project will require over 200
contributors and have 1,200 entries. Also, I serve as an appointed member of the Kentucky
Oral History Commission and the Kentucky African American Heritage Commission.
My publications include the following books: Onward and Upward: A Centennial History of Kentucky State University 1886-1986 (Frankfort: 1987) and Fifty Years of Segregation: Black Higher Education in Kentucky 1904-1954 (Lexington: 1997). I have chapters in the following: Community Memories: A Glimpse of African American Life in Frankfort (Lexington: 2003) and A Commemoration of WKU's Integration/1956-2006(Bowling Green: 2006). Two articles have been published: "Green Pinckney Russell of Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute for Colored Persons," Journal of Black Studies 25 (May 1995) 5: 610-621 and "Green Pinckney Russell, Francis Marion Wood, and the Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute 1912-1929: A Study in Politics and Race," Filson Club History Quarterly, Volume 69, No.2, 171-188.
I teach three courses of interest: Blacks in American History to 1877, Blacks in American History Since 1877 and the History of Africa. All three courses are used by history and social science majors and African American studies minors to fulfill certain requirements. I am interested in the history of African Americans in the two centuries of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Tony HarkinsAssociate Professor of History
Ph.D., Univ. of Wisconsin, 1999
Fields: 20th century United States History, American Popular Culture since Civil War, American Studies
Office: 218 Cherry Hall
Phone: (270) 745-3149
Research Interests:My current research extends my exploration of postwar urban and rural images and identities and my focus on popular culture as an important site of struggle over social power. This new project explores the origins, development and potential consequences of envisioning the great center of the nation as "the middle of nowhere" from the perspectives of both coastal commentators and self-defined "Flyover People." In particular, I am investigating the impact of central transportation and communication developments (especially transcontinental passenger air travel, the interstate highway system, and television) on the changing ways Americans envisioned the cultural and geographic boundaries and intersections of the nation.
My book Hillbilly: A Cultural History of an American Icon (Oxford University Press, 2004) won the 2005 Susanne M. Glasscock Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Humanities Scholarship from Texas A&M University. Hillbilly draws on a wide array of popular culture genres that featured hillbilly images including literature, country music, comic strips and cartoons, films, television shows, local festivals and even the Internet to examine the evolution of one of the most pervasive and enduring icons of twentieth century American popular culture. Although often overlooked or dismissed as a base image of mass entertainment, the hillbilly, I contend, has served as a continually negotiated mythic space through which modern Americans have attempted to define themselves and their national identity and to reconcile the past and the present.
I have also published related articles on the hillbilly image in Studies in American Humor, Appalachian Journal, The Journal of Appalachian Studies and Historically Speaking. I am the Co-Editor of the Media section of the Encyclopedia of Appalachia (Univ. of Tennessee Press, 2006) and serve as a historical consultant on several film documentaries.
Teaching Interests:I teach the second half of the Western Civ survey, both halves of the U.S History survey, the U.S. since 1945, History of U.S. Popular Culture since the Civil War, and a graduate seminar on 20th century U.S. social and cultural history. In addition, I team-teach the American studies survey each semester
Eric KondratieffAssistant Professor of History
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2003
Fields: Roman History
Office: 217 Cherry Hall
Phone: (270) 745-8861
Glenn W. LaFantasieThe Richard Frockt Family Professor of History
Ph.D., Brown University, 2005
Fields: Nineteenth-Century America, Civil War and Reconstruction, Old South
Office: 238 Cherry Hall
Phone: (270) 745-4950
Civil War'social, political, and military history, with a particular focus on Abraham Lincoln; Ulysses S. Grant; Robert E. Lee, Gettysburg; slavery and antislavery; Southern cultural history; and the legacy of the American Revolution in the nineteenth century. My current research is focused around Lincoln and Grant for my next book, which will be published during the coming sesquicentennial of the Civil War. The book will examine the relationship between the Union's commander-in-chief and his general-in-chief and will explore the dimensions of their working partnership that led the Union so conclusively to victory over the Confederacy. The book will also take a look at the historiographical debates over whether the Civil War was a total war, how the two men used plain and straightforward language to express themselves, and how their roots in the West (the modern Midwest) influenced their words and deeds. For the Lincoln bicentennial, I will be delivering scholar papers on the sixteenth president at two major symposiums, one at Brown University and the other in Springfield, Illinois. I am also writing an article and a short biography Union General Manning Ferguson Force, a Medal of Honor winner from Ohio. I also serve as the Director of the Center for the Study of the Civil War in the West. The mission of the Center is to establish Western Kentucky University as the world's premier institution for research, teaching, and public dialogue on the history, culture, and contemporary implications of how the Civil War was experienced by Americans living west of the Appalachian Mountains. The Center, which is currently under development, will emphasize the interdisciplinary investigation and documentation of the Civil War in the West as a culturally, historically, geographically, and demographically complex field of study. The Center will also promote research on all aspects of the war in the western theater by supporting the work of its faculty, staff, students, and visiting scholars. It will offer to the public, as well as to the academic community, opportunities for increasing knowledge of the Civil War in the West (and particularly in Kentucky) through conferences, lectures, credit courses, publications, tours, and archival access. Details about the Center and its programs may be found at its website, http://www.wku.edu/civilwarcenter.
The Old South, Age of Jackson, Antebellum America, The Rise and Fall of the Confederacy, The Civil War and Reconstruction, U.S. History to 1865
David LeeDean of Potter College
Professor of History
Ph.D., Ohio State, 1975
Fields: 20th Century U.S., Aviation, U.S. Political, South
Office: 200 Ivan Wilson Fine Arts Center
Phone: (270) 745-5204
Research Interests:My research interests center on American society in the first half of the 20th century. I have done books on Tennessee politics in the 1920s and on the life of World War I soldier, Sergeant Alvin York. I also co-authored a history of the United States in the twentieth century. More recently my research has focused on aviation history, particularly the role of the federal government in the development of commercial aviation in the 1920s and 1930s. Articles drawing on this research have appeared in The Historian and Business History Reviewand in collections of essays published by the University of Iowa Press and the University of North Carolina Press. I have received research fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Association.
Teaching Interests:My teaching interests focus on American history, primarily in the 20th century.
Andrew McMichaelAssociate Professor of History
Assistant Dean of Potter College
Ph.D., Vanderbilt, 2000
Fields: Atlantic World, Borderlands, Colonial/Revolutionary/Early America
Office: 207 Cherry Hall
Research Interests:My primary scholarly interest is colonial American Atlantic World, focusing on British colonial North America and its connections with Latin America. My first monograph, Atlantic Loyalties: Americans in Spanish West Florida, 1785-1810, is out from the University of Georgia Press. I am currently working on several projects related to the colonial Atlantic World. My current research interests tend towards food and drink, most specifically in the area of alcohol consumption. I am currently in the research and planning stages of a series of books that will explore the history and use (past and present) of food and wine, spirits, and beer. My current work in the dean’s office, where I now spend most of my time, centers around curriculum development and grant writing.
My other interests include the use of computers and history. I serve as a consultant for several history projects and have written a couple of articles on the subject and taught a course on history and the Internet. I work with the Ecclesiastical Sources in Slave Societies project, "advanc[es] the study of slavery and the African diaspora by identifying, inventorying, and creating a digital archive of rich, underutilized, and at-risk ecclesiastical sources for Africans and persons of African descent in Brazil, Cuba, and the Spanish circum-Caribbean." Additionally I wrote a short book on teaching students how to use the Internet to do history.
Teaching Interests:My teaching following my research interests, to a large degree. At the same time, I want my personal interests to influence my teaching as well, which I believe helps keep my classes "fresh" for students. I believe that students should be challenged to think about history in new ways, that they should think about how history is packaged in the public space, and the ways that a knowledge of history can help them better understand their own time. If my classes don't challenge students's identity, their assumptions about the world in which they live, and their social and cultural viewpoints, then I'm not doing my job. I lecture, but we also spend a great deal of time discussing readings, concepts, and problems. I hope to challenge students to think in new ways. As an example, in my Western Civ class we are playing two computer games-Civilization and Europa Universalis. Both are sim-type games that require the player to lead a "country" to prominence in some way. How are these games packaged? Do they reflect reality in some way? What reality are they intended to reflect, and what does the format and popularity of these games suggest about the way that history is "sold" in the public sphere? I have published an article on this topic that appears in the February, 2007 issue of The History Teacher. In spring, 2008, I am team-teaching my "Cultural History of Alcohol" class as "The History and Science of Beer and Brewing" with Rodney King in Biology. As part of the class we'll be making ten gallons of beer every other week. We will do tastings, learn the history of alcohol, the culturing of yeast, the chemical processes that go into brewing, basic enzymology and fermentative metabolism. Hands-on learning!
Patti MinterAssociate Professor of History
Ph.D., Virginia, 1994
Fields: American Legal, 19th and 20th-Century U.S. and Southern
Office: 218 Cherry Hall
Phone: (270) 745-5098
Research Interests:I focus on Southern legal history, with specific interests in race relations and civil rights and liberties. Currently I am working on my book, "The Codification of Jim Crow: The Origins of Segregated Transit Law in the South, 1865-1910." With Kathryn Abbott, I am co-authoring a two-volume biography supplement, Out of Many Lives, Many Stories to accompany Faragher, et. al., Out of Many: A History of the American People (forthcoming, Prentice-Hall, 2002). Additionally, I am currently researching an article that re-examines the Flag Salute Cases for an anthology on religion and civil liberties during the era of World War II. In collaboration with Sally Hadden (Florida State University), I am editing a two-volume anthology of articles on Southern history.
Teaching Interests:Legal History, Civil Rights, American History since the Civil War, and others.
Beth PlummerAssociate Professor of History
Ph.D., University of Virginia, 1996
Fields: Renaissance and Reformation Europe
Office: 223B Cherry Hall
Phone: (270) 745-5739
My research focus is on the early Reformation; family, gender, and religion in early
modern Europe; and crime and punishment in sixteenth-century Germany.
In addition to publishing an edited collection of essays with Robin B. Barns, Ideas and Cultural Margins: Essays in Honor of H.C. Erik Midelfort (Aldershot, 2009) and several articles including one in the Archive for Reformation History and one in Gender and History, I have recently completed a book, From Priest’s Whore to Pastor’s Wife: Clerical Marriage and the Process of Reform in Early Reformation Germany (Farnham, forthcoming 2012). This study investigates the way that clerical marriage was received, and the progress of reform on this issue, in the dioceses of Mainz and Magdeburg under Archbishop Albrecht von Hohenzollern from 1513 to 1545, concentrating on three key regions within this territory: Saxony, Franconia, and Swabia. My research reveals the active role that the laity (i.e. artisans, craftsmen, housekeepers, concubines, pastors’ wives), local clergy (parish priests, nuns, monks), and magistrates played in situating public controversies over clerical marriage in the early German Reformation. I explore how the resulting debates and disputes led to the creation of new cultural and social norms of clerical and lay behavior, and connect this change to broader intellectual and public concerns about marriage, gender, and social identity.
My current research project, tentatively titled “Stripping the Veil: Nuns, Violence, and the Experience of Laicization in Sixteenth-Century Germany,” explores the experience of former nuns as they returned to lay status during the sixteenth century.
In addition to teaching Western and World Civilization I and II and undergraduate and graduate courses on Renaissance and Reformation Europe, I have taught seminar courses in Early Modern European Cultural and Social History, Monasticism, Popular Religion in Pre-Modern Europe, Early Modern Printing and Propaganda, Crime and Punishment in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, and European Women's History.
Eric ReedAssociate Professor of History
Ph.D., Syracuse University, 2001
Fields: Modern France, Modern Europe
Office: 219 Cherry Hall
Research Interests:I am completing a book on the Tour de France bicycle race that places the event's history into the context of twentieth-century globalization.
Teaching Interests:I enjoy teaching a wide variety of courses including our Western Civilization survey, 20th-Century Europe, History of Sport, History of Popular Culture, and The City in History.
Juan RomeroAssistant Professor of History
Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin, 2008
Fields: Modern Middle East
Office: 214a Cherry Hall
Phone: (270) 745-3196
Research Interests:My research interests focus on revolutionary movements in the Middle East, Middle Eastern nationalism, western imperialism, pan-Arabism, and the Cold War in the Middle East. My book The Iraqi Revolution of 1958: A Revolutionary Quest for Unity and Securitywill be published in 2010. I am currently working on a second book project, the Lebanese civil war of 1958.and the American intervention in Lebanon the same year. This project analyzes relations between the US Marines and Lebanese militias, and peace efforts undertaken by Lebanese religious leaders.
Teaching Interests:I teach a Middle East survey course (History of the Middle East), and the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Future courses I plan to teach are: History of Modern Iran, Intellectual History of the Modern Middle East, Revolutions in the Middle East, The British Empire and the Middle East, and The United States and the Middle East.
Selena SanderferAssistant Professor of History
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University, 2010
Fields: African Diaspora, American History
Office: 230B Cherry Hall
Phone: (270) 745-4739
Research Interests:My research interests focus mainly on southern African Americans and Black Nationalism. I am currently pursuing research related to my dissertation, which examines the participation of black lower class southerners in movements supporting territorial separatism from the late eighteenth to the early twentieth century. For future research I plan to continue studying the experiences of black southerners and in particular investigate the emergence and legacy of all black towns and communities.
Teaching Interests:I enjoy teaching courses on the history of the African Diaspora and American history. I have taught courses in African history, American history and Western Civilization as well as special topic courses in African American history, the Atlantic World and the history of slavery.
Jack ThackerProfessor of History
Ph.D., South Carolina, 1966
Fields: European Social and Intellectual, Military History, Diplomatic History
Office: 224C Cherry Hall
Phone: (270) 745-5737
Research Interests:At present, I am working on two projects. The first is a study of Eisenhower's evaluation of his commanders in World War II and the effect it had on shaping the post-war military. The second is a shorter study dealing with the post-War of 1812 career of General Jacob Brown, the commanding general of the U.S. army from 1821 to 1827. I recently completed a short study of weapons technology and allied military doctrine during World War II. I have published several articles dealing with the period before World War I, two textbooks, over 250 book reviews, fifty encyclopedia articles and over 1600 abstracts of articles for Historical Abstracts and American History and Life.
Teaching Interests:In addition to Western Civilization classes, I teach Military History (History 299, 494), 19th-Century European (History 334), Modern Germany (History 425), Hitler and Nazi Germany (History 426), European History for Secondary Teachers (History 501), History/Methodology (History 584) a team-taught course with the College of Education, and graduate seminars on World War I and World War II (History 606).
Tamara Van DykenAssistant Professor of History
Ph.D, University of Notre Dame, 2009
Fields: United States Religious History, Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism, History Education
Office: 230A Cherry Hall
Phone: (270) 745-2994
Research Interests:My research focuses on evangelicalism and fundamentalism in late nineteenth and twentieth century America, specifically the intersection of evangelical Protestantism and American culture. Currently, I am exploring the development of evangelical feminism in America from the 1970s through the 1990s and its role in defining postmodern evangelicalism as well as second-wave feminism.
Teaching Interests:In addition to teaching the second half of Western Civilization and the United States survey, I have taught upper level period courses including the United States 1900-1945 and the United States since 1945 as well as topical courses in the History of Religion in America, Evangelicalism and Politics in America, and the History of Sport.
Jennifer Walton-HanleyAssistant Professor of History
Richard WeigelProfessor of History
Ph.D., Delaware, 1973
Fields: Ancient Greece and Rome
Office: 201A Cherry Hall
Phone: (270) 745-5724
Research Interests:Roman political and religious history from the Republic through the third century A.D. has been the focus of my research. I co-authored one book, Peace in the Ancient World (McFarland, 1981) and published another, Lepidus: The Tarnished Triumvir (Routledge, 1992). In addition, I have published roughly 30 refereed articles on topics in Roman history. The inscriptions and images on Roman coins have been one of the major sources for my published articles and for my next book, on "Gods and Goddesses on Roman Coins." I also work on a website, De Imperatoribus Romanis, which includes scholarly biographical entries on the Roman emperors, which can be found at: http://www.roman-emperors.org/
Teaching Interests:Ancient Greece and Rome, Western Civilization before 1648, and others.
Marion B. LucasProfessor of History