Book Discussion Leaders:
Fall 2008: Amy Morsman, Middlebury College
Amy Morsman is an Assistant Professor of History at Middlebury College, where she teaches courses on nineteenth-century American history. Her specific teaching and research interests focus on the Civil War era and in womenís and gender history. Morsman received her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 2004. Her book, The Big House After Slavery: Virginia Plantation Families and their Postbellum Domestic Experiment is under contract with the University of Virginia Press.
Degrees, Specializations & Interests:
M.A., University of Virginia; Ph.D., University of Virginia.
Areas of Specialization:
American History, U.S. Gender History, History of 19th-century South.
Reconstruction: Southerners After Confederate Defeat; American History Survey, parts I and II; Survey of American Women's History; West Africa and the Slave Trade; History of Gender and Sexuality in America; Southern Women, Black and White; Civil War and Reconstruction
Spring 2009: J. William Harris, UNH, Finalist for Publicist
Prize in History
J. William Harris, professor of history at the University of New Hampshire for more than 20 years, has been awarded the annual Lindberg Award for his achievements as both an outstanding scholar and teacher in the College of Liberal Arts.
"Billís teaching is legendary in the history department," said Janet Polasky, chair of the history department, in her nomination of Harris. "We - the old timers - still talk about the class he taught when he came for his interview almost 20 years ago. It was a large gen ed class; instead of lecturing as every other candidate has always done, he boldly led a discussion with 50 students he did not know in front of the entire faculty. Not only that, but it worked."
Polasky went on to say that Harris truly combines his teaching and his scholarship, writing books that are accessible to non specialists as well as academics. "He is the perfect embodiment of the Lindberg ideals of bringing scholarship to our students and of teaching through our publications."
Harris's publications include Plain Folk and Gentry in a Slave Society, which is still taught widely in college classes after 20 years; Society and Culture in the Slave South, which he edited; and Deep Souths: Delta, Piedmont, and Sea Island Society in the Age of Segregation. Deep Souths was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in History in 2002 and won the James Rawling competition for books dealing with race relations.
"It should come as no surprise the Deep Souths, written by J. William Harris, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize . . . Deep Souths brings us closer to an understanding of how place and time shaped the different ways that the politics and cultures of segregation played out on the Georgia Sea Coast, in the Mississippi Delta, and in the Georgia Piedmont." ó Sarah Judson, Journal of American History
His latest book, The Making of the American South: A Short History, 1500-1877, was published earlier this year. Harris has held fellowships at the Charles Warren Center at Harvard University, the National Center for the Humanities in North Carolina and the Center for Humanities at UNH, and taught as a Senior Fulbright Lecturer at the University of Genoa.
In addition, Harris is consistently at the top of course evaluation rankings by students. "Those who have worked on research papers with him cannot overstate the patience displayed and time committed to their projects. He is, without question, the ultimate teacher," Dean Hoskin of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of New Hampshire, said.
HIST 506: African American History
HIST 611/811: Civil War Era
HIST 625: Southern History and Literature HIST
787: Quantitative Methods and Computers for Historians
Fields of Research:
history of the American South, civil war, African American history