Winthrop University: Department of History at Winthrop

Online gift buttonWelcome to the Department of History!

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Winthrop's Department of History is home to an impressive group of teacher/scholars who cover a wide range of fields grounded in active research and reflected in an array of scholarship from digital works to traditional monographs (check department news below for recent examples). The department offers programs of study leading to the BA in History, the BA History with Education Studies Minor for teacher track, and the MA in History. The department also offers study in Digital History, Oral History, and, through affiliation with The Louise Pettus Archives and historic sites, Public History. The Department of History is located in Bancroft Hall in the heart of the Winthrop campus. 

Bancroft- angled


Want to Teach? Major in History!

History BA students wishing to pursue a career as a history teacher will minor in Education Studies, leading to admission into the accelerated MAT program. Completion of this degree plan will not only prepare students for a teaching career but will open that career on a substantially higher pay scale on which all future increases will be based. In other words, a short-term investment in the MAT will translate to long-long benefits that will continue to offer rewards throughout a career in the classroom.  For more information, click here and/or contact Dr. Jennifer Dixon-McKnight or Dr. Don Rakestraw.

Don't Want to Teach (PDF - 35.6 KB)? Major in History!


Department News:

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- Check out Dr. Eddie Lee's Fall 2021 course, HIST 603: Tillman, Thurmond, and Modern South Carolina!



the first mistake 

 Dr. Edward Lee, Professor of History and Director of Graduate Studies, has a new book titled, "The First Mistake: America in Vietname, 1945-1954", now available here!

"When writing about the Vietnam War, most scholars focus on the 1960s. But in this hard-hitting analysis, eminent historian Dr. J. Edward Lee focuses instead on the key period of 1945 to 1954, the first decade of America's Vietnam War experience. He suggests that as the Cold War commenced in 1945, America failed to remember our nation's own revolutionary experience and the importance of independence and self-determination, missing an opportunity to build a positive relationship with Ho Chi Minh when we aided the return of French colonialism instead of working with him to achieve his country's independence from imperialist France. A must-read for university classes studying the 20th century, veterans groups, and anyone interested in the gritty history of the Vietnam War."




Virtual Winthrop Day is April 25th! Read a brief note from the history department chair here

Check out these new Spring 2021 Courses:

HIST555Sp2021 HIST610




Department Highlights:


Greg Bell BookDr. Greg Bell, Assistant Professor of History and Program Director for the Medieval Studies Program, has a new book, "Logistics of the First Crusade" that is now available!

Logisitics of the First Crusade: Aquiring Supplies amid Chaos looks at the plans that they made and the methods they implemented to sustain themselves on this remarkable expedition in an attempt to understand how they persisted on the First Crusade. Alex Roland, Duke University, states, "this thoroughly researched and richly detailed study of supplying the First Crusade makes two important contributions. It demonstrates firstly that the crusaders were capable, thoughtful, effective, judicious and-if necessary-ruthless supplying themselves. Secondly, the First Crusade's logisitical success reveals more skillful leadership than previous scholarship has usually portrayed." 




Dr. Andy Doyle is now featured in ESPN's series, Saturdays in the South, which chronicles the history of SEC Football. He is also scheduled to teach a course in Spring 2020 on the History of American Football. See Records and Registration, for more information on this course. 

                                   Saturdays in the South


Dr. Gregory Crider organized an extremely successful 2019 SECOLAS Annual Meeting in Oaxaca, Mexico with 338 registered attendees. Established in 1953, the Southeastern Council of Latin America Studies (SECOLAS) is a non-political and non-profit association of individuals interested in Latin America. Its objectives are the promotion of interest in Latin America, scholarly research pertaining to Latin America in all fields, and the increase of friendly contacts among the peoples of the Americas. For more information, please visit their website here



Winthrop University hosted the 2019 Phi Alpha Theta Regional Conference:

The Department of History and the Alpha Tau Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta was proud to serve as the host of the 2019 Phi Alpha Theta Carolinas Regional Conference. Winthrop University's Alpha Tau chapter is the earliest chapter established in the Carolinas and for decades, has organized numerous cultural events and trips to promote history and build connections between Winthrop University and Carolinian communities. The Conference was held April 12-13, 2019, with the sponsorship of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of History, and Ms. Maggie Elrod (an alumna of Winthrop's Department of History and Phi Alpha Theta member). A special thanks for Dr. Catherine Chang, for organizing this wonderful event. 

                                       PAT Conference


Rakestraw Webster

Dr. Donald Rakestraw's new book on Daniel Webster is now available from Rowman & Littlefield and debuts with the endorsements of a number of prominent scholars of Nineteenth-century U.S. History and Foreign Relations:

"A finely crafted, well-researched, and carefully reasoned study of Daniel Webster as diplomatist as well as politician and lawyer. Nowhere else can both academics and general readers find a more succinct yet thorough account of this multifaceted figure who, with Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun, made up the "Great Triumvirate" that dominated the political stage of mid-nineteenth-century America."
Howard Jones, University of Alabama


Please check the History Department's News and Events page for details about exciting opportunities, including cultural events sponsored by the History Department, and departmental news.


 Are you a current student or alumni of the History Department and want to share your achievements? We would love to hear from you! Please send us your news at Thank you!


US History courses that satisfy the General Education Constitution requirement address by nature and design America’s foundational documents. These include but are not limited to the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, and essential Supreme Court decisions as relevant to the period covered by the course. All documents will be made available by individual course instructors as will specific guidance as to their application. Eager students, however, may consider consulting sources such as Yale Law School’s Avalon Project to begin the exploration.


For the general approach to the Constitution and its evolution presented in HIST 211 and HIST 212, click here (pdf - 60.3 KB). 


Last Updated: 10/4/21