Letter from the Chair

Welcome to Winthrop University's Department of History, home to a cohort of teacher-scholars dedicated to guiding students in an exploration of the past and of how that past has shaped and continues to shape a diverse human experience. Join longtime member of the department Dr. Virginia Williams and journey to historic Latin America or learn about American Social Movements and US-Latin American relations. In the past, Dr. Williams has taken students on a unique (and for many, "life-changing") service-learning course that brought her students to Nicaragua to work with a village school she founded in 2007, The Winthrop School.  Dr. Williams also head’s up Individualized Studies and is the Program Coordinator of Peace, Justice.  Join Dr. J. Edward Lee, an award-winning teacher, as he introduces students to the fertile resources of Winthrop's Louise Pettus Archives and the South Carolina State Archives for one of the richest experiences available to any student of history. Or for those who are interested in African American Studies, the Program Coordinator is on our hall.  Students will find Dr. Jennifer Dixon-McKnight's "Black Women in America" and the "Modern Civil Rights Movement" both enlightening and inspiring. Approach her in class or in her almost-always-open office about her fascinating work on "Black Women Hospital Workers and the Charleston Hospital Strike, 1967-1970," the subject of a future monograph that is certain to garner attention from a wide range of readers. 


Follow Dr. Gregory Crider, our Ellison Capers Palmer, Jr. Professor and co-editor of The Latin Americanist, as he presents an elucidating analysis of revolutions in the Americas or leads an exhilarating discussion on the history of Mexico. Take a class with Dr. Andrew Doyle on the American South or the history of American sports; or maybe engage him in a stimulating discussion of his current book project on college football's relationship to southern culture in the early twentieth century. Aspiring teachers can take courses with Dr. Margaret Gillikin, the Coordinator of the Social Studies Education and the Community-Based Learning programs.  The history department also participates in Winthrop University’s MAT Accelerated program (MAT-5), which provides history majors who minor in Educational studies the opportunity to earn their undergraduate degree and a Master of Arts in Teaching in five years.

If studying cultures from around the world is more to your liking, find yourself immersed in the history of China with Dr. Catherine Chang (faculty advisor for the history honors society, Phi Alpha Theta) or accompany her on a study abroad adventure to explore the history of the Middle Kingdom while standing atop The Great Wall.  Study with Dr. Dave Pretty as he taps years of experience in European archives to offer insight into German and Russian history or, perhaps, for an in-depth examination of the rise and fall of the Soviet Union.  Or you can turn to the ancient and medieval world and breathe life into characters such as Peter the Hermit, Joan of Arc, and Richard Lionheart in class or during an entire week of medieval events each spring.    


As you can see, Winthrop's History Department provides a host of academic opportunities for majors, minors, social studies students, and all intrigued by the past who hope to develop or enhance careers ranging from the courtroom to the classroom and from Wall Street to Main Street. If you are interested in joining us on this journey, please contact me or any of my colleagues. And again, welcome to our department.


Dr. Gregory Bell
Department of History