Program Faculty

O. Vernon Burton, Executive Director

Dr. Burton is the Associate Director for Humanities, Arts, and Sciences at the Clemson Cyber Institute. He also teaches courses in U.S. social and political history, history of the south, race relations, Civil Rights movement, family & community studies, and quantitative techniques.

Simon K. Lewis, Director

Dr. Lewis is an Associate Professor of English at the College of Charleston and editor of Illuminations.   He teaches courses in African literature, Post-colonial literature and theory, and Contemporary South African literature, culture & poetry.

David T. Gleeson, UK Affiliate Director

Dr. Gleeson is a Professor of American History at Northumbria University in Newcastle, England.  He teaches courses on the American South in the 19th Century, Modern Ireland, the history of the South since 1865, and Ireland and the Irish Diaspora.

Lisa B. Randle, Site Coordinator for the Transatlantic Slave Trade Education Project

Ms Randle holds degrees from the University of South Carolina: B.A. (International Studies), M.A. (Public History, Anthropology), Graduate Certificate (Historic Archaeology), and is currently working on her Ph.D. in Historic Archaeology. Her research area is East Branch of the Cooper River, Berkeley County, South Carolina.

Christopher Vinson, Technology Coordinator

Mr Vinson is the Systems Librarian at the Marlene and Nathan Addlestone Library at the College of Charleston and the Project Coordinator of the South Carolina Digital Library.  He holds an MLIS from the University of South Carolina.

John W. White, Associate

Dr. White is the Dean of Libraries at the College of Charleston.  He is a public historian specializing  in the history of South Carolina, race relations, and modern conservatism.

Sandra Slater, Associate

Dr. Sandra Slater is an Assistant Professor of History and Women’s and Gender Studies at the College of Charleston. She teaches classes on Colonial America, American Sexualities, and Gender in the early modern Atlantic world. Her research assesses comparative constructions of European masculinities in the New World during the period of early contact.

Brian Kelly, After Slavery Project

Dr. Brian Kelly specializes in US labor, Southern and African American history at Queens University in Belfast. He is at work on a monograph on Black Workers and Political Mobilization in Reconstruction South Carolina. His first book, Race, Class and Power in the Alabama Coalfields, 1908-1921 (Illinois, 2001) won five major awards, including the Frances Butler Simkins Prize for an outstanding first book by an author in Southern history, and he has published widely on race and labor in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His recent publications include “Labor and Place: The Contours of Freedpeople’s Mobilization in Reconstruction South Carolina,” Journal of Peasant Studies 35: 4 (October 2008): 653-687, and “Emancipations and Reversals: Labor, Race, and the Boundaries of American Freedom in the Age of Capital,” International Labor and Working-Class History 75: 1 (Spring 2009): 1-15.

Adam Mendelsohn, Associate

Dr. Mendelsohn is an Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies at the College of Charleston. He teaches courses on Southern Jewish history, modern Jewish history, and on Jews and race in South Africa and the South. His research focuses on the connections between the Jewish communities of the United States and British Empire in the 19th century.

Kameika Murphy, Associate

Dr. Murphy is an Assistant Professor of History at the College of Charleston. Dr. Murphy is interested in connections between  the American South and Greater Caribbean, especially as it relates to migration and revolutions in the Atlantic region. Her research interest also includes civil society and the production power, military communities, refugees, and Diaspora. Dr. Murphy has also done work on capacity building in community based organizations, as well as gender, governance and development in post-colonial societies. Her most recent research centers on Black Loyalists and their socio-political contributions to Afro-Caribbean society. Other forthcoming projects include two articles, one on Black Loyalists experiences in the Haitian Revolution and another on the significance of Gadsden’s Wharf for refugees of the American Revolution.

Mari Crabtree, Associate

Dr. Crabtree is an assistant professor of African American Studies and an affiliate of the History Department. She studies the intersections of African American culture, racial violence, and systems of oppression. Her book manuscript, “My Soul is a Witness: Lynching and Southern Memory, 1940–1970,” unearths how memories of lynching shaped identity, culture, and community in the mid-twentieth century American South. She uses the sensibility of the blues as the central metaphor for theorizing the ways in which African American cultural forms provide a mode for processing and remembering the trauma of racial violence. She is also writing an article on the cultural meaning of ghosts in African American folklore, and her next book project will be an intellectual history on sincerity, irony, and critiques of white supremacy.

Professor Crabtree teaches courses on major debates in African American Studies, African American music, mass incarceration, and collective memories of racial violence.


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