Richard J. Milbauer Program in Southern History

The Richard J. Milbauer Program in Southern history was founded in 1983 thanks to a generous donation from the Richard Milbauer estate. The Milbauer program facilitates interaction between students and scholars, including at the Milbauer reception during the annual meeting of the Southern Historical Association and at the Milbauer seminar and lecture series each spring.

The Milbauer Seminar in Southern history provides a forum in which graduate students have their current research critiqued by their peers. Moreover, the seminar fosters an environment in which students interact with and learn from visiting historians. As part of the seminar, the program brings scholars to the University of Florida for two days, during which they participate in a series of one-on-one meetings, an evening reception, and a graduate student luncheon. The scholar’s visit culminates in a three-hour lecture, which includes a presentation of their recent work and a critique of one student’s conference-style paper.

Richard J. Milbauer graduated from the University of Florida in 1955 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and in 1958 with a bachelor’s degree in literary law. In 1983, Milbauer’s estate endowed an eminent scholar chair at the University of Florida. The Milbauer professorship was occupied from 1983 to 2004 by Bertram Wyatt-Brown, distinguished historian of the American South and author, among many works, of Southern Honor: Ethics and Behavior in the Old South (1982).

Milbauer Scholars

Since 2007, the Milbauer Program has hosted 3-4 visiting scholars each year, usually in the spring semester. The visits coincide with a research seminar, and involve intensive, one-on-one interactions with graduate students.

Past Milbauer Scholars

John C. Inscoe

John C. Inscoe

University of Georgia

Albert B. Saye Professor of History Faculty Profile
Joseph Crespino

Joseph Crespino

Emory University

Jimmy Carter Professor of American History Faculty Profile
William Blair

William Blair

Pennsylvania State University

Walter L. and Helen P. Ferree Professor of Middle American History
Director of the Richards Civil War Era Center
Faculty Profile
Catherine Clinton

Catherine Clinton

University of Texas - San Antonio

Denman Endowed Chair of American History Faculty Profile
Stephanie McCurry

Stephanie McCurry

Columbia University

R. Gordon Hoxie Professor of American History in Honor of Dwight D. Eisenhower Faculty Profile
Aaron Sheehan-Dean

Aaron Sheehan-Dean

Louisiana State University

Fred C. Frey Chair in Southern Studies Faculty Profile
Jack Temple Kirby (1938 - 2009)

Jack Temple Kirby (1938 - 2009)

Miami University (Ohio)

W. E. Smith Professor Emeritus of History Biography
Kevin Kruse

Kevin Kruse

Princeton University

Professor of History Faculty Profile
Peter S. Carmichael

Peter S. Carmichael

Gettysburg College

Fluhrer Professor of Civil War History
Director, Civil War Institute
Faculty Profile
Elizabeth Varon

Elizabeth Varon

University of Virginia

Langbourne M. Williams Professor of American History
Associate Director, John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History
Faculty Profile
Scott Reynolds Nelson

Scott Reynolds Nelson

University of Georgia

Athletic Association Professor in the Humanities Faculty Profile
Edward Ayers

Edward Ayers

University of Richmond

Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities
President Emeritus
Faculty Profile
Glenda Gilmore

Glenda Gilmore

Yale University

Peter V. and C. Vann Woodward Professor of History, African American Studies and American Studies Faculty Profile
Michele Gillespie

Michele Gillespie

Wake Forest University

Dean of the College
Presidential Endowed Chair of Southern History
Faculty Profile
Michael K. Honey

Michael K. Honey

University of Washington - Tacoma

Fred and Dorothy Haley Endowed Professor of Humanities Faculty Profile
Charles F. Irons

Charles F. Irons

Elon University

Associate Professor of History
Chair of the Department of History and Geography
Faculty Profile
Stephen F. Lawson

Stephen F. Lawson

Rutgers University

Professor Emeritus of History Faculty Profile
Nancy A. Hewitt

Nancy A. Hewitt

Rutgers University

Professor Emeritus of History and Women's Studies Faculty Profile
Laura Edwards

Laura Edwards

Duke University

Peabody Family Professor of History Faculty Profile

Ph.D. Graduates of the Milbauer Program (since 2004)

Sean Cunningham (2007)

Sean Cunningham is a professor of history and department chair at Texas Tech University. He teaches broadly in twentieth-century U.S. history, while specializing in the history of post-1945 American political culture. His geographic emphasis is on the American Sunbelt, Texas in particular. His first book, Cowboy Conservatism: Texas and the Rise of the Modern Right, was published by the University Press of Kentucky in 2010. His second book, tentatively titled The Contested Ascendancy: Sunbelt Politics since 1945, is under contract with Cambridge University Press.

Cunningham has presented his research at the Southern Historical Association, as well as several state and local conferences, and has published articles and numerous book reviews for the Journal of American History, Journal of Southern HistoryAmerican Historical Review, and Southwestern Historical Quarterly, among others.

In 2012, Cunningham was selected as a recipient of the “Professing Excellence” award, presented by Texas Tech University Student Housing. In 2011, he was honored with the Department of History’s Distinguished Faculty Award. He was also honored with this award in 2008. In 2010, Cunningham was honored as the College of Arts & Sciences winner of the Texas Tech Alumni Association’s New Faculty Award. He was also nominated for this award in 2009. In 2007, he was awarded the Calvin A. VanderWerf Award in recognition of his selection as the outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Florida, where he earned his Ph.D.

Courtney Moore Taylor (2010)

Courtney Moore Taylor is an assistant professor in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department at Santa Fe College. Dr. Taylor received her Bachelor of Arts degree in History from North Carolina Central University (1999) and her Master of Arts in American History at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (2003).Upon completing her M.A., she taught in the African American Studies Program at UNCG. Taylor received her Ph.D. in American History, with West African History as her minor field of study, in August 2010.

Her research interests include the slavery experience during the antebellum period as it relates to enslaved African American females. Research projects include “My Presus Girl: The Rites of Passage for the Adolescent Female Slave in the Antebellum South, 1800-1861,” “Death in the Pot: The State versus Poll and Lavinia,” “Sacrificial Lambs: Infanticide and Its Implications Concerning American Slavery” and “Female Slave Violence in Antebellum North Carolina and Virginia.” Taylor’s dissertation, entitled Free In Thought, Fettered In Action: Enslaved Adolescent Females in the Slave South, seeks to understand how enslaved adolescent females dealt with puberty while being deemed property.

Heather Bryson (2011)

Heather Bryson is a professor of history at Valencia College. She received her Ph.D. in August 2011, completing a dissertation entitled To Give Racism the Face of the Ignorant: Race, Class, and White Manhood in Birmingham, Alabama, 1944-1975She has served as Adjunct Professor, History and Humanities, Valencia College (2011-2012) and Middle School History Teacher, Wolf Lake Middle School (2011-2012)She has written “Ella Josephine Baker: Give Them Light and They Will Find a Way,” North Carolina Women (University of Georgia Press, forthcoming, 2013), volume editors Sally McMillen and Michelle Gillespie.

James Broomall (2012)

Jim Broomall is assistant professor of history at Shepherd University and director of the George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War. He is formerly an assistant professor in the Department of History at the University of North Florida (UNF). He completed his dissertation, Personal Confederacies: War and Peace in the American South, 1840-1890, and received his Ph.D. in December 2012. His  article “Personal Reconstructions: Southern Men as Soldiers and Citizens in the Post-Civil War South,” appears in Creating Citizenship in the 19th Century South, edited by William A. Link and David Brown. Interested in the intersection of gender and emotions as well as the lasting psychological effects of war, he has presented on these topics at the Southern Historical Association and the Society of Civil War Historians in addition to other venues.

Although trained as an historian of the American South, Jim is also a public historian, having earned an M.A. in Museum Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and having taught many courses in public history.

Ken Kasperski (2012)

Kenneth F. Kasperski received his Ph.D. in May 2012, with a dissertation entitled Noble Colonials: Americans and Filipinos, 1901-1940. Ken earned his B.S. in mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois in 1967 and an M.B.A. at Keller Graduate School in 1981. Kenneth worked in engineering and business in the United States, Europe, the Pacific, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Ken received the M.A. in history from Loyola University, Chicago, in 2006. He moved from his home in St. Charles, Illinois, to Florida, where he completed his Ph.D. in history at the University of Florida, in 2012.

Kenneth and his wife, Diane, have four children, Carrie, Janet, Joseph, and Kate, as well as four grandchildren, Justin, Kyle, Tori, and Aidan.

Ben Miller (2012)

Ben Miller (ABD, 2008) received an M.A. in Judaic Studies with honors (emphasis in Jewish History), Baltimore Hebrew University, in May 2006. He completed the A.B. History and Religion with honors in history, The College of William and Mary in  May 2004.  Ben’s dissertation considers how the wartime activities of Civil War religious leaders resulted in important changes in how religion was viewed and practiced in America. He situates the story of sacred, profane, and contested spaces into a bigger historical story about religion in nineteenth-century America.

Angela Zombeck (2012)

Angela Zombek is an assistant professor at UNC-Wilmington. She received the B.A. from the College of Wooster and the M.A. from the University of Akron. Her dissertation, completed in 2012, examines the evolution of imprisonment during the Civil War. She has published her work in Ohio History and has presented in a variety of settings, including the Southern Historical Association and the Society of Civil War Historians. Angela is currently on the faculty of St. Pete College in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Matthew Hall (2013)

Matt Hall is managing director of special gifts at Dartmouth College. He received the B.A. in History, Davidson College, 2006, and the M.A. from UF in 2010. His dissertation investigates capitalism and the spread of electricity in the New South.

Angela Diaz (2013)

Angela Diaz is Assistant Professor of U.S. history at Utah State University. Her recent publications include “To Conquer the Coast: Pensacola, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Construction of American Imperialism, 1820-1848,” in Florida Historical Quarterly, and a forthcoming chapter in Reconsidering Southern Labor History: Race, Class, and Power entitled “To Carry That Burden: The Texas Cart War and the Place of Mexican Laborers in the Southern Landscape, 1854-1857.” Her current book project is entitled Saving the Southern Empire: Territorial Expansion in the Gulf South and Latin America, 1845-1865.  She received the B.A. in History from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2007.

Allison Fredette (2014)

Allison Fredette is a lecturer in the department of history, Appalachian State University. She received the B.A. (2006) and M.A. (2008) from West Virginia University. Her dissertation concerns women and the law in the Border South during the Civil War era.

Clay Cooper (2014)

Clay Cooper is a lecturer at Middle Tennessee State University. He studies the nineteenth-century South with interests in social, cultural, and intellectual history. His research centers on the intersections of race and masculinity in higher education, specifically focusing on the experiences of African American, Native American, and white students in the South from 1820 to 1900.

Christopher Ruehlen (2015)

Chris Ruehlen is a humanities instructor at the Hammond School. He received the B.A. in History and Political Science, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, in 2009. He is interested in politics and political culture in the Civil War Era, and his dissertation, entitled The Specter of Subversion: Fears, Perceptions, and Reactions to Dissent in the Civil War North, 1861-1865, investigates dissent and the antiwar movement in the Civil War North.

Allen Kent (2015)

Allen Kent is a research historian at Southeastern Archeological Research, Inc. Dr. Kent’s specialties include Southern history, Chicago history, Cold War Era military history, Florida transportation history, and civil rights and social movement history. While in graduate school, he taught courses in U.S. history and oral history, in addition to serving as the graduate coordinator of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program. He has both conducted interviews and presented research in the Southeast and the Midwest. Dr. Kent received his doctorate in 2015 and his master’s in 2010, both from the University of Florida, and earned his bachelor’s degree in 2007 from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Michael E. Brandon (2015)

Michael is instructor of humanities at North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. He is in the process of preparing a manuscript based on his dissertation, “Black Chicago’s New Deal Congressmen: Migration, Ghettoization, and the Origins of Civil Rights Politics.” His research examines the relationship between post-Reconstruction black migration and residential segregation, and the relationship between civil rights activism and twentieth-century party realignment. He earned the B.A. in history at Elon University, the M.A. in American history at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and the Ph.D. in American history at the University of Florida.

Shem Fleenor (2015)

Shem Fleenor earned his Ph.D. in history at the University of Florida and M.A. in Historical Studies at the New School For Social Research.

Jennifer Lyon (2016)

Jenn Lyon is content manager and strategist at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. She received the B.S. in History, Political Science at Kansas State University at 2006 and the M.A. in American History at the University of Florida in 2010. Her dissertation concerns prohibition in 1920s Memphis, Tennessee.

Aurélia Aubert (2018)

Aurélia Aubert is associate director of the Richard J. Milbauer Program in Southern History, and instructor in history at Santa Fe College. She received a Ph.D. in American History from the University of Florida in 2018.  She holds master’s degrees in history from the University of Florida and Queen’s University in Belfast, Ireland.  She also earned master’s and bachelor’s degrees in English language, literature, and history at the Université de Provence in Aix-en-Provence, France.

Her research uses the life of Achille Murat, nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte and planter in territorial Florida, to examine the relationship between slavery and republicanism in both the United States and France, from the Age of Revolutions to the mid-nineteenth century. She has presented her work at a number of academic conferences including the Southern Historical Association, the Florida Historical Society, the Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies, and the British American Nineteenth Century Historians’ Association.

Current Students in the Milbauer Program

A.J. Donaldson

A.J. Donaldson received his B.A. in history and political science and his M.A. in history, from North Carolina Central University. His interests include African American history, the economy and culture of the American South, and Civil Rights in the 20th century. His dissertation is entitled Harvey Gantt v. Jesse Helms: The 1990 U.S. Senate Race on Race and the Fear of Black Politics in North Carolina.

Madison Cates

Madison earned his M.A. in history at North Carolina State University in 2015, and his B.A. in history at Gardner-Webb University in 2013. His research interests include the American South, Civil Rights Movement, Environmental Injustice, Urban/Suburban History, and Digital History.