A major strength of the History Department is its faculty. At Stetson, the History faculty are engaged teacher-scholars who teach students how to discover, evaluate, and interpret information about what individuals and societies did in the past and how the past helps us understand the present. We work closely with students to enhance skills in research, evaluation of data, critical thinking, and written and oral communication. Our faculty have won numerous teaching awards, including the William Hugh McEniry Award for Excellence in Teaching (Stetson’s highest faculty honor), the John Hague Award for Distinguished Teaching in the Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Stetson University Award for Student Advocacy, the inaugural (2019) First Year Seminar Excellence in Teaching Award, and the First Year Student Advocate Award. Furthermore, members of the History Department are active in research and publication. All tenured faculty have the Ph.D. degree, and multiple professors have won external research awards, including two Fulbright awards and a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant since 2015 alone. Finally, History faculty members have been educated, taught, and conducted research at distinguished liberal arts colleges and research universities in the world.
Professor of History and American Studies; Director of American Studies Program
(PhD, Brown University) Ever since I was a child, I have been attracted to history because I wanted to understand the future. Learning about the past not only provides stories more exciting than fiction, but also insights into cultural patterns and commitments that give clues about where we might be going. I took these interests with me as an undergraduate at Georgetown where I wrongly believed that a history major would not be practical; so I majored in government with a concentration in political theory and a minor in history. Then I earned a PhD in American Studies at Brown University and then went back to Georgetown's History Department to teach history for two years before moving to Florida to teach History and American Studies, first at Rollins and then at Stetson, where I have been teaching since 1988. Most of my courses deal with topics that your grandparents said you should not talk about at the dinner table: courses that deal with deep values issues including War and Peace, History of Health Care, Darwinism and the Divine, Environmental Debates, Nature and the American Marketplace, Campaign Watching, and the 1950s and 1960s. I also direct the Stetson Student Research in Science and Religion (2SR) Program and Stetson American Studies International (SASI).
Associate Professor of History; Director of Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (SPREES)
Mayhill Fowler, PhD, teaches and researches the cultural history of Russia and Eastern Europe with a focus on Ukraine. She is interested in how diversity leads to innovation, how art builds bridges and walls between competing groups, and how various political, social and economic structures shape how audiences, officials and artists understand the world around them. Her first book -- Beau Monde on Empire's Edge: State and Stage in Soviet Ukraine --tells the story of how a very rich cultural center became a cultural periphery through a collective biography of young artists and officials in the 1920s and 1930s. Her second project, Theater on the Frontlines of Socialism: the Military-Entertainment Complex in Ukraine, 1940s-2010s, investigates how we entertain soldiers and what war stories we tell.
William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of History; Director of Jewish Studies Program
Dr. Eric Kurlander is Professor of Modern European History at Stetson University. Kurlander studied at Bowdoin College (BA) and Harvard University (MA, PhD), teaching three years at Harvard before coming to Stetson in 2001. He offers courses on Modern German, European and World History. His recent monograph, Hitler's Monsters: A Supernatural History of the Third Reich (Yale, 2017), offers the first comprehensive study of the supernatural in Nazi Germany, illustrating how the Third Reich drew upon a wide variety of occult practices, esoteric sciences and pagan religious ideas to gain power, shape propaganda and policy, and pursue their dreams of racial utopia and empire. The book has been reviewed positively in the Washington Post, Times of London, Der Spiegel, the National Review, as well as other prominent periodicals in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, France and Italy. The book has recently appeared in paperback and been translated into Italian and Polish.
Kurlander's other books include two edited volumes, Revisiting the ‘Nazi Occult': Histories, Realities, Legacies, co-edited with Monica Black (Camden House, 2015) and Transcultural Encounters between Germany and India: Kindred Spirits in the 19th and 20th Centuries, co-edited with Joanne Miyang Cho and Douglas McGetchin (Routledge, 2014). His second monograph, Living With Hitler: Liberal Democrats in the Third Reich (Yale University Press, 2009), illuminates the ways in which German liberals negotiated, resisted and in some ways accommodated the Third Reich. His first book, The Price of Exclusion: Ethnicity, National Identity, and the Decline of German Liberalism, 1898-1933, appeared in 2006. He has published articles in leading journals, including Central European History, German History and The Journal of Contemporary History, and held research and writing fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the German Historical Institute, the German Academic Exchange Service, the Krupp Foundation and Harvard University's Program for the Study of Germany and Europe.
At Stetson, Kurlander has received the William Hugh McInery Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Hand Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activity, and contributed to the university in numerous leadership roles. His current projects include a textbook, Modern Germany: A Global History (under contract with Oxford University Press) and a monograph, Before the Final Solution: A Global History of the Nazi “Jewish Question”. In his free time, Kurlander enjoys parenting, reading, travel, sports, and popular culture.
Associate Professor of History and American Studies
Emily Mieras (Ph. D., The College of William and Mary), associate professor of history and American studies, is an Americanist with specialties in Progressive Era history (c. 1880-1920) and women's and gender history. Dr. Mieras is particularly interested in cultural and social history. As an American Studies scholar, she employs interdisciplinary approaches to understanding particular historical moments. In addition to the U. S. survey, courses on women's and gender history, and on the 1900-1940 time period, her courses cover such topics as consumerism in American history and culture, immigration and conceptions of racial identity, and popular culture in the United States. Her research topics in History and American Studies include Progressive Era college students and social service work, historical and contemporary conceptions of community in the United States, and the connections between family, gender, and consumerism in contemporary television. Dr. Mieras directs both the Gender Studies Program and the American Studies Program.
Associate Professor of History
Kimberly D. S. Reiter (PhD, University of Virginia) is associate professor of ancient and medieval history at Stetson University and President of the Interdisciplinary Environmental Association (IEA). Dr. Reiter has had extensive experience designing and teaching courses in environmental history and environmental issues and has presented and published papers on the teaching of environmental issues from an interdisciplinary perspective. She currently serves as a member of the IEA Roundtable on Curriculum Change and consults on green curriculum design. She directs the Stetson Field Course in Early English History, an on-site interdisciplinary study of the historic English landscape. She advises the Stetson chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the History honors society, is chair of the Stetson Undergraduate Research Committee, and organizes the annual Stetson Undergraduate Research and Creative Arts Symposium (SURCAS), the campus-wide honors day. She also serves as a National Councilor for Undergraduate Research Directors Committee for the Council of Undergraduate Research (CUR) and on the Florida Undergraduate Research Council. Her scholarship focuses on imperialism in the Western Roman Empire, specifically the Aquitaine Basin, and in the differing perceptions of "Romanization", especially its application as a theoretical construct in explaining imperialism, change and continuity in Roman provincial society and art, and has contributed a recent festschrift article on the application of Romanization theories to the teaching of Iron Age European religious thought. She is a co-author of the forthcoming textbook in Western Civilization, The West in Question with Eric Kurlander.
Associate Professor of History; Department Chair
Leander Seah holds a PhD in History from the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA) and teaches courses on East Asia, Southeast Asia, and modern world history at Stetson. He has also served as the founding director of Stetson's Asian Studies Program. In terms of research, as an ethnic Chinese citizen of Singapore who lives in the United States, he is particularly interested in migration and diasporas, China-Southeast Asia connections, modern China, East Asian relations, modern Japan, US-China relations, and transnational and world history. He has published journal articles, has presented his work at conferences in the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, and mainland China, and is currently revising a book manuscript, Conceptualizing Chinese Identity: China, the Nanyang, and Trans-Regionalism. He has also begun work on another book, a transnational study of the Burma Theater during World War II with emphasis on China, the United States, and Southeast Asia. His accolades include over twenty fellowships, research grants and awards from the Association for Asian Studies, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Center for Chinese Studies in Taiwan, the National Library Board of Singapore, the National University of Singapore, the University of Pennsylvania, and Stetson University.
Associate Professor of History
Margaret Venzke (PhD, Columbia University) is a specialist in Middle Eastern history and an internationally recognized expert on the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century. Her research centers on the Syrian lands following the Ottoman conquest in 1516. She has published extensively on Ottoman Syria. Noteworthy among these publications are major articles in the internationally renowned Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient--"Special Use of the Tithe As a Revenue-Raising Measure in the Sixteenth-Century Sanjaq of Aleppo" (95 pp.) and "The Case of a Dulgadir-Mamluk Iqta": A Re-Assessment of the Dulgadir Principality and Its Position Within the Ottoman-Mamluk Rivalry" (75 pp.), and "Rice Cultivation in the Plain of Antioch in the 16th Century: The Ottoman Fiscal Practice" (101 pp.), published in Archivum Ottomanicum. Soon to be published is "Syria's Population in the 16th Century: Population Decline and the Use of the Ottoman Tax Registers in Determining Longue Durée Decline." She expects to finish this year a circa 800-page manuscript, "The Syrian Lands: Settlements, Cultivators and Tribesmen in Northern Syria in the 16th Century," on which she has been working for quite a few years. Recently she has presented papers at international conferences held in Athens, Greece and Zagreb, Croatia. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Research Award, and its renewal in Istanbul, Turkey, and a Rockefeller Residency Fellowship, Washington University, in St. Louis. professor Venzke teaches courses on the Modern and Contemporary Middle East, Medieval Islamic Civilization, and the Ottoman Empire, as well as teaching the Ancient and Medieval Western Civilization survey courses.
- Michael Deliz, PhD, adjunct instructor of history, [email protected]
- Philip Handyside, PhD, adjunct instructor of history, [email protected]
- David Morton, PhD, adjunct instructor of history, [email protected]
- Betty Sample, MA, adjunct instructor of history, [email protected]
- Paul Steeves, PhD, [email protected]
- Caitlyn (Bishop) Alvarado, [email protected]