Faculty News

Dr. Darin Waters Doctoral Dissertation Revisited

Since 1893, the YMI has been an important and central institution in African American community life in Asheville and Western North Carolina.  The most recent issue of The North Carolina Historical Review, which features a turn-of-the-century photograph of the YMI Band on the cover, includes the essay "Philanthropic Experimentation: George Vanderbilt, the YMI, and Racial Uplift Ideology in Asheville, North Carolina, 1892-1906."  The essay is drawn from Professor Waters' doctoral dissertation, Life Beneath the Veneer: The Black Community in Asheville, North Carolina from 1793 to 1900, which explores the founding history of the YMI, linking it to late 19th century racial uplift ideology.  Additionally, the essay draws from previously unexamined primary sources housed at the Biltmore Estate Archives in Asheville.

Dr. Tracey Rizzo Edits a Special Issue of World History Connected

Dr. Tracey Rizzo edited a special issue of World History Connected on teaching Gender and Imperialism; look for it later this month.  She will present a paper on her first year seminars at the annual meeting of the National Women's Studies Association next month.  She is teaching a new course on the use of video games to teach world history.

Dr. Ellen Pearson Presents on COPLACDigital Courses at Association of Interdisciplinary Studies in Detroit, MI

Dr. Ellen Pearson presented about the COPLACDigital courses at the Association of Interdisciplinary Studies conference in Detroit, MI.  She participated in a panel that included two of the COPLACDigital co-teachers: James Welch IV, a professor from the U. of Sciences and Arts of Oklahoma and Jessica Wallace, Assistant Professor of History at Georgia College and State University, an alumna of UNC Asheville, (History/English double major,) and Manly Wright Award winner for 2008.

Dr. Grant Hardy and Dr. Samer Traboulsi Organize Field Trip in Salem, NC

On Saturday, September 29, Drs. Samer Traboulsi and Grant Hardy organized a field trip with his History 178 class to witness the arrival of the Miraculous Panagia Vimatarissa Icon and the dedication service of the Panagia Chapel in Salem, SC.  The Panagia Chapel is the largest stone-built Greek Orthodox Church in the USA.  A specially-made replica of the original tenth-century Miraculous Panagia Vimatarissa Icon was presented to the church by the Greek Orthodox monks from the the Holy Monastery of Vatopedi in Mount Athos, Greece.

Dr. Samer Traboulsi Presents Paper at International Conference

October 7-11, 2018

Dr. Traboulsi presented a paper on "Charismatic authority in the Tayyibi Ismaili da'wa" at the conference "Islamic Studies at the University of Göttingen and the Holy Shrine of al-Abbasiyya in Kerbala, Iraq” in Göttingen, Germany, October 7-11, 2018.  The conference was held at the Paulinerkirsche.  The church was built by the Dominicans in 1304. It was turned into a library when Göttingen university was founded in 1734.  The Gutenberg Bible is the crown of the university's rare books collection.  The three clerics in the picture wearing black turbans are Sayyids, a title given to descendants of the Prophet Muhammad.

Dr. Alvis Dunn Presents Paper at the Tenth Annual ReViewing Black Mountain Conference

September 28-30, 2018

Dr. Alvis Dunn delivered a paper titled, "Robert Creeley in Guatemala," at the Tenth Annual ReViewing Black Mountain Conference,  September 28-30 in Asheville.  Dr. Dunn also gave a talk to the members of Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church of Asheville on "Guatemalan History" on September 26.

Past Faculty News

Professor Tracey Rizzo Presented at Two National Conferences

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Professor Tracey Rizzo chaired the presidential session at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association in January and presented research on her first year seminar at the annual meeting of the National Center for Students in Transition in February.

"It was a real honor to be invited to organize the presidential session on race, masculinity and nationalism at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association in January. The session honored the work of Tyler Stovall, a French Historian and only the 4th African American to preside over this austere body. Over 40 people attended. I enjoyed an even larger audience at my session on supporting poor students through class consciousness at the annual meeting of the National Center for Students in Transition. Alum Aldo Garcia Guevara joined me on the panel."


UNCA Distinguished Professor Dan Pierce Receives Outstanding Achievement Award

Friday, February 2, 2018

A packed house was on hand as Professor Dan Pierce, UNC Asheville’s NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) Distinguished Professor in the Humanities, received the 2017 Outstanding Achievement Award from the Western North Carolina Historical Association.

Professor Pierce, surrounded by family, friends and colleagues as the trophy was presented, stated “I am extremely honored by my selection to receive this award. I am certainly in good company looking at past winners.” A specialist in Southern and Appalachian history, Professor Pierce has written several books pertaining to Western North Carolina including his latest book, Hazel Creek. Earlier works include, The Illustrated Guide to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which features 40 original posters and historical information covering a wide variety of topics relating to the Smokies. In Hazel Creek, Professor Pierce explores the complex history of the boom-and-bust mining and logging town, now located within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Source https://www.wnchistory.org/unca-distinguished-professor-dan-pierce-receives-outstanding-achievement-award/ 

Professor Eric Roubinek in the News

In October of 2016, Professor Roubinek presented the paper "Nazi Colonialism and the Question of German Peculiarities" as part of the "German-Occupied Europe" seminar at the 40th Annual Meeting of the German Studies Association. Futhermore, for the past year Professor Eric Roubinek has been on the planning committee for the "Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals" exhibit which is currently on display in Ramsey Library.

Coming Soon: Fall, 2017 COPLACDigital Courses!

With generous support from the Mellon Foundation, the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC) is now in the second semester of the Digital Liberal Arts at a Distance initiative. We will offer three courses in Fall 2017 that are open to students at all COPLAC member institutions. These multi-campus courses will create a unique classroom experience for our students. They are team-taught -- each course is co-taught by two faculty members from different COPLAC schools, which facilitates the sharing of expertise and embodies liberal arts values. Class sessions will be synchronous, using teleconferencing technology to allow faculty to closely mentor the students, and to allow close collaboration among participating students. And finally, students will be able to experience Digital Liberal Arts -- COPLACDigital courses blend innovative pedagogies, digital tools, and the values of a public liberal arts education. For the Fall, 2017 semester, three courses will be offered, including one taught by our own Professor Alvis Dunn, and one taught by UNC Asheville History alumna, Dr. Jessica Wallace of Georgia College. The course titles and instructors are:

  • “Cultural Crossroads: Migration and Community Transformation,” taught by Alvis Dunn, Assistant Professor of History, UNC Asheville and Leland Turner, Associate Professor of History, Midwestern State University
  • “Conflict in America: Case Studies in Peace-Making,” taught by Jessica Wallace, Assistant Professor of History, Georgia College and James Welch, Associate Professor of History, University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.
  • “Into the Woods: Experiments in Community, Sustainability, and the Examined Life,” taught by Paul Schacht, Professor of English, SUNY Geneseo and Debra Schleef, Professor of Sociology, University of Mary Washington

For more information, contact Dr. Pearson epearson@unca.edu.

Professor Dan Pierce Teams up with Emmy-Award Winning Artist Joel Anderson

Dan is collaborating with Emmy-Award winning artist Joel Anderson on An Illustrated Guide to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Joel is an amazing artist who has produced a series of wonderful posters on all the national parks. He and his team are creating 41 new iconic images of the Smokies for the book and Dan is writing the text. The book will be available in October 2017 and Joel will be mounting a traveling exhibit of the posters, coming to a gallery near you. Check out Joel's work at: https://www.andersondesigngroupstore.com/

Professor and Alum Team Up to Re-Write History

Rizzo partnered with UNC Asheville alumnus Steven Gerontakis, and together the two historians researched and wrote a book that focuses on the intersections of gender, sexuality and race studies in history: Intimate Empires: Body, Race, and Gender in the Modern World (Oxford University Press, 2016).

The book explores a different way of looking at history that is becoming increasingly popular, Rizzo explained.

“It’s a very dynamic, fast growing field now, far more so than say 15 years ago when I first thought of doing this book,” Rizzo said. “There’s just been an explosion.”

For more information click here

Professor Alvis Dunn & COPLAC Digital Workshop

Professor Dunn has just returned from Mary Washington University where he participated in the COPLAC Digital Workshop where the final plans for his Online Synchronous Interdisciplinary Seminar were worked out. In the Fall of 2017 along with Professor Leland Turner of Midwestern State University in Texas (a COPLAC campus) Dr. Dunn will team-teach an online course titled, “Cultural Crossroads: Migration and Community Transformation.” Students from campuses across the country will participate. In January of 2017 Professor Dunn attended the American Historical Association Conference in Denver where he presented a paper, “A Confederate General in Belle Epoque Guatemala,” for the Central American Studies Committee of the Conference of Latin American History. Dunn finished up his two-year term as Chair and Secretary of the organization at that time. He also attended a Digital History Workshop prior to the general convening of the conference where he participated in a seminar dedicated to Network Analysis through the use of Gephi software. In the Fall Professor Dunn published reviews of Native Wills from the Colonial Americas: Dead Giveaways in a New World (Social History, Oct. 2016) and Saqueo en El Archivo: El Paradero de Los Tesoros Documentales Guatemaltecos (Mesoamerica, Fall 2016). During the previous March Dunn presented “Working the roads of the Late Colonial Western Guatemalan Highlands," at the Southeastern Conference of Latin American Studies in Cartagena, Colombia.

Professor Dan Pierce Selected for the National Endowment of Humanities Distinguished Professorship at UNC Asheville

Dan Pierce, professor and department chair of history at UNC Asheville, has been selected as the university’s National Endowment of the Humanities Distinguished Professor. This distinguished professorship is awarded for a three-year term, in recognition of scholarship and teaching in the Humanities.

For more information click here

COPLAC’s Multi-campus Digital Liberal Arts Initiative Expands with $540,000 Grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; UNC Asheville to Play Key Role

The three-year project, named Digital Liberal Arts at a Distance, is part of an ongoing effort by COPLAC to share faculty expertise while enriching students’ interdisciplinary learning experiences, digital skills, and collaborative work habits. The project will be co-directed by UNC Asheville Professor of History Ellen Holmes Pearson and University of Mary Washington Professor of History Jeffrey McClurken.

Dr. Teddy Uldricks Retires After 33 Years at UNCA 

Professor Ted Uldricks recently announced he will retire from UNCA at the end of the semester.  Ted has faithfully served our university for 33 years as a member of the History Department and as the long-time Director of the Master of Liberal Arts Program.  He is an outstanding teacher, scholar, and university citizen.

Since 1979, Ted taught courses in his specialties in Russian/Soviet History, World War II, and Modern European History.  He has also regularly taught Humanities 324 and took responsibility for several of its large-group lectures.  Students often comment on the depth and breadth of his knowledge and on his engaging lectures.  Indeed, Ted is one of the most well-read, up-to-to-date, and erudite faculty members on this campus. 

Ted is also widely recognized in the fields of Slavic Studies and for his scholarship on World War II.  He is the author of a widely hailed book on Soviet Foreign Relations, has published more scholarly papers than I can list, serves as book review editor for a top journal in his field, and is well into the process of writing two books on World War II in global perspective.

Dr. Uldricks ably and willingly served the university and his department.  His most notable accomplishment was his spearheading of the creation of the MLA program which he directed for 16 years.  Since he stepped down from that position, he has continued to serve on the Graduate Committee, teaches regularly in the program, and has served as one of its chief champions on this campus. 

Ted Uldricks has been an integral part of the department and the university.  He will be sorely missed on our campus but we wish him, and his wife Marilyn, all the best as they move to Las Vegas for a new stage in their life.