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American South


The history department at UF has seven faculty members focusing on the American South. Their interests and specialties range from the colonial era through modern conservatism.

Sean Patrick Adams (political economy and industrial development)
Jack E. Davis (environmental history)
William A. Link (antebellum era, Progressive Era, and modern conservatism)
Paul Ortiz (oral history, African American history, and Latino Studies)
Steven Noll (disability and Florida history)
Jon Sensbach (early America, religion, slavery, and Atlantic history)
Benjamin J. Wise (gender and sexuality and cultural history)

'Carpetbagger' 1872
‘Carpetbagger’ 1872

Other Resources

The southern history program is enhanced by William A. Link’s position as the Richard J. Milbauer Endowed Chair in history. The Milbauer Program in Southern History regularly conducts a seminar on southern history in which graduate students write a primary research paper. Students focusing on southern history also benefit from the resources of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, directed by Paul Ortiz.

UF’s excellent program in Latin American and Caribbean history allows students of southern history to be trained in a “hemispheric” or “global” south. Many graduate students take classes in the English Department, which has faculty members specializing in African-American literature. Affiliated faculty James Cusik (Spanish Florida) adds expertise and depth to the program in southern history, as do the George A. Smathers Special Collections and P. K. Yonge Library of Florida History.


Graduate Seminars

Graduate seminars are frequently offered on southern history and include:

Southern History 1607-1865
Research Seminar in Southern History
Southern History: Race and Power
Search for the New South

'First cotton gin,' Harpers Weekly,1869
‘First cotton gin,’ Harpers Weekly,1869

Recent PhD’s

  • Maria Angela Diaz (’13)

Dissertation: “Rising Tide of Empire: Gulf Coast Culture and Society during the Era of Expansion, 1845-1860”
Position: Assistant Professor, Daemen College

  • Robert S. Huffard (’13)

Dissertation: “Perilous Connections: Railroads, Capitalism and Mythmaking in the New South”
Position: Assistant Professor, Lees-McRae College 

  • Benjamin Lee Miller (’12)

Dissertation: “In God’s Presence: Chaplains, Missionaries, and the Religious Space of War and Peace”
Position: Donna Klein Jewish Academy, Boca Raton, Florida

  • Angela Zombek (’12) 

Dissertation: “Tracing Stereotypes: A Study of Civil War Military Prisons in the Context of Nineteenth-Century Penitentiaries and Penal Development at the Ohio, Virginia, and D.C. Penitentiaries and at Camp Chase, Castle Thunder, and Old Capitol Military Prisons”
Position: Assistant Professor, St. Petersburg College

  • James Broomall (’11)

Dissertation: “Personal Confederacies: War and peace in the American South, 1840-1890”
Position: Assistant Professor, University of North Florida

  • Heather Bryson (’11)

Dissertation:  “To Give Racism the Face of the Ignorant: Race, Class, and White Manhood in Birmingham, Alabama, 1944-1975″
Position: Assistant Professor, Valencia College

  • Courtney Moore (’10)

Dissertation: “Free In Thought, Fettered In Action: Enslaved Adolescent Females In The Slave South”
Position: Assistant Professor, Santa Fe College

  • Sean Cunningham (’07)

Dissertation: “The Perfect Storm: Social Change, Partisan Realignment, and the Transformation of Modern Texas Conservatism 1963-1980”
Position: Associate Professor, Texas Tech University