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Project Faculty

Bess Beatty  Dr. Beatty recently retired from her position as professor of history at Oregon State University. She’s held Fulbright professorships of history at the University of Rome and the University of Zagreb in Croatia and was a visiting professor at the University of Lodz in Poland. She is the author of Alamance: the Holt Family and Industrialization in a North Carolina County, 1837–1900, A Revolution Gone Backward: The Black Response to National Politics, 1876-1896, and of numerous articles on the southern textile industry.

John Beck, (Project Co-Director)   Dr. Beck is the co-author of Southern Culture: An Introduction and has authored a number of articles and book reviews. He’s a retired veteran of the North Carolina Community College System having served as a history and humanities professor and as the dean of an arts and sciences division. He has also been a long-time member of the Community College Humanities Association with stints as vice-president from 1993-1997 and president from 1997-2001 of the Southern Region. He’s currently working on a book on Southern foodways and has been teaching at Elon University since 2007.

Jim Bissett (Project Co-Director)   Dr. Bissett is Story Professor of History at Elon University and the former chair of the history and geography department. He is a social historian who studies late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century American radicalism, especially Populism, American socialism, and the labor movement. He is the author of Agrarian Socialism in America: Marx, Jefferson, and Jesus in the Oklahoma Countryside, 1904-1920 and numerous articles and book reviews.

Elon DirectoryPeter Felten  Dr. Felten is director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Elon University and an associate professor of history at Elon.  He is the author of a number of articles including “Inquiry, Image, and Emotion in the History Classroom,” Academic Commons (Nov. 2008). He is the principal investigator of the Elon Teaching and Learning Partnership and a member of the steering committee of the Social Pedagogies Working Group at Georgetown University.

Steven Hahn  Dr. Hahn is a nationally recognized expert on the post Civil War South and author of a number of books including The Roots of Southern Populism: Yeoman Farmers and the Transformation of the Georgia Upcountry, 1850-1890 and Nation Under our Feet: Black Political Struggles in the Rural South from Slavery to the Great Migration. His books have won the Pulitzer Prize in History, the Bancroft Prize in American History, the Merle Curti Prize in Social History, the Allan Nevins Prize, and the Frederick Jackson Turner Award. He has been awarded two distinguished teaching awards and has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, and he is an elected Fellow of the Society of American Historians. He’s a professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania.

Photo of James LeloudisJames Leloudis  Dr. Leloudis is an associate professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also serves the university as the Associate Dean for Honors, College of Arts and Sciences, and is the founding director of The James M. Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence. His academic specialty is the history of the modern South.  He is the author of Like a Family: The Making of a Southern Cotton Mill World (co-authored with Jacquelyn Hall, Robert Korstad, Mary Murphy, Lu Ann Jones, and Christopher Daly), and Schooling the New South: Pedagogy, Self, and Society in North Carolina, 1880-1920. His latest work, To Right These Wrongs: The North Carolina Fund and the Battle to End Poverty and Injustice in 1960s America, is scheduled to be released this year.

 Tom Hanchett   Dr. Hanchett is the staff historian of the Levine Museum of the New South in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is the project director and curator for the $1.5 million NEH-supported award-winning exhibit “Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers: Charlotte and the Carolina Piedmont in the New South” at the Levine. He is the author of Sorting Out the New South City: Race, Class and Urban Development in Charlotte, 1875-1975 and a number of articles.

Janet C. Irons  Dr. Irons is a professor of history at Lock Haven University. Her specialty is U.S. labor history. She is the author of Testing the New Deal: The General Textile Strike of 1934 "The Challenge of National Unionism:  Southern Textile Workers and the General Textile Strike of 1934," in "We Are All Leaders":  The Alternative Unionism of the Early 1930s, edited by Staughton Lynd, and numerous book reviews.