American Studies

American Studies Faculty

Program Coordinator

Samuele PardiniDr. Samuele Pardini
Assistant Professor of Italian and American Studies and Coordinator of American Studies program

Carlton Building 322
2125 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244
Phone: (336) 278-5848

Click here to download CV


Dr. Crystal Anderson
Associate Professor, English

Crystal Anderson

Alamance Building 305C
2338 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
Phone: (336) 278-6481

Crystal S. Anderson (Ph.D. - The College of William and Mary) is an Associate Professor of English, and she teaches courses in American literature and American studies. She conducts research in comparative ethnic studies (African American, Asian, Asian American), focusing on literature and visual culture. Her other research interests include modernism, speculative fiction and Asian film.  Her work has appeared in Extrapolation, MELUS and Ethnic Studies Review, as well as several book collections. She is currently completing a book-length manuscript, Beyond the Chinese Connection: Afro-Asian Cultural Production in a Global Age. Her next project will explore Orientalism and African American modernism in the twentieth century.

Dr. Lawrence Basirico
Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Sociology and Anthropology Department

Lindner Hall - Arts & Sciences 212G
2035 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244
(336) 278-6448

Jim BissettDr. Jim Bissett
William J. Story Professor of History
Chair, Department of History and Geography

Powell Building 217A
2335 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
Phone: (336) 278-6421

As a social historian, Professor Bissett is especially interested in studying American history from the bottom up. His research has concentrated on social movements, particularly those associated with late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century American radicalism (especially Populism, American socialism, and the labor movement). His work in that field resulted in a book, Agrarian Socialism in America: Marx, Jefferson, and Jesus in the Oklahoma Countryside, 1904-1920, published in 1999 (paperback edition published in 2002).

He is interested in the Civil Rights Movement and oral history, and he is at work on a project on race relations in Alamance County, N.C., during the Civil Rights era. Click here to download CV.

Dr. Rod Clare
Assistant Professor, History
Powell Building 201
2335 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
Phone: (336) 278-6476

Dr. Clare’s interests lie in studying post-Civil War North American history. Within this, his focus is on researching and understanding the dynamics between groups struggling for equality or power and those groups or organizations with authority. His interests include African American history, U.S. foreign policy, American social history, U.S. women’s history and Canadian - U.S. relations. His scholarly work has concentrated on the history of African Americans in the South during segregation and on the history of women’s voluntary organizations – their internal dynamics, their stated purposes and their effectiveness over time.

David CopelandDr. David Copeland
A.J. Fletcher Professor and Graduate Program Director, School of Communications
McEwen Communications 216A
2850 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
Phone: (336) 278-5662

Professor Copeland (B.A. - Wake Forest University; M.Div. and Th.M. - Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; Ph.D. - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) spent eight years as reporter and sports editor at North Carolina newspapers and eight years as a high school teacher before spending seven years at Emory & Henry College, where he was named Virginia Professor of the Year in 1998-99 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He came to Elon in 2001, where he has been the A.J. Fletcher Professor in the School of Communications. He is the author of multiple books on early American newspapers and other communications topics, and author and editor of the eight-book Library of American War Reporting (2005).

Clyde EllisDr. Clyde Ellis
Professor of History and University Distinguished Scholar

Powell Building 216
2335 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
Phone: (336) 278-6417

Professor Ellis' research focuses on understanding how and with what consequences Southern Plains American Indian communities have negotiated the changing contours of ethnic and cultural identity in the 19th and 20th centuries. He has published extensively on boarding schools, Christianity, and powwow culture in an effort to examine how traditional practices and values have been maintained even in the face of far-reaching change and accommodation. He is currently writing a book on the history of Americans' fascination with Indian lore and culture, and he has begun preliminary work on a comprehensive history of North Carolina's Indian people.

Michael FrontaniDr. Michael R. Frontani
Associate Professor of Communications

Holland House 206
2850 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
Phone: (336) 278-5664

Since coming to Elon in 1999, Dr. Frontani (B.A. and M.A., History - The Ohio State University; M.A., Critical and Cultural Studies - University of Southern California School of Cinema and Television; Ph.D., Mass Communications - Ohio University) has taught courses on film history, film theory, popular music and mass culture. He is the author of The Beatles:  Image and the Media (University Press of Mississippi, 2007) and a chapter in the forthcoming Cambridge Companion to The Beatles (Cambridge University Press, 2008), as well as numerous essays on popular music, reception, and culture. He is currently working on book-length studies of the Italian American image in American mass consumer society and on American cinema’s development and evolution within the context of U.S. culture. 

Dr. Eric HairstonDr. Eric Ashley Hairston
Assistant Professor of English

Alamance Building 305E
2338 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
Phone: (336) 278-6412

Eric Ashley Hairston (B.A. - Wake Forest; M.A., Ph.D. - University of Virginia; J.D. - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) serves as Director of both the Center for Law and Humanities and the Prelaw program at Elon. He has research interests in 18th, 19th and 20th Century American literature, with special attention to the literature of the South and of Asian and African-American writers. In addition, he studies the interdisciplinary relationship of law and humanities and the influence of Greek and Roman classical works on American literature.

Charles Irons

Dr. Charles F. Irons
Assistant Professor of History

Powell Building 217B
2335 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
Phone: (336) 278-6295

Dr. Irons (Ph.D., History - University of Virginia) joined the Department of History and Geography in 2003. His specialization is the nineteenth-century South, with a particular emphasis on Southern religious history. The relationships between white and black evangelicals have been at the center of his research for several years, resulting most recently in the publication of The Origins of Proslavery Christianity: White and Black Evangelicals in Colonial and Antebellum Virginia (UNC Press, 2008). He is currently exploring the processes through which black Southerners formed independent churches following emancipation. Click here to download CV.

Recent books:

Dr. Amy Johnson

Dr. Amy Johnson
Assistant Professor of History

Lindner Hall - Arts & Sciences 112K
2335 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244
Phone: (336) 278-5811

With an overarching focus on comparative slavery and resistance, my research takes me all over the Atlantic World. My interests include Pre-colonial West African history, Early Colonial Caribbean history, and the Atlantic Slave Trade. My current research examines the role that slavery in their African communities played in shaping slave resistance among African-born peoples enslaved in the Americas from the seventeenth into the early nineteenth century.  Click here to download CV.

Dr. Cassie Kircher

Dr. Cassy Kircher
Associate Professor of English

Whitley 204
2338 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244
Phone: (336) 278-6349

Click here to download CV.

Dr. Prudence Layne
Associate Professor of English

Alamance Building 305D
2338 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244
(336) 278-5618

Dr. Yoram Lubling

Dr. Yoram Lubling
Professor of Philosophy
Acad. Vill. - Religion/Philosophy 113
2340 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
Phone: (336) 278-5702

Professor Yoram Lubling (Ph.D. - UNL, 1992) has been a member of the philosophy department at Elon since 1991. His areas of philosophical interest are classical American philosophy (Emerson, Pierce, James, Royce and Dewey), Holocaust studies, philosophy of art, Jewish philosophy, Martin Buber, ethics of memory, existentialism, history of modern Zionism, philosophy of relations/community, active pedagogy, philosophy of love, and social ethics. A selection of his recent publications include: Twice-Dead: Moshe Y. Lubling, the Ethics of Memory, and the Treblinka Revolt (New York: Peter Lang Publications, 2007) with a foreword by Elie Wiesel; "Philosophy's Living Pedagogy," in Bridges: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Theology, Philosophy, History and Science, Spring/Summer 2006; "John Dewey and the Problem with Pacifism," in The Journal of Contemporary Philosophy, Vol. XXVI No. 5 & 6; "Service-Learning: When the Goal and Process of Education Are One and the Same," in University Teaching: A Reference Guide for Graduate Students and Faculty, eds. Tice, Jackson, Lambert and Englot, Second Edition (New York: Syracuse University Press, 2005); Teaching the Holocaust: Philosophy and the Holocaust, ed. Simon P. Sibelman (New York: The Edwin Mellen Press, 2005); "Martin Buber's Prophetic Zionism: Searching for the Spirit of Israel," in Skepsis: A Journal for Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Research, XV/I (2004); "Deliberation as a Dramatic Rehearsal: John Dewey and the Future of Philosophy," in The Journal of Contemporary Philosophy, Vol. XXI, No. 3 & 4, May/June/August, 1999; The Jew as the Other: The Image of the Jew in American Films, eds. Greenspoon and Le Beau (New York: Fordham University Press, 1996).

Dr. Paul Miller
Professor of Exercise Science and Director of Undergraduate Research

Lindner Hall - Arts & Sciences 200I
2345 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244
(336) 278-5882

Tom MouldDr. Tom Mould
Associate Professor of Anthropology and General Studies
Sociology & Anthropology House 207
2035 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
Phone: (336) 278-5746

Professor Mould is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Folklore at Elon University and director of PERCS, Elon’s Program for Ethnographic Research and Community Studies. He is the author of three books—Choctaw Prophecy: A Legacy of the Future (2003),Choctaw Tales (2004), and Still, the Small Voice: Revelation, Personal Narrative and the Mormon Folk Tradition (2011)—and co-author the edited book The Individual and Tradition (2011). He has also published on issues of generic boundaries, constructed identities, and narrative and performance traditions in a number of cultures, including in American Indian and African-American communities, and in the rural southeast of the U.S. He has produced video documentaries for public television on folk art and culture in Indiana, Kentucky and North Carolina. He is currently working on a collaborative research project to understand the effect that contemporary legends about the welfare system in the U.S. have on shaping public opinion and public policy.

Click here to download CV.

Dr. Aaron Peeks
Assistant Professor of Sociology

Lindner Hall - Arts & Sciences 209D
2035 Campus Box Elon, NC 27244
(336) 278-6445

Dr. Kirstin RingelbergDr. Kirstin Ringelberg
Associate Professor of Art History

Elon West - 406 W. Haggard Ave. 102D
2810 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
Phone: (336) 278-5249

Dr. Ringelberg began her association with American Studies in her graduate work at UNC-Chapel Hill, where she took courses with John Kasson and Joy Kasson (Chair of the American Studies program), the latter of whom became her dissertation co-advisor. Ringelberg's training in 19th- and 20th-century American art, popular culture, visual culture and gender theory continues to inform her teaching and scholarship. She has published in American Studies-related journals like Prospects: An Annual of American Cultural Studies and presented at international conferences such as those of the American Cultural Association/Popular Culture Association and the Congress of the Americas. Ringelberg's work in these venues has addressed American Impressionism, American Modernism, African-American and Central American artists, and contemporary American popular culture.  Her first book, Redefining Gender in American Impressionist Studio Paintings, was published by Ashgate in 2010, and she has chapters in three books on recent American television and film.

Sharon SprayDr. Sharon Spray
Associate Professor, Political Science

Acad. Vill. - Political Science 210H
2333 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
Phone: (336) 278-6430

Dr. Spray (B.A. - University of Montana; M.A., Ph.D. - Center for Politics and Economics, Claremont Graduate School) has taught at Elon since 1999, and she teaches courses on American politics, Congress, the presidency, environmental policy in the United States and international environmental policy. Her research interests center around domestic and international environmental policy. She currently edits the book series, Exploring Environmental Challenges: A Multidisciplinary Approach, for Rowman and Littlefield Publishing. Her edited works include volumes on climate change, the loss of biodiversity and wetlands.

George TaylorDr. George Taylor
Professor, Political Science and Public Administration
Director of the Elon Institute of Politics and Public Affairs

Acad. Vill. - Political Science 210F
2333 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
Phone: (336) 278-6429

Dr. Taylor (B.S. - Baptist College of Charleston; M.A., Ph.D. - University of Georgia) has taught at Elon since 1979, and he teaches American government, research methods and various upper-level courses in public administration. His areas of research interest include political attitudes and civic engagement. Dr. Taylor coordinates Elon students partnering with 19 other universities in the National Campaign for Political & Civic Engagement, which is located at Harvard’s Institute of Politics. He is also the director of the Elon Institute of Politics and Public Affairs, which houses the Center for Public Opinion Polling and the Center for Public Affairs.