Faculty and Staff

Marshall University’s Department of History features a distinguished faculty with diverse backgrounds and interests. Our faculty are active members of the Marshall community and publish regularly with leading scholarly presses and journals.

They are also the proud recipients of multiple university-wide teaching awards. Specific teaching/scholarship areas include US History, European, Asian, British, African-American, Latin American, History of Technology, and Public History.

Chair: Dr. Greta Rensenbrink

Director of Graduate Studies: Dr. Robert Deal

Phi Alpha Theta Faculty Advisor: Dr. Daniel Holbrook


KEVIN BARKSDALE (Ph.D. West Virginia), a professor of American history, is a specialist in Appalachian and West Virginia history. He has extensive teaching experience in Appalachian history and culture, Native American Studies, and Coalfield/Working Class history. His research interests include the 18th century Appalachian backcountry, southeastern Amerindian history, and the trans-Appalachian borderlands. He is the author of The Lost State of Franklin: America’s First Secession (Lexington, KY: The University Press of Kentucky, 2008).

Office: Harris Hall 127

Email: barksdale@marshall.edu

Telephone: 304-696-2956

Robert Deal

ROBERT DEAL (Ph.D. Temple University), is an associate professor of American history, specializing in legal and environmental history. He is also the Director of Graduate Studies.  His research, focused on the laws and customs of the American whaling industry in the 18th and 19th centuries, has resulted in published articles on the legal history of whaling in Ecology Law Quarterly and the University of Toronto Law Journal. His book, The Law of the Whale Hunt: Dispute Resolution, Property Law, and American Whalers, 1780-1880, is recently published by Cambridge University Press. He is also the Director of Graduate Studies.

Office: Harris Hall 116

Email: dealr@marshall.edu

Telephone: 304-696-2721

Laura Diener

LAURA MICHELE DIENER (Ph.D., Ohio State), is an associate professor of medieval and ancient history. Her teaching interests include textile and fashion history, Vikings and the Norse world, medieval Britain, and women’s religious culture. Her research focuses on textiles, fashion, and women’s identity. Her article “Sealed with a Stitch: Embroidery and Gift-giving among Anglo-Saxon Women” has appeared in the journal Medieval Prosopography. She is currently at work on several chapters on fashions in medieval hair for volume II of The Cultural History of Hair, forthcoming with Bloomsbury Press. She has contributed chapters on medieval monastic women to edited volumes published by Brill and Ashgate Presses. She is also Director of the Womens’ Studies Program at Marshall University and regularly teaches the WS 101 course.

Office: Harris Hall 107

Email: diener@marshall.edu

Telephone: 304-696-2954

Daniel Holbrook

DANIEL HOLBROOK (Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon) is a professor of history. He specializes in the History of Technology, and teaches in that field as well as in Public, Local,  U.S. and World History. His publications include “The Nature, Sources, and Consequences of Firm Differences in the Early History of the Semiconductor Industry” “Government Support of the Semiconductor Industry: Diverse Approaches and Information Flows” and “Diversity, Complementarity and Cooperation: Materials Innovation in the Semiconductor Industry.” His current research focuses on the development of contamination control technologies; “Controlling Contamination: The Origins of Clean Room Technology” appears in History and Technology.

Office: Harris Hall 128

Email: holbrook@marshall.edu

Telephone: 304-696-2417

Website: Daniel Holbrook

Montserrat Miller

MONTSERRAT MILLER (Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon) is a professor of history specializing in modern Europe.  Her research concentrates on nineteenth and twentieth century Catalonia, on food markets, gender, and consumer culture. Her book, Feeding Barcelona 1714-1975Public Market Halls, Social Networks, and Consumer Cultureis  published by Louisiana State University Press.

Office: Harris Hall 105

Email: millerm@marshall.edu

Telephone: 304-696-2723

Website: Montserrat Miller

William Palmer

WILLIAM G. PALMER (Ph.D., University of Maine) specializes in early modern (1400-1800) British, Irish, Atlantic, and European history, as well as historiography.  He is the author of The Political Career of Oliver St. John; The Problem of Ireland in Tudor Foreign Policy; Engagement with the Past: The Lives and Works of the World War II Generation of Historians; From Gentleman’s Club to Professional Body: The Evolution of  the History Department in the United States, 1940-1980, and over thirty articles in such journals as the Journal of British Studies; Albion; The Historian; The Renaissance Quarterly; Historical Reflections/Reflexions Historiques, and the Journal of the Historical Society. He is currently at work on a study of historical constructions of morality and virtue, for which a preliminary sketch has appeared in Historical Journal 52, 4 (December, 2009).

Office: Harris Hall 114

Email: palmer@marshall.edu

Telephone: 304-696-2720

Greta Rensenbrink

GRETA RENSENBRINK (Ph.D., Chicago), an associate professor of American history, has expertise in Modern US Social and Cultural history. Her areas of specialization include nineteenth-century US intellectual, social, and cultural, as well as social theory. She has presented her research at numerous conferences and is completing a manuscript on lesbian activists in Second Wave Feminism; her article “Parthenogenesis: Regenerating Women’s Community through Virgin Birth,” appears in  the Journal of the History of Sexuality.

Office: Harris Hall 108

Email: rensenbrink@marshall.edu

Telephone: 304-696-2955

Phillip Rutherford

PHILLIP T. RUTHERFORD (Ph.D., Penn State) is a professor of history specializing in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Germany and Central Europe.  He teaches courses in modern European history, propaganda and film, Nazi Germany, the Holocaust, and World War II.   He is the author of Prelude to the Final Solution: The Nazi Program for Deporting Ethnic Poles, 1939-1941 (The University Press of Kansas, 2007).  His current research project explores food, foraging, and American Servicemen during the Second World War.

Office: Harris Hall 129

Email: rutherfordp@marshall.edu

Telephone: 304-696-2719

Anara Tabyshalieva

ANARA TABYSHALIEVA  (Ph.D., Kyrgyz National University) is an associate professor of Asian history.  She teaches courses in modern and pre-modern Asian history, South and Central Asia, East Asia, Modern China, Modern Japan, and Eurasia.  Her research projects have been supported by the John D. and Catherine T. Mac Arthur Foundation, the UNESCO Hirayama Silk Road Program (France), the US Institute of Peace, the Woodrow Wilson Center, and the United Nation Development Program (UNDP).  She has been a scholar in residence at United Nations University in Japan and at the Centre for the Study of Islam and Muslim-Christian Relations, University of Birmingham (UK).  She has authored several books and numerous chapters, articles, and reports on history, international relations, development, and gender issues.  Dr. Tabyshalieva served as co-editor of the UNESCO volume History of Civilizations of Central Asia: Towards the Contemporary Period: From the Mid-nineteenth to the End of the Twentieth Century” (Paris, 2005).  She is also the author of the UNESCO report on human security in Central/South Asia (Paris, 2007), and co-editor, with Albrecht Schnabel, of Defying Victimhood: Women and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding (UNU Press, 2012).

Office: Harris Hall 111

Email: tabyshalieva@marshall.edu

Telephone: 304-696-2724

David Trowbridge

DAVID TROWBRIDGE (Ph.D., Kansas) is an Associate Professor of History and the Director of African and African American Studies at Marshall University. Dr. Trowbridge is the author of A History of the United States and the creator of Clio, a website and mobile application that connects users with the history and culture that surrounds them. Clio has grown to over 5000 entries across the United States and is available for free at www.theclio.com. Dr. Trowbridge has also authored several articles in leading academic publications such as the Journal of American History and Journal of African American History. Among his current projects are the publication of a book on African American pioneers in the American West following Reconstruction, and a second book entitled Jim Crow in the Land of John Brown which details the origins of segregation and the Black Freedom Struggle in America’s Heartland.

Office: Harris Hall 111

Email: david.trowbridge@marshall.edu

Telephone: 304-696-2717

Website: David Trowbridge

Chris White

CHRISTOPHER  M. WHITE (Ph.D., Kansas), is a professor of Latin American history. He teaches courses on Latin America, the developing world, and U.S. foreign relations and he is the author of Creating a Third World: Mexico, Cuba, and the United States during the Castro Era (New Mexico, 2007), as well as The History of El Salvador (Greenwood, 2008) and A Global History of the Developing World (Routledge, 2013).

Office: Harris Hall 112

Email: whitec@marshall.edu

Telephone: 304-696-2722

Kat Williams

KAT WILLIAMS (Ph.D., Kentucky) is a professor of American history.  Her areas of specialization include U.S. women’s history and the history of sport. She is the author of several articles including “Women’s Baseball and Beyond: Life After the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.”  Her book, The All-American Girls After the AAGPBL: How Playing Pro Ball Shaped Their Lives, is recently published.

Office: Harris Hall 107

Email: williamskath@marshall.edu

Telephone: 304-696-2959

Michael Woods

MICHAEL E. WOODS (Ph.D., South Carolina)  is an associate professor of history specializing in the 19th-century United States. His research and teaching interests include U.S. political and cultural history, the Civil War and Reconstruction, the U.S. South, the history of emotions, and the comparative history of slavery. He has published articles in the Journal of American History and the Journal of  Social History.  Dr. Woods is the author of Emotion and Sectional Conflict in the Antebellum United States (Cambridge University Press, 2014) and of Bleeding Kansas: Slavery, Sectionalism, and Civil War on the Missouri-Kansas Border (Routledge, 2016).

Office: Harris Hall 113

Email: woodsm@marshall.edu

Telephone: 304-696-3347

Website: Michael Woods


Emeritus Faculty

Steve Riddel

FRANK S. RIDDEL (Ph.D., Ohio State)  is the author of several articles on the history of Spain during the dictatorship of Franco, the editor of an anthology entitled Appalachia: Its People, Heritage and Problems  and coauthor of West Virginia Government  and American Government: The USA and West Virginia. His most recent publication is The Historical Atlas of West Virginia (West Virginia University Press, 2008).

Robert Sawrey

ROBERT SAWREY (Ph.D., Cincinnati) is a professor of American History, with a research interest in the era of Reconstruction. He is the author of Dubious Victory (University Press of Kentucky, 1992) and an essay on George Hunt Pendleton in Warren Van Tine, ed., Builders of Ohio (Ohio State University Press, 2004). His recent book, The Coach and the College (published by the Institute for Regional Studies at North Dakota State University) deals with the connection between a coach, his successful athletic programs and the financial survival of a small liberal arts college in North Dakota. In his spare time, he enjoys watching and discussing movies and playing golf.

David Woodward

DR. DAVID R. WOODWARD (Ph.D., Georgia) a member of the history department for thirty-six years, taught military history, Russian history and Modern European history.  He is the author of eight books and numerous articles in journals such as the Journal of Modern History and the Historical Journal.  His book Hell in the Holy Land (published in the United Kingdom by Tempus as Forgotten Soldiers of the First World War) was adopted by both the History Book Club and the Military History Book Club.  Woodward, who was a consultant for a BBC program on David Lloyd George, contributed an article on the Middle East during World War I to the BBC history web site.  Since his retirement in 2006, Woodward has written two books: America and World War I: A Selected Annotated Bibliography of English-Language Sources (Routledge, 2007) and World War I Almanac (FactsOnFile, 2009).

Email: woodwadr@marshall.edu