While most of the Hamer Institute’s founding faculty members remain actively involved in Institute programs, several other historians and political scientists are also committed to the ongoing success and development of our seminars and workshops. Current core faculty members include:
Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts; Director, Center for University Studies; and Professor, Department of Political Science
Jackson State University (Jackson, Mississippi)
Author of Political Change in Mississippi and the South, Dr. Coleman’s writing has been reviewed and appeared in the American Political Science Review, the Journal of Politics, Romania Studia, and in several editions of books that focus on electoral participation and black politics, Southern politics, deliberative democracy, and the impacts of court ordered legislative redistricting on policy change. The University of Wisconsin-Madison and JSU alumna is a Ford dissertation Fellow, a two-time winner of National Science Foundation research awards, and has earned post-doctoral fellowships as a Liberal Arts Fellow in Law and Political Science at Harvard Law School and a Fellow in Public Policy at the University of Maryland-College Park. She is the recent recipient of the Harrison Distinguished Service Award and the Mississippi Humanities Outstanding Teacher award.
Her current research interests examine the grounding of the practice of citizenship, the nexus among rates, routes and exits of intergenerational poverty and inequality in the Deep South, and reassessment of legislative policy change and the limits of courts as policy makers in the redistricting sphere. Dr. Coleman, a Mississippi native, was recently selected as one of five national Civic Scholars in the United States.
DAPHNE R. CHAMBERLAIN
Research Fellow, The Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy.
Jackson State University (Jackson, Mississippi)
Daphne Chamberlain received the B.A. in History from Tougaloo College, and the M.A. and Ph.D. in History from the University of Mississippi. Her dissertation, titled “‘And a Child Shall Lead the Way’: Children’s Participation in the Jackson, Mississippi, Black Freedom Struggle, 1946-1970,” examines youth activism and leadership during the civil rights era. Dr. Chamberlain’s area of specialization is 20th-century U.S. History, with emphasis on the African American experience and the Civil Rights era. In the spirit of giving a voice to marginalized grassroots activists and telling the civil rights narrative from the bottom-up, her works in progress include a co-authored biography on a civil rights heroine in Jackson, Mississippi, and a movement study on the confluence of local politics and the local economy in rural Hinds County, Mississippi, and how relations among the community’s black residents were strained by economic protest.
After completing a Visiting Assistant Professorship in History and African American Studies at the University of Mississippi in May of this year, Dr. Chamberlain was named the first research fellow for the Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship & Democracy at Jackson State University. She will work in this capacity during the 2010-2011 academic year.
Associate Professor, Department of History
East Carolina University (Greenville, North Carolina)
Dr. Dennard, a native of middle Georgia, received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Fort Valley State College in Georgia and Atlanta University. His doctoral degree is from Northwestern University. He joined the faculty at East Carolina University in 1986 to teach courses in American history, the Old South and the history of African Americans. Dennard’s research interests center on the religious life and traditions of African Americans in the Old South. He is collecting materials for a book about African Americans and the Civil War in North Carolina. He has written on Nat Turner, Malcolm X, and the significance of the African American press. Dr. Dennard is a master teacher and a frequent contributor to Hamer Institute programs.
LEE W. FORMWALT
Organization of American Historians (Bloomington, Indiana)
After earning his Ph.D. from the Catholic University of America in 1977, Dr. Formwalt spent the next 20 years teaching history at Albany State University in rural Georgia. Through the use of local courthouse records in his teaching, he became involved in documenting local history and became strongly connected to the community. This subsequently led to his writing for the local newspaper, helping to establish a civil rights museum, and coordinating a state humanities council conference on the history of the Civil Rights Movement.
In 1997 he became the dean of the Graduate School at Albany State, and in 1999, the executive director of the OAH. One of his goals at the OAH is to welcome all who practice American history, whether inside or outside the academy, and to reach out to those isolated historians who haven’t felt a part of the broad national historical community.
Special Assistant to the President
Rhodes College (Memphis, Tennessee)
Dr. Wigginton earned his B.A. from Rhodes College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and previously was an Assistant Professor of History at Rhodes College. Dr. Wigginton has written on African-American community activists, black railroad workers, and is currently completing a book (under contract by Greenwood Press) entitled The Strange Career of the Black Athlete, which deals with race and sports in the 20th century. He also authored a 4-part article series commemorating 50 years of the Tri-State Defender newspaper and served as project Co-Director and Lead Humanities Consultant for the NEH-funded ‘I AM A MAN’ project at Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis, Tennessee. Wigginton also serves on the board of several community agencies in Memphis, including Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Memphis Literacy Council. He joined the Hamer Institute in 2003 as coordinator of the Memphis-based portion of the Landmarks of American Democracy workshops, which are co-hosted by the Hamer Institute, Jackson State University, and Rhodes College.