John Hayes

Associate Professor

John Hayes

Associate Professor

Academic Appointment(s)

Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
Department of History, Anthropology and Philosophy


John Hayes is a historian of the 19th and 20th century United States, with a focus on the South. His first book, Hard, Hard Religion: Interracial Faith in the Poor South (UNC Press, 2017) analyzed the distinct folk Christianity crafted by impoverished people, Black and White, in the New South. His second book project, The People Rebelled, seeks to tell the complex story of the "riot" of May 11-12, 1970, in Augusta, Georgia—the largest Black rebellion in the Civil Rights-Black Power era South.

  • (706) 248-3391
  • AH E209


  • Ph.D., History, General University of Georgia, 2007

  • MTS, Theology/Theological Studies Duke University, 2000

  • BA, Philosophy and Religious Studies, General Wake Forest University, 1995

Awards & Honors

  • 2021 Historian Award Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History, 2022

  • Leadership Augusta, Class of 2020-2021 Leadership Augusta (Augusta Chamber of Commerce), 2020

  • invited to become member of Authors Club of Augusta Authors Club of Augusta, 2019

  • invited to be National Research Fellow for the Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture, 2019

  • invitation to become CHOICE reviewer for books on 19th/20th century US South, Religion CHOICE, 2019

Courses Taught Most Recent Academic Year

  • HIST 3711

    Georgia History
  • HIST 4980

    Seminar in History
  • HIST 4960

    Undergrad Internship
  • HIST 2112

    United States since 1877

Teaching Interests

US history, Southern history


Selected Recent Publications

  • He Saw Our Darkness, 2021
    Journal Article, Public or Trade Journal
  • Reckoning with Our Past: The 1970 Augusta Riot, 2021
  • Black Resistance from Augusta to BLM, 2021
    Journal Article, Academic Journal
  • oral histories of the 1970 Augusta riot, filmed at Mustard Seed, 2021
  • The Price of Not Punishing White Terrorism, 2021

Research Interests

US South, Civil Rights, religion

Department Service

  • Student Internship committee 2021 - Present

    Role: Committee Member
  • Curriculum committee 2016 - Present

    Role: Committee Chair
  • African American Historian search committee 2021 - 2022

    Role: Committee Chair
  • judge, National History Day 2020 - 2020

    Role: Committee Member
  • Developing Rapport among History Majors 2019 - 2020

    Role: Other

College Service

  • Center for Social Science Research 2021 - Present

    Role: Faculty Mentor
  • Pamplin College Curriculum Committee 2020 - Present

    Role: Committee Member
  • wrote reflections on diversity and equity for Pamplin College magazine article 2020 - 2020

    Role: Other
  • Equity Task Force 2019 - 2020

    Role: Committee Chair
  • Idea Group 2019 - 2020

    Role: Committee Chair

University Service

  • in-field reader for Honors thesis 2022 - Present

    Role: Committee Member
  • ad hoc history committee to respond to Black Student Union demands about campus/university history 2020 - Present

    Role: Committee Member
  • manage the Georgia History Exam (legislative requirement) 2012 - Present

    Role: Faculty Advisor
  • invited panelist for Malcolm X Day 2022 - 2022

    Role: Guest Speaker
  • comments on Martin Luther King Day for AU Writing Center's social media 2022 - 2022

    Role: Guest Speaker

Professional Service

  • Southern Historical Association 2015 - Present

    Role: Member
  • Agricultural History 2021 - 2021

    Role: Reviewer, Journal Article
  • potential participant/letter of support, Maryville College proposal for NEH Summer Institute 2021 - 2021

    Role: Conference-Related
  • endorsement to appear of cover of Redefining Liberal Arts Education in the 21st Century (forthcoming, University of Mississippi Press) 2020 - 2020

    Role: Reviewer
  • University of North Carolina Press - 2020

    Role: Reviewer, Book

Public Service

  • Georgia Shift 2022 - Present

    Role: Board Member
  • Authors Club of Augusta 2021 - Present

    Role: Officer, President/Elect/Past
  • Augusta African American Historical Society 2021 - Present

    Role: Member
  • consultant for DOJ/FBI Cold Case initiative investigation into killing of Charles Oatman and the Augusta Six 2021 - Present

    Role: Discussant
  • historical context on jury composition for Office of the Georgia Capital Defender 2021 - Present

    Role: Discussant