Welcome to the Department of History, Anthropology and Philosophy! We offer a dynamic education where students can choose from a wide array of courses about U.S. and global history, historical archaeology and cultural anthropology, and contemporary and historical philosophy.
Our devoted and talented faculty hail from top-ranked graduate programs across the U.S. and Canada. Our department has a tradition of faculty engaging in pioneering research and publishing, with recent faculty books examining the legacy of World War I, the disabled population in Medieval England, and teenage sexuality in Ghana. Our faculty’s varied interests and expertise makes for varied courses and a vital curriculum. We offer undergraduate degrees in Anthropology and History, with history majors having the option of pursuing a teacher certification program.
Our faculty have a deep commitment to teaching and mentoring.
Brian Armstrong has an academic background in both philosophy and literature, with a particular focus on European literature, philosophy, and ethics. He uses a wide ranging texts – from Japanese Buddhist poetry to contemporary superhero films – to teach critical thinking, sharpening students’ ability to know and understand the world. His current work focuses on the philosophical implications of Dostoevsky’s fiction.
Michael B. Bishku teaches history courses on the Middle East and Africa. He has traveled extensively in those regions as well as elsewhere in the world. Dr. Bishku has published numerous articles on the modern history and politics of the Middle East and Africa as well as on regional/interregional relations and minorities. He is a former president of both the American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies and the Association of Global South Studies.
Bill Bloodworth is president emeritus of Augusta State University (1993-2012). He is past national president of the Honor Society Phi Kappa Phi. He is the author of books on Upton Sinclair, the American muckraker and novelist, and Max Brand, author of hundreds of popular novels. Dr. Bloodworth has also published articles on the literature of the American West, American Indian autobiographies, and other topics.
Angela Bratton researches in the areas of gender, sexuality, reproduction, education, socialization, identity/representation, adolescence, Africa, and feminist ethnography. Her book An Anthropological Study of Factors Affecting the Construction of Sexuality in Ghana examined identity, schooling, and teenage pregnancy in a West African country.
Sandrine Catris is a historian of East Asia, with a research expertise on the intersection of politics and memory in 20th China. She teaches a wide range of courses about East Asia and World History.
Dr. Chiero is a historian of the Americas, bringing her interdisciplinary background in Anthropology and Geography to her scholarship and teaching. Her areas of expertise include Central America, Caribbean, Mexico, and the U.S. West, with topics centered on under-represented populations, material culture, and environmental activism. She is a graduate of HERS Women in Higher Education Leadership institute, NEH Summer Institute "Shaping the American West," and Columbia County Leadership Class 2016. She also serves as Regional Representative to Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society, university appointee on the Americas Council, and Conference Organizer for the Annual Conference on the Americas.
Dr. Andrew Goss’ research examines the scientific and technological interactions that have contributed to creating the modern world, in particular in the context of empires and colonialism. His teaching interest extends to the political and cultural history of Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. He is a leading expert on the history of science in Indonesia, and has published about the history of science, empire, and medicine.
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 a 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.
Ruth McClelland-Nugent is interested in transatlantic popular culture, from the rowdy heroines of Restoration comedies to military nurses in World War II movies. Her dissertation considered the image of witches, rebels, and heretics in 17th century English cheap print (all of which is more exciting than it sounds). More recently, her research has focused on gender in 20th century comic books, including the place of psychology and other sciences in early Wonder Woman comics.
Dr. Lita Sacks is a biological anthropologist specializing in human osteology, bioarchaeology, and paleopathology. Her primary research interests include genetic syndromes and the social construction of disability in ancient past, as well as the intersections among health, diet, mortuary practices, and social status in the prehistoric Midwest. Dr. Sacks utilizes non-destructive osteological methods, including geometric morphometrics, to answer complex biological and archaeological research questions. She is currently developing a guide for the identification and diagnosis of genetic syndromes solely based on skeletal remains.
Jen Trunzo's research focuses on Historical Archaeology from the colonial period until about 1900. Her specific research interests are consumerism, ceramics, politics, identity, and war. She is also the archaeologist in charge of historical preservation and research regarding the Augusta Arsenal, which is the Summerville Campus of Augusta University. She has a wide range of archaeological experience, including North American prehistory, cultural resource management, and several forensic archaeological recovery operations.
Wendy J. Turner is a medieval historian, researching the intersection between law and medicine in medieval England, with special attention given to disabilities. She is also a professor with the Center for Bioethics and Health Policy at AU. Other research includes medieval law more generally, medicine, alchemy, and power. Well published, she is active on three editorial boards: “Premodern Health, Disease, and Disability” with Amsterdam University Press, “Peculiar Bodies” with the University of Virginia Press, and “Explorations in Medieval Culture” with Brill. Among other grants, Turner received a Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professorship (University of Swansea) and a British Academy Fellowship.
Steven Weiss's research interests cover ethical theory, applied ethics, 19th-century European philosophy, the history of philosophy, political theory, aesthetics, and critical thinking. He is advisor to the University Ethics Debate Team, and teaches a wide range of philosophy courses, including numerous courses about bioethics.
Dr. Laura Williamson is a Health Ethicist interested in the role values play in supporting or undermining health. She holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Liverpool (UK). Dr. Williamson has extensive experience with issues across the field of health ethics, spanning clinical ethics and public health. Her current research focuses on: substance use disorders, vaccination, the role of stigma in public health and the importance of engaging patients and citizens in debates about health. Dr. Williamson has published two research monographs and a range of peer reviewed publications in high ranking journals.