2006 Rhodes Institute: Faculty


Charles McKinney, Assistant Professor of History, is a specialist in African-American history and twentieth century U.S. social history, particularly the history of the Civil Rights Movement. Since arriving at Rhodes in 2004, he has taught African-American History, the Civil Rights Movement, United States in the Twentieth Century, History of Black Activism, and the African-American Intellectual Tradition. Affiliated with the African American Studies and Urban Studies Programs at Rhodes, Professor McKinney facilitated a series of workshops last summer on social change, media awareness, and asset-based community development for the College’s partnership with the Hollywood-Springdale neighborhood. His current research focuses on the impact of local leadership on civil rights activity in rural North Carolina, and his regional interests include the history of segregation, civil rights, and social justice movements in Memphis.

He mentored the following fellows during the summer of 2006:

  • Scott Bayer researched the record of Memphis political boss Edward H. Crump in the area of civil rights between World War II and Crump’s death in 1954.
  • Joseph Doyle examined the motivations behind urban renewal projects in the Beale Street district in Memphis during the 1960s and 1970s.
  • Timothy Pruitt Jr. investigated the issue of racial profiling by law enforcement in Memphis.

Nick McKinney, Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics and Business Administration, has expertise in the fields of Applied Microeconomics, Behavioral, and Experimental Economics. His articles include publications in leading journals, such as the American Economic Review, Journal of Economic Education, and Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. A member of the Rhodes faculty since 2003, he has directed more than fifty student research projects in his Senior Seminar course. His regional research interests include the relationship between income distribution and growth and the returns to education in the regional labor market.

He mentored the following fellows during the summer of 2006:

  • Jerrod Anderson examined, from an economic perspective, whether the legalization of casino gambling is a viable option in Tennessee.
  • Katy Buckner examined the relationship between shifting demographics and the quality of education at high schools in Memphis and Shelby County.
  • Katie Frink worked on an economic analysis of the Tennessee Lottery, with a particular emphasis on who plays the lottery and who benefits from it.

Milton C. Moreland, Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies and Co-Director of the College’s new archaeology program, teaches courses in the Search and Life curricula. An archaeologist and scholar of early Christianity, Professor Moreland has worked on excavations at ancient archaeological sites in Israel and Cyprus. His publications include articles on Roman period Galilee and Jerusalem and two edited books on the sayings of Jesus. Most recently, he edited and contributed to Between Text and Artifact: Integrating Archaeology into Biblical Studies Teaching (2003). His regional research interests focus on the Ames Plantation in Fayette County, Tennessee. This site contains the ruins of over 20 separate plantations and share-cropper farms spread across 18,000 acres. Research opportunities include oral histories, economic development issues, the history of slavery, and material culture studies.

He mentored the following fellows during the summer of 2006:

  • Allison E. Brown focused her research on Fanny Dickens as a female landowner and slaveholder at the Ames Plantation in Fayette and Hardeman Counties.
  • Jason Jordan studied the impact of emancipation on the relationships between former masters and former slaves at the Ames Plantation.
  • Lora Terry conducted research at the Ames Plantation on the impact of the Civil War on small and large landowners.

Gail Murray, Associate Professor of History and chair of the Department of History, teaches a variety of United States history courses including the History of Childhood, the History of Poverty in America, and the History of Black and White Women in the American South. Her own local research resulted in an essay about white women who served as pioneers in biracial organizing for racial justice. The essay is part of her edited collection, Throwing Off the Cloak of Privilege: White Southern Women Activists in the Civil Rights Era (2004). She is also the author of American Children’s Literature and the Construction of Childhood (1998). As a part of the Rhodes Institute, she anticipated directing research on antebellum Memphis; women, women′s organizations, and women in politics; or the history of child-directed institutions and organizations.

She mentored the following fellows during the summer of 2006:

  • Amy DeLong investigated the involvement of the Catholic Human Relations Council in the Civil Rights Movement in Memphis.
  • Sally Lineback researched the role of African-American women in the Civil Rights Movement in Memphis.
  • Demetria Worley investigated the historical and current role of women in the Churches of Christ in the Mid-South region.

Michael Nelson, Professor of Political Science, is a nationally recognized authority on the American presidency. He has published more than twenty books on the presidency, elections, bureaucracy, public policy, and higher education, as well as nearly two hundred articles on a wide range of political, religious, literary, and cultural topics. Prof. Nelson created and edits the Interpreting American Politics book series for Johns Hopkins University Press and the American Presidential Elections series for the University Press of Kansas. Active in the local community, he serves as political analyst for WMC-TV in Memphis. In addition, Prof. Nelson is a board member of Humanities Tennessee. His current research focuses on the presidency.

He mentored the following fellows during the summer of 2006:

  • Taylor Brown conducted research in the William J. Clinton Presidential Library on the 1995 political battle over cuts to Medicaid.
  • Emily Donelson researched the passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 from policy papers housed in the Clinton Presidential Library.
  • Jonathan Wright studied the 1996 debate over welfare reform by examining papers in the Clinton Presidential Library.

Tim Sharp is the Elizabeth G. Daughdrill Chair in the Fine Arts at Rhodes and conductor of Rhodes Singers and MasterSingers Chorale. Professor Sharp spent his sabbatical year in 2004-2005 at Cambridge University where he documented the life and music compositions of eighteenth-century German Moravian composer Johannes Herbst. His regional research interests include archival projects with the Blues Foundation, the study of German musical immigration into the Mid-South, and the developing “cultural and recreational corridor” in West Tennessee. Professor Sharp writes a standing column for Choral Journal, and his book publications include Achieving Choral Balance and Blend, Collaborative Creativity, and Precision Conducting.

He mentored the following fellows during the summer of 2006:

  • JoBeth Campbell studied the impact of mid-nineteenth century German migration on the musical heritage of the Mid-South.
  • Philip Kovacik studied music as a force for unity and collective non-violent protest during the Civil Rights Movement in the Mid-South.