2010 Rhodes Institute Faculty


Milton C. Moreland, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and chair of the Program in Archaeology, is the Director of the Rhodes Institute for Regional Studies. He teaches courses in the Search and Life curricula. An archaeologist and scholar of early Christianity, Prof. 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 books on the sayings of Jesus. Prof. Moreland also co-directs the new Rhodes archaeology field school at the Ames Plantation in Fayette County, Tennessee, and his regional research interests focus on Ames. This site contains the ruins of over thirty separate plantations and share-cropper farms spread across 18,600 acres. Research opportunities in the 2010 Institute include working on the excavated artifacts from a nineteenth-century manor house and slave quarters, studying economic development issues related to slavery and plantation life, and examining the social histories of families who lived on one of the plantations.

Thomas S. Bremer, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Co-Director of the Memphis Music and Religion Archive project at Rhodes, teaches classes on American religious history, including courses on Religious Diversity in America, American Sacred Space, and The Music of Memphis Religions.   He is author of the book, Blessed with Tourists: The Borderlands of Religion and Tourism in San Antonio, which recounts the history of religious tourist attractions in San Antonio, Texas. He also has authored articles on religious tourism, pilgrimage, sacred space, and displays of religion in museums. Opportunities in the 2010 Institute include research on sites of religious tourism or pilgrimage in the Mid-South region; research on African American and Native American religious traditions in urban settings; and historical research on religious musical expression. Students interested in music, religious studies, American history, tourism or Native American studies should contact Professor Bremer for more information about his projects.


Rosanna Cappellato, Assistant Professor of Biology, teaches a variety of courses, from an introductory course in Environmental Sciences to Conservation Biology.   In the past five summers she has also led environmental field trips to Namibia, in Southern Africa. Most of her courses fulfill requirements for the Environmental Sciences minor and the Biology major. Her current research projects include studies of the economic valuation of the ecosystem services provided by Overton Park and the carbon sequestration of Memphis urban parks. In addition to working on these projects, research opportunities in the 2010 Rhodes Institute will involve identification and assessment of Brownfields (abandoned or underused industrial and commercial facilities available for re-use) in the Hollywood area, a low-income community north of the Rhodes campus. Students interested in environmental studies, biology, conservation, community development or urban studies should contact Professor Cappellato for more information about her projects.


Jennifer Houghton, Assistant Professor of Geology, teaches the Rhodes course offerings in geology as part of the Environmental Science Program. She has published in peer-reviewed journals in geochemistry, microbiology, and geoscience education and frequently presents her results at international scientific conferences. Her research involves using geochemical techniques to examine processes of hydrothermal alteration in the Earth’s crust. Recently, she began a project examining the distribution of pollution in soils and surface waters within Memphis in collaboration with the local chapter of the Sierra Club. Students in the 2010 Rhodes Institute can participate in research that involves field and lab work as well as the use of GIS in analyzing spatial patterns. Other projects will incorporate the historical and environmental justice context to aid in interpretation of scientific data. Research opportunities exist to examine the relationship between contaminant transport through the watershed (with a focus on chemistry and/or hydrogeology), the local history of contaminant production and use, the ability of plants to sequester contaminants, and issues of environmental justice related to contaminant distribution in Memphis communities. Students interested in environmental studies, ethics, or regional history are encouraged to contact Prof. Houghton for more information about the Institute.


David Jilg, Associate Professor of Theatre and alumnus of the College, has designed sets and/or costumes for nearly one hundred productions in Memphis, New Orleans and elsewhere, half of them for the McCoy Theatre during his teaching career at Rhodes. Award-winning designs include The Seagull (1998), J.B. (1999), Gianni Schicchi (2002), and Ubu Roi (2006). In addition to teaching design, his academic interests include Spanish American drama. He has directed several Spanish language productions with student actors, most recently La noche de los asesinos (2007). Research opportunities for the 2010 Rhodes Institute are modeled after a 2009 Rhodes Institute project, and will focus on a multimedia history of the McCoy Theatre at Rhodes as it approaches its 30th season in the 2010-2011 academic year. Students interested in regional history, documentary film production, theatre or oral history should contact Professor Jilg for more information about his project.


Robert Saxe, Assistant Professor of History, teaches courses in 20th Century US history, political history, and war and society. His book, “Settling Down”: World War II Veterans’ Challenge to the Postwar Consensus (2007) examines the return of World War II veterans and their impact on Cold War American politics and culture. In 2007, he also was named chair of the American Studies program. As part of the Rhodes Institute in 2010, he will direct research projects focusing on recently processed collections at the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock. Additional information about research topics can be found at http://clintonlibrary.gov/textual-systematic.html. Students interested in history, political science, archival research or presidential politics should contact Professor Saxe for more information about his project.