2014 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 directs the Rhodes archaeology field school at the Ames Plantation in Fayette County, Tennessee. Research opportunities in the 2013 Institute include projects on the history, material culture, environment, or economics of Memphis and the local area; and studying economic development issues related to slavery and plantation life. 

John Bass, Director of the Mike Curb Institute for Music and Assistant Professor of Music, directs the Rhodes Jazz Ensemble and teaches courses on the Music of Africa and African American Music. Dr. Bass holds two degrees in jazz performance from the University of Southern Mississippi (B.M.) and the University of Memphis (M.M.), and a Ph.D. in historical musicology from the University of Memphis. He has presented scholarly papers at national and international conferences and his articles have appeared in Early Music and Performance Practice Review. He is also a contributor to the New Grove Dictionary of American Music (2nd edition).  Opportunities in the 2013 Institute will focus on the musical traditions of Memphis and students will work with the Mike Curb Institute and local music organizations to research and preserve these traditions.

Thomas S. Bremer, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, 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, and is currently working on a college textbook of American religious history.  Opportunities in the 2013 Institute include historical, sociological, anthropological, or phenomenological research on “religion” broadly construed in the mid-south region.



Liz Daggett is an Assistant Professor in Art, and teaches courses in photography and filmmaking. She is also the Director of CODA, the Center for Outreach in the Development of the Arts, www.rhodes.edu/coda, has made many award-winning documentaries and experimental films, and was named an “expert” in documentary film by the US State Department. As part of the Rhodes Institute in 2013, she will supervise students interested in making short documentary, narrative, animated, or experimental films or audio documentaries that relate to Memphis or the region. Some video and editing experience required. Please contact daggette@rhodes.edu with questions.



Charles HughesCharles Hughes, Andrew W. Mellon Post-doctoral Fellow at the Memphis Center at Rhodes College, teaches courses in the History Department. His current research focuses on race and the recording industry in the U.S. South from 1960 to 1980. His dissertation explored the relationship between country and soul music, and African-American and white musicians, in recording studios in Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee and Muscle Shoals, Alabama. As a faculty mentor and Scholar in Residence during the 2013 Institute, Hughes will oversee projects on Memphis′ rich musical and cultural legacy.




Leigh M. Johnson, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, teaches courses in social/political philosophy, ethics and contemporary European philosophy, including courses on Existentialism, Humanism and Human Rights, Feminist Theory and the Philosophy of Race.  She is also a participating faculty member in Rhodes′ African-American Studies Program, the Gender and Sexuality Studies program, and the interdisciplinary-humanities Search for Values program.  Her research and publications primarily focus on issues of justice, democracy, human rights and their violation.  In the 2013 Institute, she will direct research projects focused on “questions of (moral, political, or aesthetic) value.”  Students interested in philosophy, political theory, ethics, aesthetics, democracy and law should contact Professor Johnson for more information about her projects.


Charles McKinneyCharles McKinney, Associate 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. He is the author of Greater Freedom: The Evolution of the Civil Rights Struggle in Wilson, North Carolina, which chronicles a movement from the 1930s to the 1970’s. His current research focuses on the impact of local leadership on civil rights activity in Memphis, and his regional interests include the history of segregation, civil rights, and social justice movements in Memphis. Opportunities in the 2013 Institute include historical research on Civil Rights activity in Memphis and surrounding communities; research on African American political activity in Memphis; and gender dynamics within the Civil Rights movement.



Elizabeth ThomasElizabeth Thomas is Associate Professor of Psychology and Director and Plough Chair of Urban Studies at Rhodes College. She is co-author of the introductory text, Community Psychology: Linking Individuals and Communities and co-editor of a special issue of the American Journal of Community Psychology entitled “Children as protagonists: Participatory action research with children.” Her research focuses on social and cultural contexts for learning, adolescent engagement in community-based settings, and the potential of arts-based and participatory strategies for community research and action. Opportunities for the 2013 Institute include research related to contemporary challenges and opportunities for young people in Memphis, the role of the visual arts and/or public spaces in the urban context, or efforts to increase livability/sustainability in Memphis and the mid-south region.