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Shannon Bontrager

 

Georgia Highlands College

Cartersville, GA 30121

678.872.8049

sbontrag@highlands.edu

                                                                                                                                                     

Education

 

Ph.D., History, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, 2011

Fields of Study: 19th Century U.S. Culture, 20th Century U.S. Culture, Transnational U.S., Modern Britain, World

 

Professional Certificate, Geographic Information Science, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, in progress

 

M. A., History, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, MI, 2001

               Thesis: “The American Gospel: Methodists in the Great War”

                              Advisor: Dr. David Macleod

 

B. A., History, Ambassador University, Big Sandy, TX, 1996

 

Dissertation Project

 

“Nationalizing the Dead:  The Contested Making of an American Commemorative Tradition from the Civil War to the Great War”

 

In recent years, scholars have emphasized the importance of collective memory in the making of national identity.  Where does death fit into the collective memory of American identity, particularly during the age of empire of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries?  How did death shape the collective memory of American national identity in the midst of a pluralism brought on by immigration, civil and labor rights, and a transforming culture?  On the one hand, the commemorations of public figures such as Ulysses S. Grant, William McKinley, and Theodore Roosevelt constructed an identity based on Anglo-Saxonism, American imperialism, and the “Strenuous Life.”  This was reflected in the burial of American soldiers of the Civil War, the Spanish American and Philippine American wars and the First World War.  On the other hand, the commemorations of soldiers and sailors from these wars also created opportunities to both critique and appropriate definitions of national identity.  Through a series of case studies, my dissertation brings together cultural and political history to explore the (re)production and (trans)formation of American identity from the Civil War to the Great War.  I am particularly interested in the way people used military funerals and monuments as tools to produce official and vernacular collective memory.  I argue that both official and vernacular forms of commemoration can help historians understand the social and political tensions of creating national identity in a burgeoning industrial, imperialistic and multicultural society. 

 

Advisor:  Dr. Ian Christopher Fletcher

 

Publications and Work in Progress

 

“’From a Nation of Drunkards, We Have Become a Sober People’:  The Wyandot Experience of Borderlands in the Ohio Valley during the Early Republic” Under Review at the Journal of the Early Republic

 

Review of Disaster and Human History:  Case Studies in Nature, Society, and Catastrophe, by Benjamin Reilly.  Teaching History:  A Journal of Methods, Spring 2010.

 

“The Imagined Crusade: An Examination of the Use of Mythology to Promote Nationalism and Christian Virtue in Britain During the First World War,” Journal of Church History 71 (December 2002): 774-98.

 

“The American Gospel:  Methodist Missionaries in the Great War” (work in progress).

 

“Imagining the Dead:  American depictions of the War Dead from the Age of the Daguerreotype to the Age of the Motion Picture” (work in progress).

 

“Darkness and Light:  Culture, Race, and Empire in the Works of Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, and John Dos Passos” (work in progress).

 

Presentations

 

“Darkness and Light:  Mark Twain, Race, and Empire in the Philippines,” South Atlantic Modern Language Association Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, November 2011.

 

“The Limits of American Empire,” Remembrances: Constructing Narratives of Wars of the 19th and 20th Centuries Conference, Young Harris College, Young Harris, Georgia, March 2011.

 

“The Science of Burial:  Dead Bodies at the Frontier of American Empire,” University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee, March 2011.

 

“Burial Sites of Memory:  The Fallen Community, Commemoration, and American Empire in the U.S. South and Cuba after the Spanish American War,” Southern American Studies Association Conference, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, February 2011.

 

Panel Organizer, “Memory, Imperialism, and Sites of Tragedy,” Southeastern World History Association Conference, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia, October 2010.

 

“The Anxiety of Empire:  Cuba Libre and the re-sinking of the U.S.S. Maine,” Southeastern World History Association Conference, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, Georgia, October 2010.

 

“The Politics of Commemoration: Expanding the American Frontier in Fascist Italy after the Great War,” Georgia Association of Historians, North Georgia College and State University, Dahlonega, Georgia, February 2009.

 

“’From a Nation of Drunkards, We Have Become a Sober People’: Early Nineteenth Century Evangelicalism, Wyandot Traditions, and Subaltern Resistance of Borders” Southeastern World History Association Conference, Armstrong Atlantic State University, Savannah, Georgia, October 2007.

 

“Historians Roundtable:  Colonial Borderlands, Frontiers, and Encounters,” New Voices Conference, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia., September 2007.

 

“The Time Revolution and the Construction of Wyandot Nationalism in the Age of American Imperialism,” Consortium on the Revolutionary Era, 1750-1850, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, March 2006.

 

“The War for the Workers and the Battle of the Bones: The Intersection of Religion, Space, and Architecture in Victorian Britain,” Mid-Atlantic Conference on British Studies, CUNY, New York, New York, April 2002.

 

“Thor’s Immorality: Anglican Depictions of Germany in World War I,” European History Section of the Southern Historical Association, Louisville, Kentucky, November 2000.

 

“How Virginia Gave Britain the Byrd: A Review of British and American Religious Identity,”  Midwest American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, November 2000.

 

“The American Gospel: Methodist Missionaries in Europe,”  Indiana University Conference of Culture, Identity, and Power: National and Transnational Stories in a New Age, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, March 2000.

 

“Perfectionism, Social Reform, and Voluntarism: Christianity’s Failure to Protest Factionalism in the United States, 1812-1865,” Southwest/Texas Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association, Albuquerque, New Mexico, February 2000.

 

“The Flight of the Valkyries and the Moneychangers of King Arthur: An Examination of the Church of England’s Use of Mythology to Promote Nationalism during the First World War,” New England Historical Association Conference, Boston, Massachusetts, November 1999.

 

Professional Appointments

 

Postdoctoral Fellow, New York University – Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, “Memory and Memorialization: Representing Trauma and War,” Paris France, 2011-2012

 

Assistant Professor of History, Georgia Highlands College, Cartersville, GA, 2011-Present

               United States History Survey

               World History Survey

               Western Civilization Survey

 

Instructor of History (Tenure-track), Georgia Highlands College, Cartersville, GA, 2008-2011

               United States History Survey

               World History Survey

               Western Civilization Survey

 

Adjunct Instructor, North Georgia College and State University, Dahlonega, GA, 2006-2008

               United States History Survey

               Modern World History Survey

 

Graduate Teaching Instructor, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, 2001-2006

               United States History Survey

               Modern World History Survey

 

Service

 

Chairperson, Scholarship Committee, Georgia Highlands College, 2010-2011.

Chairperson, Social Sciences Assessment Committee, Georgia Highlands College, 2010-2012.

Member, Faculty Advisory Council, Georgia Highlands College, 2010-2012.

Chairperson, Job Search Committee, Social Sciences Division, History Assistant Professor, Georgia Highlands College, 2010.

Chairperson, Job Search Committee, Social Sciences Division, History Lecturer, Georgia Highlands College, 2010.

Member, Job Search Committee, Social Sciences Division, Philosophy Lecturer, Georgia Highlands College, 2010.

Reviewer, Études Historique, North Georgia College and State University, Dahlonega, Georgia, 2008-Present.

Member, Assessment Committee for Social Sciences Division, Georgia Highlands College, Cartersville, Georgia, 2008-Present.

Member of Job Search Committee, Social Sciences Division—History, Georgia Highlands College, 2009.

Member of the Scholarship Committee, Georgia Highlands College, 2009-2011 term.

Participated National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) conference, 2008.

Advisement of Students, Georgia Highlands College, 2008-Present.

 

Fellowships, Grants, and Honors

 

Nominated for Outstanding Faculty Member, Student Government Association, North Georgia College and State University, February 2007 and 2008.

Graduate Teaching Fellowship, Georgia State University, 2001-2006.

Research Grant, College of Graduate Studies, Central Michigan University, March 2000.

Presentation Grant, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Central Michigan University, 1999 and 2000.

Presentation Scholarship, College of Graduate Studies, Central Michigan University, 1999 and 2000.

Ambassador Foundation Scholarship to teach in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, 1994-1995.

 

Professional Experience

 

Member, Faculty Association for Interdisciplinary Research (FAIR), 2008-Present.

Member, Trans-Empire Research Cluster (TERC), 2007-Present.

Member, Faculty Academy, Georgia Highlands College, Cartersville, Georgia, 2008-2010.

Member, Center for Global Engagement Workshop: Korea, China, and Japan, North Georgia College and State University, Dahlonega, Georgia, 2007.

Reader, AP World History, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, 2007.

Coordinator, Graduate Student Seminar, History Department, Central Michigan University, 1999-2000.

Editor, Association of Georgia State University Historians Bulletin, Georgia State University, 2001-2002.

Member, Ad-Hoc Subcommittee, Freshman Studies Committee, History Department, Georgia State University, 2004. 

 

 

 

Page last updated: August 24, 2011