The great majority of my students are not Art History/Studio majors or minors, but must take a Survey course to fulfill the Fine Arts requirement within their GER. Consequently, I have found the challenge in the classroom to be that of maintaining the academic integrity of the discipline while, at the same time, introducing Art History as a subject with many intriguing and relevant approaches to the material. Most of my students are completely unfamiliar with the material, so one way to bring Art History into the immediate present is to take them to visit gallery shows, museum exhibits, historical sites, and attend lectures sponsored by groups such as the Archaeological Institute of America. No matter what my students' academic pursuits might be, I hope they find that their time in Art History has enriched their lives.
While my most important teaching responsibilities are the Survey courses, both "Paleolithic to Medieval" and "Renaissance to Modern," my graduate work in the history and art/architecture of the Early Church (both Latin West and Greek East) has allowed me, on occasion, to teach beyond the Survey level. My studies in these disciplines continue to serve as my wellspring of special interests.
As the ancestral hometown for my paternal family, I am working on a narrative history of this unique Mississippi River town. While the town is long gone, the two remaining historic structures still stand majestically watching over and spanning the great river which divides the nation into halves. The Courthouse was built in 1848 of local stone and is on the National Register of Historic Buildings. The Bridge was built in 1902-1905 and was, at the time, said to be the largest cantilever bridge in the world.
During World War I, an explosives plant was located 3-4 miles south of Thebes, serving as an important place of employment for the men and women of Alexander County. At the time, it was one of the largest explosives plants in the world; however, it was abandoned after World War I: the War was over, and, perhaps even more relevant, several explosions occurred in the years just after the War. Though the death count was remarkably minimal, the plantand consequently the town of Fayville associated with it...shut down. Only great concrete foundation ruins remain.
Thebes' history is one of a town caught between its uniquely functional site on the River and that River's determined and regular destruction of that site by disastrous flooding. In the end, the River will win.