Christopher Cameron ’06: African-American Intellectual History Society President
In the summer of his junior year at Keene State, history major Christopher Cameron ’06 earned a McNair Undergraduate Opportunity Fellowship, a program designed to help prepare minority and first-generation college students—and other groups that are typically underrepresented in advanced study—prepare for graduate school. The fellowship was a success, because, after Cameron graduated, he went on to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he earned an MA and a PhD and then landed a position as an assistant professor of history at UNC Charlotte.
“Keene State was excellent preparation for graduate school,” Dr. Cameron recalled. “I worked really closely with professors Gregory Knouff and Matthew Crocker in the History Department and had the advantage of small classes and lots of individual attention. I took three or four independent studies, and the flexibility that was built in to the major was invaluable. UNC Charlotte is about five times the size of Keene State, and my own students aren’t able to get the kind of individual attention that I enjoyed. Professors Knouff and Crocker run their upper-level seminars like graduate seminars, where you’re reading a book a week and the expectations for discussion and critical analysis are very high. The History Department at Keene State is small, but it is excellent.”
Dr. Cameron is also President of the African-American Intellectual History Society, a scholarly organization devoted to studying Black thought and culture. “We have a group blog, with about 20 different bloggers,” he explained. “We write about recent trends and research in Black thought and culture and about teaching the subject, and we offer career advice for younger scholars. We interview authors, and have many resources. One of our bloggers spearheaded the Charleston Syllabus, a crowd-sourced list of resources developed in the wake of the Charleston church shootings last June to critically engage scholars as well as the broader public in the history of race in Charleston and South Carolina—and in America. That syllabus had more than 120,000 hits in a two-week period, so it’s clear it has an impact beyond the scholarly community. I started AAIHS as a group blog, but now it’s morphed into a full-fledged scholarly organization with members. We’re hosting an annual conference in March in Chapel Hill.”
Oh, and there’s another UNC Chapel Hill connection to the Keene State History Department: Assistant Professor Laura Premack attended graduate school in Chapel Hill with Dr. Cameron.