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The Rosa DealSchool of Arts

History and Poli-Sci Faculty

Dr. Marius Carriere, Professor in History and Political Science, is a native of New Orleans. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (where he had a brief stint on the baseball team), his master's from Stephen F. Austin State University, and his Ph.D. from LSU, where he specialized in southern history, with an interest in slavery and politics, and a concentration in southern literature. He completed post-graduate work at The University of Michigan in quantitative analysis and statistics. Dr. Carriere has published a number of articles and essays in these areas, including "Reconstruction in Memphis" in Words at War: The Civil War and American JournalismPurdue University Press, 2008 and "Anti-Catholicism, Nativism, and Louisiana Politics in the 1850s" in Religion in Louisiana, Lafayette: Center for Louisiana Studies, 2004, and is currently working on a manuscript about Louisiana politics and ethnicity before the Civil War. “I strongly believe that good teaching comes from keeping active in research and professional development. I am an active member in several historical associations, as well as, the American Association of University Professors.” Dr. Carriere teaches advanced courses in colonial America, American Revolution and early national period, antebellum South, Civil War and Reconstruction, and the South since Reconstruction.  

Dr. Ben Jordan, Associate Professor and Director of LLC, grew up in the shadow of the Appalachian Mountains in Knoxville and is happy to have adopted the “flat side” of Tennessee as his new home. He and his wife, Heather, who also grew up in Knoxville, have three young, wonderful children who keep them on their toes. Dr. Jordan received his Ph.D. from the University of California San Diego, and has also taught at Kenyon College, and Whitman College. He has previously worked with young adults in a variety of educational settings: as a counselor at a “rustic” drug and behavioral rehabilitation center, as a Resident Counselor at an international boarding high school in Austria, and as Director of western horseback riding at a traditional youth summer camp. "These jobs have led me to approach college teaching from a broader interest in character development and holistic education." He offers advanced classes in environmental, women’s and gender, urban and suburban, and childhood and youth history, and recently published a book entitled, “Modern Manhood and the Boy Scouts of America: Citizenship, Race, and the Environment, 1910-1930” that examines the relationship between gender and racial concepts and natural and human-built environments in early American Boy Scouting. Dr. Jordan is also the director of CBU's interdisciplinary Sustainability Studies academic program and serving as Director of the university’s Living Learning Communities. Sustainability is an exciting new interdisciplinary field that will allow our university and students to engage with important environmental and urban issues in Memphis. The program facilitates service learning and exposes students to different community organizations, businesses, and government agencies involved with making Memphis and our world a more sustainable, healthy, and enjoyable place to live.

Dr. Karl Leib, Associate Professor in History and Political Sciences, is a native New Yorker from the land north of New York City known as “Upstate,” where we had colorful autumns, cold winters, and a few modest-sized mountains. He grew up in the Hudson Valley north of New York City, and attended graduate school in the Finger Lakes region of central NY. He is an ardent film fan, especially of American film noir movies of the 1940s and the samurai films of Akira Kurosawa. He has been at CBU since 2004.  "I’m interested in all areas of political science but my background is in world politics, especially foreign policy making and the politics of space exploration. In recent years however, I have become increasingly focused on issues of international law and the global environment. Within the field of American politics, I’m interested in Constitutional law, federalism issues, and the role of news media and popular culture. I think that popular culture has an important relationship with politics and society, so I like to use movies, fiction, music, or art whenever possible in my classes." Dr. Leib helped develop the Global Studies minor at CBU and has taught the Foundations of Global Studies a couple of times. Other courses he teaches include, but are not limited to, Politics and Science Fiction, International Law, Survey of Politics on Film, and The Holocaust: Political and Religious Dimensions. He is the author of “State Sovereignty in Space: Current Models and Possible Futures,” Astropolitics, 13:1-24, 2015.

Dr. Neal Palmer (Chair), Associate Professor in History and Political Science, is a native of Memphis and proud graduate of White Station High School. He received his B.A. from Vanderbilt University, his M.A. from the University of Memphis, and his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester. His main field of study was modern Europe with minor fields in colonialism and science and society. He has been teaching at CBU since 2007. He teaches courses in World History, Modern East Asia, British India, Europe and Africa, Revolutionary Change in Modern Europe, The Literature and History of the English Civil Wars, The Scientific Revolution, England 1760-1950, The Social History of British Rock, Europe and the Great War, and the History Research Seminar. His main research interests include the history of modern Britain, popular protest, the prison, and racism. He is the author of To The Dark Cells: Prisoner Resistance and Protest in Nineteenth-Century Britain. "My wife, who teaches ESL at Central High, and I have two sons (ages 6 and 8), two dogs, and a cat. In the few waking moments when I'm not working or parenting, I like to watch sports, listen to music, read fiction, play basketball, hike, and canoe. I worked part-time and sometimes full-time jobs throughout my long college career, so this experience and my own family pressures make me very familiar with how tight many of your schedules must be as you try to work towards your college degree. I am cheering for you and very much hope that everyone has a positive experience in my courses."