staff & faculty



Ernest Freeberg: Academic Director 
Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of the Humanities, Department of History
Freeberg's teaching and research interests center on conflicts over free speech and religious liberty, with particular interest in the role of the First Amendment in American history.  In Spring 2008 Dr. Freeberg published Democracy's Prisoner: Eugene V. Debs, The Great War, and the Right to Dissent (Harvard University Press). The book explores the trial and imprisonment of the socialist leader, who was given a ten year sentence for making an anti-war speech, and the role this controversy played in promoting a civil liberties movement in post-WWI America. Democracy's Prisoner is a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist, and winner of the David J. Langum, Sr. Prize in American Legal History and the Eli M. Oboler Award from the American Library Association's Intellectual Freedom Roundtable. Freeberg's new research concerns the impact of electric light on late 19th and early 20th century society, and explores the way this new technology helped to create modern American culture.
He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on American religion, antebellum reform and abolitionism, historical methods, the history of the First Amendment and American cultural history, 1870-1920.

Jim Hamrick: Adminstrative Coordinator
Ph.D., Director, English Language Institute.
Hamrick directs the English Language Institute at the University of Tennessee. He has been involved in international education for more than 30 years. His professional interests are in the areas of organizational behavior and curricula for language teaching.

Cheryl Barksdale: Leadership Coordinator
Ph.D., Lecturer, Department of Management
Barksdale is the coordinator of Leadership Development Programs for UT's Center for Executive Education. She is also a consultant with Tennessee Assessment Center, a company that specializes in the selection and development of managers and executives, and with CircleSpring, a company that provides customized multisource assessment and feedback for personal and professional development.

Shannan Williams: Program Coordinator
M.A., MPH.
Williams has been an exchange student in Denmark, England, Kenya, and France. She teaches test preparation courses at the UT English Language Institute.


RONALD FORESTA:  “Urban Geography”
With a joint doctorate in geography and regional planning, Ron Foresta brings the perspectives of both fields to the study of landscape management. He is recognized as an authority on the American national park system, and his recent research in Brazilian Amazonia put him in the middle of the rainforest clearing issue. He is currently studying the impact of civic vision on the contemporary American city. Foresta's teaching is primarily in biological conservation and urban geography.
CHAD T. BLACK: “Freedom and Order in British Colonies”
Dr. Chad Black is currently Assistant Professor of History at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  He is a specialist in colonial Latin America, and has published on gender issues in that period.

CHRISTOPHER P. MAGRA: “Origins and Legacies of the American Revolution”
Magra is an early American history specialist and Professor at the University of Tennessee.  He has particular interests in maritime events. Before joining the University of Tennessee, Dr. Magra taught at California State University, Northridge, where he also served as the Director of the Atlantic History Center.

ANWAR F. ACCAWI: “U.S. Constitution”
Accawi retired in 2011 after more than 30 years of teaching at the English Language Institute at the University of Tennessee.  His illustrious teaching career began in 1962 at the National Evangelical Institute in Sidon, Lebanon.  He has served as instructor and counselor for many different organizations, and is a well-known author of short fiction, including a collection titled The Boy from the Tower of the Moon which has been published in French. The books chapters are frequently anthologized.

THOMAS COENS: “American West/Wilderness, Frontier, Empire”
Dr. Coens received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2004 and is currently a research professor of History the University of Tennessee where he serves as editor of the University's collection of Andrew Jackson papers.

STEPHEN V. ASH: “Slavery and the Civil War”
Ash is a long-time professor in the Department of History at the University of Tennessee, and he is an influential scholar of the American Civil War.  His most recent book is The Black Experience in the Civil War South published in 2010.

CYNTHIA G. FLEMING: “Civil Rights Movement”
Dr. Fleming has been a scholar in the field of African-American Studies for more than 30 years.  She is currently a History Professor at the University of Tennessee. She also specializes in oral history.

LYNN SACCO: “American Dream: Capitalism and Critics,” “Sexual Diversity”

Dr. Sacco is currently Associate Professor of History at the University of Tennessee.  She joined academic after a career an attorney in Chicago. She has held teaching positions in California at both the high school and collegiate level. Her professional interests are in the areas of gender and sexuality studies.

JON SHEFNER: “American Dream: Capitalism and Critics”
Jon Shefner has written and contributed to multiple articles, essays, and books on globalization and development. He is also a Latin American specialist. His most recent edited volume, Globalization and Beyond: New Examinations of Global Power and its Alternatives (2011), was also published in a Spanish language edition. He is Professor of Sociology at the University of Tennessee where he won the Alumni Association's Outstanding Teacher Award in 2011.

MARK HULSETHER: “From Tolerance to Pluralism”
Dr. Hulsether is the Associate Head of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Tennessee. He is a specialist in 20th century religious movements in the United States.  

CHARLES J. MALAND: “Mass Media/Mass Democracy”
Maland is former chair of the Department of English at the University of Tennessee and is a film studies specialist. His biography of Frank Capra has been published in multiple editions. He holds the J. Douglas Bruce Chair of English, Cinema Studies, and American Studies.

PATRICK JACKSON: “Domestic Politics and Foreign Policy”
Jackson has spent several years studying and teaching history both in the United States and Germany, having done doctoral studies at Vanderbilt University in American history. He is a lecturer in the History Department at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

ANN JEFFERSON: “Domestic Politics and Foreign Policy”
Dr. Jefferson has taught Latin American Studies for over 20 years.  She specializes in Colonial Latin American History. She has contributed to multiple publications and is currently a Lecturer in the History Department at the University of Tennessee.