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Areas of Study

The history program at Elizabethtown College covers all periods of Western history, as well as the history of non-Western regions around the world.

Why Study History at Elizabethtown

Small classes; right history; no boundaries...

Meet our Faculty


History department faculty

David Brown
Professor of History, Department Chair | 717-361-1249

David Brown, the Raffensperger Professor of History, offers courserwork in American culture, intellect, and historiography, as well as introductory classes in early and modern American/U.S. civilization. His abiding interest is in the connection of ideas--religious, literary, political and economic-- and how they play out over a broad cultural canvas. His publications include Richard Hofstadter: AN Intellectual Biography (2006, nominated for a Pulitzer Prize by the University of Chicago Press) and Beyond the Frontier: The Midwestern Voice in American Historical Writing (2009 UCP).  He is currently completing Paradise Lost: A Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Máire Johnson
Visiting Assistant Professor of History |

Máire Johnson comes to Elizabethtown College from a three-year position as Visiting Assistant Professor of Medieval History at Oklahoma State University, but her first job out of graduate school was a stint teaching World History at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. She's very pleased to be returning to PA! Máire holds undergraduate degrees from the University of Maryland College Park and graduate degrees from the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto. Her research interests focus on the Celtic regions of the Middle Ages, with particular attention to Ireland, Wales, and the Isle of Man. Her teaching interests include: Celtic culture, archaeology, and history; Celtic literature and society; world and western history; medieval civilization; attitudes toward magic and the supernatural in pre-modern Europe; women in the Middle Ages; and medieval law before 1000 CE.


David Kenley
Associate Professor of History | 717-361-1238 | Faculty Website

Dr. David Kenley (Ph.D. University of Hawai'i, M.A. University of Utah, B.A. Brigham Young University) is originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, but lived for many years in West Virginia, Hawaii, and the Republic of China in Taiwan. Dr. Kenley has been at Elizabethtown College since 2004. His research focuses on the history of Asia, particularly modern China. He is the author of New Culture in a New World (Routledge Press) and other works dealing with Chinese intellectual history and diasporas in world history. He is currently writing a history of the Church of the Brethren missionaries in China in the early twentieth century. Dr. Kenley's family, including his wife, Wendi, and their three children, currently reside in Elizabethtown, PA and enjoy skiing, hiking, and traveling. 

Brian Newsome
Associate Professor of History | 717-361-1251 | Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Brian Newsome is Associate Professor of History and Assistant Dean for General Education and Assessment. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina and teaches modern European, Middle Eastern, and North African history. Before coming to Elizabethtown College in 2009, Dr. Newsome taught at Alfred University. While there he earned a Summer Research Grant, the International Fellowship for Faculty Development, and two awards for outstanding teaching. At Elizabethtown College, he has received two Faculty Research Grants, a Collaborative Interdisciplinary Scholarship Program Grant to promote faculty-student research, Merit Awards for teaching and service, and a Student Senate Engaging Educator Award.

Dr. Newsome specializes in the urban and religious history of nineteenth- and twentieth-century France. His dissertation, which was funded by a Fulbright Grant, led to articles in French Historical Studies and French Politics, Culture and Society, among others, as well as his book on French Urban Planning, 1940-1968: The Construction and Deconstruction of an Authoritarian System (New York: Peter Lang, 2009). Most recently, Dr. Newsome has been analyzing French Catholic youth and adult organizations, leading to two articles in Historical Reflections/Réflexions historiques (which he recently joined as co-editor) and one in Transaction Publishers’ series Religion and Public Life. His current project is on the Catholic novelist Maxence Van der Meersch and the latter’s account of the German invasion and occupation of northern France during World War I. Dr. Newsome is also past president of the New York State Association of European Historians, and in 2014 he won the NYSAEH’s Triennial Charles R. Bailey Memorial Prize for best journal article. He received the award for “The Women of the Pavillons: A Case Study,” which appeared in Historical Reflections/Réflexions historiques in the Winter of 2012 (38, no. 3, pp. 107-128). 

Gabriel R. Ricci
Associate Professor of Humanities | 717-361-1139

Gabriel R. Ricci has taught in the History and Philosophy Departments at Elizabethtown College since 1996, and served as the chair of the History Department from 2004 to 2011. Ricci teaches courses in The Ancient World, the Enlightenment, and Applied Ethics. He pursued graduate work at the University of Hamburg and Temple University; where after a post-doctoral teaching fellowship he taught for ten years. His early research interests were in German historicism, Giambattista Vico, Ernst Troeltsch, Martin Heidegger and Continental Philosophy. This concentration led to his translation of Victor Farias’ Heidegger and Nazism (Temple University, 1989); the publication of Time Consciousness, The Philosophical Uses of History (Transaction Publisher, 2002) and The Tempo of Modernity (Transaction Publisher, 2011). He has been the editor of the annual series Religion & Public Life (Transaction Publisher) since 1999 and he has just been appointed the editor of a new annual series, Culture and Civilization (Transaction Publisher). Current research interests address the relationship between nature and norm in the ancient world and the intersection of European philosophy and literature in the early twentieth century.

Faculty Emeriti

Paul Gottfried
Raffensperger Professor of Humanities Emeritus (U.S. and Europe)

J. Kenneth Kreider
Professor of History Emeritus (Russia and Europe)

Richard Mumford
Professor of History Emeritus (U.S. and Japan)

H. Herbert Poole, Jr.
Professor of History Emeritus (Britain)

Bela Vassady
Raffensperger Professor of History Emeritus (Africa and African-American)

Tom Winnpenny
Professor of History Emeritus (United States)

Elizabethtown College