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Cynthia Jo Ingham, Assistant Professor, specializes in the colonial and revolutionary age in American history, although her current project is in an entirely different field. She received her doctoral degree at the University of Kansas in May 1998, and her dissertation, “‘With Great Liberty’: Virginia’s Denominational Character in the Late Eighteenth Century,” was awarded the prize for the most outstanding dissertation at the university that year. Her goal was to illuminate the experience of liberty in postrevolutionary Virginia; her research suggested that many people of this generation worked out their understanding of fundamental revolutionary precepts through the exploration of their religious beliefs, within the brave new world of denominationalism and pluralism.
For four years, Dr. Ingham held a tenure-track position as assistant professor of history at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida, during which time she developed courses in the revolutionary age, American religious history, the American West, and women in the American West. She joined the Peace Corps in 2005 and was assigned to northwestern China, where she taught English to Chinese students at Hexi University in Zhangye, Gansu Province. Aside from the occasional tourist, she was one of only two female Westerners living in this “town” of one million people. After her return, she was an instructor at Grand View College in Des Moines, Iowa, and then a visiting assistant professor of history at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
Inaddition to upper-level courses on the colonial period and the revolutionary age, Dr. Ingham has taught graduate seminars in British colonial America, the American Revolution, and “Historical Experience,” a required graduate course that focused on both methodology and historiography.
Her publications have drawn from her dissertation, but other research projects pointed in a westerly direction. She has completed the draft of a manuscript that explores religion in the American West, with chapters on Native Americans and Christianity, the missionary impulse, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, pluralism in a western key, and the “sacred land.”
Dr. Ingham is currently under contract with Facts on File for “The Age of Resistance and Removal,” volume three of a five-volume reference work, Voices of Native American History, scheduled for publication in 2009. The volume consists of a narrative, a chronology, and a documentary selection for the period from the 1760s to the 1860s.
“From Impartial Liberty to Afro-Christianity: Assessing the Revolution in Virginia’s Religious Life,” History
Compass 6, no. 1 (2008): 345-63.
“prophetic movements,” “religion,” “syncretism”: contributions to Encyclopedia of Native
American History, ed. Peter C. Mancall (Facts on File, forthcoming in 2009).
“Set at Liberty: Virginia Presbyterianism after the Revolution,” Journal of Presbyterian History 79:4 (Winter
“Religion,” in Peter C. Mancall, ed., American Eras: Westward Expansion, 1800-1860 (Detroit and New
York: Gale Research, 1998), pp. 263-316.
“‘For Popular Use’: Early Hymnbooks of the Virginia Baptists.” Paper presented at the conference on Hymnody in American Protestantism, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Ill., May 2000.