Converse Assistant Professor of History Dr. Angela Esco Elder is the recipient of the 2021 SCICU Excellence In Teaching Award. Her history degrees include a Ph.D., M.A., and B.A., all from the University of Georgia, and Elder’s 2017 dissertation, “Married to the Confederacy: The Emotional Politics of Confederate Widowhood,” was awarded dissertation prizes from the Southern Historical Association and the St. George Tucker Society. The manuscript is currently under contract with the University of North Carolina Press.
Elder received the Southern Historical Association’s 2017 C. Vann Woodward Award for the best doctoral dissertation in Southern history and the Melvin E. Bradford Prize from the St. George Tucker Society for the best dissertation written on any aspect of the American South.
Her classes span many topics across American history, but a student favorite remains “Timeless: Hollywood, Time Travel, and American History,” based on NBC’s award-winning show. Converse students and faculty alike recognize Elder’s excellence in the classroom and awarded her the 2018 Faculty Involvement and Collaboration Award and the 2019 Joe Ann Lever Award of Excellence.
Elder is involved extensively on the Converse campus, including serving on the Faculty Development Committee and the Diversity Advisory Committee. In 2019, she co-created “Celebrating Courage, Charting the Future: Commemorating 50 Years of Black Women at Converse,” a student exhibit including over 35 oral history interviews with Black alumnae, thousands of yearbook images spanning over 120 years of Converse’s history, newspaper records, material culture, and more.
“Dr. Elder is dedicated to building a curriculum that embraces the diversity of perspectives and experiences.”
Dr. Elder’s research has received grants from many institutions, including Duke University, Filson Historical Society, George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War, Louisiana State University, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, University of Georgia, and Virginia Tech. She has also presented her research at numerous conferences, including the American Historical Association, Organization of American Historians, Society of Civil War Historians, and Southern Association for Women Historians.
“Dr. Elder personally engages each student and teaches them to how to use primary resources to not only learn history, but to contextualize and understand the impact events had on people and communities,” said Converse President Krista Newkirk. “She is dedicated to building a curriculum that embraces the diversity of perspectives and experiences. She was an easy selection for this award.” Converse Provost Jeffrey H. Barker adds “Dr. Elder is a truly innovative teacher who inspires her students to make history come alive in the classroom and in the community.”