Joseph W. Pearson is a Doctoral Candidate in the History Department, where he also earned a Master’s degree in 2010. Mr. Pearson earned a Graduate Council Fellowship for the 2013-14 year. His teaching and research interests include early American political culture, nationalism and religion, and the rise of the modern middle class. Joseph’s forthcoming dissertation is titled “Apostles of Modernity: The Whig World, 1830-1860”. It mines the moral, cultural, ideological, and gendered underpinnings of American Whiggery, one of the two great political parties in the antebellum United States. Mr. Pearson’s project shows that ideas mattered for Whigs, and their dynamic reading of America’s cultural and material possibilities demonstrates that Whiggery offered social and political efficacy for antebellum men and women trying to perfect the world on their respective terms. Indeed, Whigs were America’s first conservatives to propose a diverse, positive, progressive vision for national development. Mr. Pearson has published scholarly articles with Ohio Valley History and the North Carolina Historical Review. He also writes a quarterly column on the Creek War for Alabama Heritage in their “Becoming Alabama” section. He has delivered papers and public lectures at state, regional, and national conferences, including the Alabama Historical Association, the Gulf South History and Humanities Conference, and most recently, the American Catholic Historical Association. Mr. Pearson grew up in the rolling foothills of the Appalachian Mountains near Richmond, Kentucky, which he wryly admits is about as big as it sounds. He came to UA from the University of Kentucky, where he graduated with honors in 2008. Before that, Mr. Pearson served for six honorable years with the United States Marine Corps, leaving as a Sergeant in 2004. Joseph is deeply grateful for the many opportunities The University of Alabama has provided him to grow and learn during his time in Tuscaloosa. He remains unapologetic about his love for the Cincinnati Reds, Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, and his wife’s peanut butter pie. Joseph dedicates his work to his brilliant wife, Erica, and their four wonderful children, Kieran, Isaac, Cora June, and Adeleine. Their love, support, and encouragement have never wavered.
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