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William P. Hustwit

William P. Hustwit

Associate Professor of History and Chair

William P. HustwitOffice:

Berte Humanities Building 205

Contact Information:

Box 549031
Birmingham-Southern College
900 Arkadelphia Rd
Birmingham, AL 35254
Office Phone: (205) 226-7840
Office Fax: (205) 226-3089

Brief Career Background:

Hustwit has been a member of the history faculty at Birmingham-Southern College since 2013. He grew up in Wooster, Ohio, where he was the youngest, brightest, and favorite of three children. Hustwit enrolled at Kenyon College and majored in history and then headed south to Mississippi, a state that considers anyone who excelled at football and got a law degree to be a “renaissance man.” In 2008, he earned a Ph. D. from the University of Mississippi and specializes in 20th-Century U.S. history.

Off campus, Hustwit enjoys reading, hiking, and running. During football season, he assists the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers from the safety of a couch, which leaves him lots of free time to research and write.

Between games, Hustwit has managed to publish his dissertation as James J. Kilpatrick: Salesman for Segregation. Several of his articles and review essays deal with the Civil Rights Movement. In 2012, Hustwit’s article in the Journal of Southern History, “From Caste to Color Blindness,” won the Ronald T. and Gayla D. Farrar Media and Civil Rights History Award from the University of South Carolina.

Dr. Hustwit's complete C.V. is available here.

Information on Dr. Hustwit's book, James J. Kilpatrick: Salesman for Segregation, is available here.

Teaching Positions

Associate Professor of History, Birmingham-Southern College, 2017-present

Teaching and Research Interests:

  • 20th Century U.S.
  • South
  • Civil Rights Movement
  • Modern Latin America

Courses Taught:

HI 152: The American People II
A thematic survey of the United States from the end of the Civil War to the present. Students will examine the transformation of the U.S. from a mostly rural, agricultural, and traditional society into a powerful and culturally diverse urban, industrial, and modern nation. Topics will include political challenges to the status quo, the formation of a national economy, labor strife, urbanization, immigration, the rise of the welfare state, World War I, the Depression, World War II, the Cold War, the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, and 20th-century political conservatism.

HI 206: The New South
A study of the American South from the end of the Civil War to the present. The course will chart the ending of slavery for four million black people, the social and political transformations that followed in Reconstruction, the upheavals of the New South, the world of segregation, the overthrow of Jim Crow, cultural and religious expressions, and the emergence of the complicated and sometimes conflicted South that we recognize today.

HI 221: Up From Slavery: Contemporary Black History
An introductory lecture and discussion course on the history of African Americans. Beginning with Emancipation, the course traces the evolution of black culture and identity and the continuing struggle for freedom and equality. Topics include the tragedies and triumphs of Reconstruction, interracial violence, black political, religious, and institutional responses to racism and violence, the Harlem Renaissance, blues, jazz, and the civil rights era.

HI 261: Modern Latin America and the Revolutionary Tradition
An analysis of the role of revolutionary change in modern Latin American history, including the breakdown of Iberian colonial authority, the church-state conflicts of the 19th century, and the major revolutions of the 20th century. Social and economic inequality, political and military authoritarianism, and revolutionary and cultural change will be discussed from a historical perspective.

HI 300: Practice of History Seminar
A study of what history is and what the historian does. Through an examination of some of the classics of historical writing, attention is given to perspectives of the various historians and to the changing nature of the questions they have sought to answer. By preparing their own research paper, students are also exposed to contemporary methods and techniques of historical writing and research. Prerequisite: at least one year of college coursework.

HI 320: America Since 1940
The transformation of the United States since 1940, with emphasis upon the political and social aftermath of World War II, the expansion of the American economy in the 1950s and 1960s, social movements of the 1960s, and the era of disillusionment following Vietnam and Watergate in the 1970s. Prerequisite: HI 300 or consent.

HI 331:  Alabama Civil Rights
An investigation of Alabama's civil rights movement. This course examines the key protest centers, leadership, and organizations that figured prominently in Alabama's black freedom struggle. Pre-requisite:  HI 300 or instructor consent.

HI 349: The Cold War
A study of the Cold War from both the U.S. and Soviet perspectives, from its origins during the closing days of World War II to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Emphasis is placed on the Cold War's political and cultural impact on the home fronts, as well as the interrelationship between foreign and domestic policy. Prerequisite: HI 300 or consent.

HON 286: The Vietnam War
An exploration of the Vietnam War from the American and Vietnamese perspectives, focusing on the era 1945-1975. Topics include Vietnamese culture and history, French and Japanese occupation, Ho Chi Minh's revolutionary nationalism, the American war, and the experiences of soldiers and civilians on both sides. Memoirs, novels, scholarly literature, guest speakers, and films will help facilitate our understanding of the war. Prerequisite: Harrison Honors Program.