Southern history expert, Campbell grad to speak at Anne T. Moore Lectures

James Humphreys, an associate professor of history at Murray State (Ky.) University and a 1985 graduate of Campbell University, will be the guest speaker for the Anne T. Moore Humanities Lecture on March 21.

Humphreys, who served as the first president of Campbell’s chapter of the Pi Gamma Mu honor society, will speak on attitudes race in the Reconstruction period. His presentation, titled “Reconstruction Revisionist: Francis Butler Simkins and the Origins of Progressive Thought toward Race and Reconstruction in the Early 20th Century,” will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Lynch Auditorium in the Lundy Fetterman School of Business Building.

Humphreys grew up in Kinston, N.C., and earned his BS in social science with a history concentration in 1985. In addition to his affiliation with Pi Gamma Mu, he was also a member of Omicron Delta Kappa. He received the title of Distinguished Alumnus in 1996.

After completing a master’s degree in history at North Carolina State University, Humphreys taught in the North Carolina public schools and at Sampson Community College. He then enrolled in the History PhD program at Mississippi State University, completing his doctorate in 2005. The history faculty at Mississippi State awarded him the William E. Parrish Outstanding Teaching Assistant for the 2001-2002 school year.

Since receiving his doctorate, Humphreys has taught at the University of Virginia at Wise and at Lambuth University in Jackson, Tenn., and is now an associate professor of history at Murray State.

Humphreys specializes in the history of the American South. The University Press of Florida published his biography of the southern historian Francis Butler Simkins in 2008. Titled Francis Butler Simkins: A Life, the book was part of UPF’s series “New Perspectives on the History of the South.”

Humphreys has also published an article on the Allied bombing campaign of Germany in The Journal of the North Carolina Association of Historians. He also contributed a book chapter to Of Times and Race: Essays Inspired by John F. Marszlaek published in 2012 by the University Press of Mississippi.  

Humphreys’s chapter on Reconstruction historian William Archibald Dunning is scheduled to appear in a work to be published this year by the University Press of Kentucky titled Squaring the Past with the Present: The Dunning School and the Meaning of Reconstruction.