Dr. Wesley Bishop, originally from Salesville, OH, is a new assistant professor in the Department of History and Foreign Languages. He specializes in American and Public History, with a B.A. from Ohio University, an M.A. from Indiana State University, and a Ph.D. from Purdue University.
Bishop specifically works on and teaches about American political history, social movements, and the development of the public sphere.
“I write mostly about how governments and social movements utilized the public sphere (space, media, ideas, etc.) to either promote or stifle change over time,” he described.
His dissertation was on the first national march on Washington, D.C., Coxey’s Army of 1894, and the development of American populism from the 1890s to the 1930s. His second book project explores how body size activists have used aspects of the public sphere to challenge beauty norms over time, looking specifically at a group of artists and activists who have been targeted and censored by social media platforms such as Instagram.
Bishop is currently teaching the surveys on American History, and he is looking forward to teaching Public History and Oral History, as well as Race, Community, and Memory. He is eager to build a public history program at JSU and help students prepare for several career options in public history.
“If anyone is interested in studying public and community history, please reach out to me. We would love to have you in the program!” said Bishop.
When asked about his favorite part of the job, Bishop said he enjoys researching fascinating questions, carrying on conversations with scholars in the same field, and not only teaching students, but learning from them as well. His favorite part of the History and Foreign Languages Department overall is the friendly, welcoming, and professional atmosphere.
“I am lucky to have as colleagues folks who are dedicated to scholarship, students, and the stewardship of our school,” he said.
Bishop strongly believes that the humanities are not only educationally important, but also important for personal growth and the development of wisdom. He hopes his students leave with an appreciation for history and confidence in their ability to question the world around them.
Outside of his research projects, Bishop is an editor for The North Meridian Review: A Journal of Culture and Scholarship, and he is excited to be bringing it here to JSU. He is also working with the Federal Park Services and other community members on restoration and research projects. He hopes to help lead students into the field and pursue internship opportunities at these sites.
In his spare time, Bishop enjoys traveling, going on walks, and hiking.
He advises his students to take advantage of all the opportunities offered here on campus, including student groups, elective classes, and studying abroad. He says to use this time to explore the world and your interests.