Selected Alumni - Elwood Watson
Ph.D., University of Maine, 1999
Professor of History
East Tennessee State University
Johnson City, Tennessee
Elwood Watson is a professor of History at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee. He is also a professor of African American Studies, Women and Gender Studies and Storytelling. His area of focus in History is American History with an emphasis on 20th Century, Gender, Popular Culture and African American History.
Among some of the regular courses that he teaches are American Women Since World War II, American Ethnic and Cultural History, American Sports – 20th Century to the Present, and America in the 1960s; he also teaches a graduate seminar each semester and has taught the department Honors US History Survey Course since 1877 from 2000-2003 and from 2006 to the present. Professor Watson is the author of many scholarly articles; the co-editor of two anthologies, There She is, Miss America: The Politics of Sex, Beauty and Race in America’s Most Famous Pageant (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) and The Oprah Phenomenon (University Press of Kentucky, 2007); the sole editor of Searching the Soul of Ally McBeal: Critical Essays (McFarland Publishers, 2006); and the author of Outsiders Within: Black Women in the Legal Academy after Brown v Board (Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2008), which is based upon his dissertation.
Elwood Watson on his time at the University of Maine:
“The four years that I was in attendance at the Orono campus were years of growth and development for me. I met a number of fellow graduate students (a number of who are professors at other colleges and universities) worked under a number of great professors and mentors such as William Baker, Richard Judd, Marli Weiner and Nathan Godfried to name a few. I was a research assistant, graduate assistant, had an administrative assistantship from the College of Arts and Sciences for one year and was the recipient of a fellowship for one year. I had various forms of funding.
The Ph.D. program was great for someone like me in that it allowed a significant degree of flexibility. As earlier stated, I am interdisciplinary and the program allowed someone like me ample opportunity to engage in such scholarship. My dissertation is one such example of the interdisciplinary approach that was allowed. For students that were more traditional, there were abundant opportunities for such a focus as well. Mostly every student who was a part of my cohort enjoyed their experience. The professors were very friendly and accessible. Moreover, the graduate students especially during my last full year there (1996-1997) were very friendly. We were always going out to Margarita’s, Pat’s Pizza, the Seadog, the coast during the summer or some other place or hangout. It was really a great time for me. The combination of congenial, friendly students and accessible, friendly faculty made my experience the most enjoyable.”