Elizabeth Engelhardt (photo by Marcie Cohen Ferris)
Elizabeth Engelhardt (photo by Marcie Cohen Ferris)

Dr. Elizabeth Engelhardt is Interim Senior Associate Dean for Fine Arts & Humanities.

As senior associate dean, Engelhardt oversees the departments of American Studies, Art and Art History, Classics, Communication, Dramatic Art and PlayMakers Repertory Company, English and Comparative Literature, Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures, Linguistics, Music, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Romance Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies. Her responsibilities also include oversight of the Institute for the Arts and Humanities, Medieval and Early Modern Studies, Carolina Public Humanities, the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies, and the Center for the Study of the American South. She also works closely with the College’s Director of Faculty Diversity Initiatives on issues of recruitment, development and retention of faculty.

Engelhardt, the John Shelton Reed Distinguished Professor of Southern Studies, joined the UNC American Studies faculty in 2015, returning to her home state after more than a decade at the University of Texas at Austin. She served as chair of American Studies from 2017 to March 2019.

She supported numerous innovations in graduate education in the American Studies department, including emerging digital and nontraditional dissertation forms, expedited timelines and research proficiencies for multiple career outcomes. She is a champion of interdisciplinary research and teaching, having partnered with Wilson Library for a senior seminar in Southern Studies and working with the Ackland Art Museum to bring the first three Caldwell Family Artists-in-Residence to the UNC campus.

She was an Academic Leadership Program Fellow in the Institute for the Arts and Humanities from 2017-2018. She currently serves on the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina Press.

Engelhardt is one of the prime architects (along with Malinda Maynor Lowery, director of the Center for the Study of the American South) of the new Southern Futures initiative at UNC-Chapel Hill, in partnership with the Provost’s Office.

She served as a board member of the Southern Foodways Alliance, the premier food studies organization in the United States, from 2013-2018. She was the founding organizer and chair of the Academic Committee of the SFA Board of Directors from 2015-2018.

Engelhardt is a proud graduate of the Hendersonville, North Carolina, public system. She graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in English Literature and a Certificate in Women’s Studies from Duke University, and a master’s and Ph.D. in Women’s Studies from Emory University’s Institute for Women’s Studies. She is the author or editor of several books on Southern food and Appalachian culture, including The Food We Eat, The Stories We Tell: Contemporary Appalachian Tables, due out from Ohio University Press in 2019. Her upcoming book project is The Lost Story of the Southern Boardinghouse.

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