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Elizabeth Engelhardt

Senior Associate Dean, Fine Arts & Humanities

Dr. Elizabeth Engelhardt is Senior Associate Dean for Fine Arts and 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, Sexuality Studies, the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies, and the Center for the Study of the American South.

Engelhardt, Kenan Eminent 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 and as interim senior associate dean for fine arts and humanities from March 2019 to March 2020.

As American Studies chair, she supported numerous innovations in the department, including its promotion of engaged scholarship, graduate education using digital and nontraditional dissertation forms and its successful participation in the Campaign for Carolina.

As a teacher, she has inspired her students to become knowledge producers and original creators, and as a researcher and author, she has advanced understanding of Southern food and culture. She serves on the board of UNC Press.

In fall 2023, Engelhardt published Boardinghouse Women: How Southern Keepers, Cooks, Nurses, Widows and Runaways Shaped Modern America (UNC Press).

A major initiative under her leadership is the Southern Futures initiative. Southern Futures provides top-up funding for graduate students, supports undergraduate research, and convenes scholarly and community resources across the university and region for conversations that use the arts and humanities as key tools to reimagine the American South.

Engelhardt is a proud graduate of the Hendersonville, North Carolina, public school 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.

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