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Department of History Staff

Dr. Andrew McMichael

Dr. Andrew McMichael
- Associate Dean, Potter College of Arts & Letters, Professor of History

  • Email: andrew.mcmichael@wku.edu
  • Office: Fine Arts Center 200
  • Phone Number: 270-745-6538
  • Ph.D., Vanderbilt University, 2000

Administrative Duties

I came to the the Potter College of Arts & Letters' Dean's office part-time in 2009 and full-time in 2010. The job of the Dean's office staff is to help faculty, staff, and students do their work with as little interference as possible. My primary duties involve: fostering research and creative activity within the college; securing outside funding through grants and fellowships; interdisciplinary and inter-college outreach and coordination; outreach to local K-12 schools and coordinating teacher education; academic program assessment, and workforce development as it relates to academic programming. I also take seriously the mission of thinking of ways to promote the interests of the college across the campus and in the community. That could involve activities as mundane as helping shepherd college curriculum through the University, to meeting with folks in the community to get feedback on our programs, to trying out new ways of showcasing the interesting, creative, and fun faculty we have in Potter College.

Research Interests

My original scholarly interest was the colonial American Atlantic World, focusing on British colonial North America and its connections with Latin America. The University of Georgia Press published my first monograph, Atlantic Loyalties: Americans in Spanish West Florida, 1785-1810. My current research focuses on food and drink, most specifically in the area of alcohol consumption. I recently published several encyclopedia entries in Sage Publications' series entitled Alcohol: Social, Cultural, and Historical Perspectives.  My chapters "Alcohol Production, 1850 – 1950,” in A Cultural History of Alcohol, Volume 5: Industry, Empire, and War (1850-1950), edited by Deborah Toner, and “Commerce, Business, and Trade” in A Cultural History of Alcohol, Volume 3: The Early Modern World (1500-1750), edited by Ann Tlusty are forthcoming from Bloomsbury Press in 2018. Prufrock Press  recently published my co-authored Teaching Social Studies Through Inquiry, and I have two more volumes under contract with them. In August 2019 I will submit a manuscript to Indiana University Press entitled Prohibition.

Teaching Interests

I mainly teach HIST 463: The Atlantic World and HIST 341: The History of Alcohol.  I believe that students should be challenged to think about history in new ways, that they should think about how history is packaged, sold, and “used” in the public space, and the ways that a knowledge of history can help them better understand the world around us. If my classes don't get students to ask questions about their assumptions about the world in which they live and their social and cultural viewpoints then I'm not doing my job. I lecture, but we also spend a great deal of time discussing readings, concepts, and problems. I have used video games to teach Western Civ and brewed beer in the History of Alcohol, and hope that my classes are as interesting and instructive for my students as they are for me.


Atlantic World, History of Alcohol, Colonial/Revolutionary America

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 Last Modified 8/8/18