Cover photo
James Smith Allen
Works at Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Attended Brown University
Lived in Silver Spring, Md.
“Chercher? Pas seulement: créer.” – Marcel Proust (1913)
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European historian, university professor, college administrator ... I have a lot to live down. It starts with a privileged past of family relations on Boston's North Shore, in New York and environs, and then in the Washington, DC, area. After several generations of faith, hard work, energy, curiosity, and (some) great good luck, my parents in turn made all things possible for their progeny (I am the youngest of four). To this heritage, the prodigal child in me is indeed grateful, especially without a family of my own. No matter. My spouse Anne and I are privileged in other ways, most certainly in hard-earned cultural capital from the study of language and its uses at home and abroad. This apposition of past and present, in time and space, is well worth heeding to live down (or up to) a long career in higher education and the historical profession.
Bragging rights
Author of four monographs, two book-length translations, and more than forty scholarly articles, I have written and taught modern French social and cultural history for the past 30 years. It has been a job with soul -- and the bounty of more than $1.2 million in funding, most of it from competitive sources, for research and instruction. Generous recognition by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Phi Kappa Phi, among others, is more than I could have wished. Moreover, as coordinator of Southern Illinois University's self-study, I oversaw my home institution's most recent re-accreditation by the North Central Association's Higher Learning Commission. Thanks to that endeavor, the school, I believe, is a much better place to work and to learn.
  • Brown University
    AB in English 1971
  • Tufts University
    MA in History 1975, PhD in History 1979
Basic Information
Other names
Finally, it is instructive to drop the names of former students whose doctoral dissertations I have directed. All of them, I am proud to say, are making careers in academe: Cyrelene Amoah, University of Ghana; Amanda Bahr-Evola, St. Louis Public Library; Steven Carelli, Bethany College; Tyler Crogg, Lindenwood University; Michelle DenBeste, California State University, Fresno; Daron Olson, Indiana University East; Nana Yaw Sapong, University of Ghana; and Chris Strangeman, Middle Georgia College. As mentor to these Doktorkinder -- like some disparate surrogate family of my own -- yes, I have been more than privileged.
Associate Provost for Academic Programs at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, with tenure as Professor of History and a cross-appointment in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
  • Southern Illinois University Carbondale
    Associate Professor, History, 1991-1994; Professor, History, since 1994, cross-appointed in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, since 2002; Director, University Core Curriculum, 1999-2010; Director, Assessment and Program Review, 2010-2011; Associate Provost for Academic Programs, present
  • National Endowment for the Humanities
    Research Fellow, History, 1988 - 1989
  • University of Pennsylvania
    Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Romance Languages, 1984 - 1985
  • Phillips University
    Assistant Professor, History, 1982-1988; Associate Professor, History, 1988-1991; Acting Chair, History, Religion, and Philosophy, 1990-1991
  • University of California, San Diego
    Visiting Assistant Professor, History, 1981 - 1982
  • Journal of Family History
    Editorial Assistant, 1979-1980; Assistant Editor, 1980-1981
  • Tufts University
    Residence Hall Director, 1973-1975; Teaching Assistant, History, 1975-1977; Instructor, History, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1980
  • US Naval Reserve (Active Duty)
    Journalist, US Naval Communication Station, Nea Makri, Greece, 1971 - 1973
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Silver Spring, Md. - Providence, R.I. - Athens, Greece - Medford, Mass. - La Jolla, Calif. - Enid, Oklahoma - Philadelphia, Penn. - Carbondale, Ill. - Paris, France - Freiburg-i.-Br., BRD