Dr. Terry Barr


Professor of English
Director, Media Studies
Office location: Neville Hall 213
Office phone: 864.833.8373
BA, University of Montevallo
MA, PhD, University of Tennessee
Joined PC in 1987

Courses taught:

Survey of American Literature II, Introduction to World Cinema, Creative Writing: Creative Nonfiction, Film and American Culture, Holocaust Literature, Southern Jewish Literature, The Modern British and American Novel, Media and Society

Personal interests:

Comic Book Culture; Alternative Graphic Novels; Independent Film; any novel by Zadie Smith, Michael Chabon, Philip Roth; Live Music (Wilco, Flaming Lips, Radiohead, Neil Young); Writing; Jewish Culture; Cooking (Cajun especially!!!); The now-defunct Six Feet Under and The X-Files (still love it); my wife, daughters, and 2 cats.

My teaching philosophy is, and has always been, to persuade and give opportunities to students to see their world from as many perspectives as possible.  I believe it is important to challenge the pre-existing views of students, to help them form their world views, and to encourage them to use literature in this process, as it is a true window to the world and into their hearts, minds, and souls.

In the past few years, particularly in my American and Jewish-based courses, I have asked students to participate in the ongoing American narrative which means, in my view, that we must examine the stories, the mythos, that America has been writing about, and which it has come to believe about itself. In doing so, we must examine closely the issues of race, culture, and religion in America and try to determine if our country has been fulfilling its promise and living up to its own expectations.  So as we read works by Faulkner, Capote, Michael Chabon, or examine the reality of Jewish life in the American South, or see how America responded (or didn’t respond) to the gathering storm clouds of the Holocaust, or how multi-racial Americans are still coming to terms with their pasts and legacies, we attempt to answer questions about ourselves, our views, biases, and prejudices.  And in this process, both my students and I continue to grow and re-evaluate ourselves and what it means to be an American.

Dr. Kendra Y. Hamilton


Assistant Professor of English

Director, Southern Studies Program
Office location: Neville Hall – Second Floor
Office phone: 864.833.8340
AB, English, Duke University
MFA, Poetry, Louisiana State University
PhD, English and American Studies, University of Virginia
Joined PC in 2014

Courses taught:

Introduction to Southern Studies; African American literature; American identities; composition and creative writing; literary “geographies”; the “global South”; gender studies; genre studies, especially modern and contemporary poetry; transatlantic modernism.

Personal interests:

Cats; cooking; digital humanities; folklore and oral history; gardening; meditation, yoga, and contemplative practice; the natural world and nature writing; singing and Southern music generally-blues, folk, and jazz, and spirituals in particular; small-scale sustainable farming practices and stewardship of land for future generations.

I could never be accused of being an “ivory tower scholar.” Sure, I love the library as much as any English professor—I love research and long periods of time devoted to writing and study. But I’ve also consciously chosen to balance those periods of introspection with active engagement in every community I’ve joined—up to and including being drafted by my neighbors to run for City Council and serving two years as Vice Mayor of Charlottesville.

After (thankfully) retiring from politics in 2007, I combined my commitment to service with my great love—gardening—and, along with my partner and the team of dedicated volunteers we attracted, I co-founded and administered not one but two church-based community gardening/hunger ministries. (The first “grew” its own neighborhood-based leadership and is operating independently; the second just achieved an impressive fund-raising milestone and is about to open a community canning kitchen.)

I love the warmth and humor of the faculty members at PC—and the excitement they seem to bring to their jobs. I’ve also met a few student leaders and come away quite impressed at how open, bright, and intellectually curious they are. As for what I hope we can accomplish together, I hope I may be forgiven for turning to a Thomas Jefferson quote. (No one who lives more than a few years in Virginia escapes without a few choice Jefferson quotes, as my students will no doubt learn!) Writing to his friend and legal mentor George Wythe while he was working on the revision of the Virginia code of laws, he said:

I think by far the most important bill in our whole code is that for the diffusion of knowledge among the people. No other sure foundation can be devised, for the preservation of freedom and happiness … Preach, my dear Sir, a crusade against ignorance; establish & improve the law for educating the common people. Let our countrymen know that the people alone can protect us against these evils [tyranny, oppression, etc.] and that the tax which will be paid for this purpose is not more than the thousandth part of what will be paid to kings, priests and nobles who will rise up among us if we leave the people in ignorance.

Jefferson was steadfast in the belief that liberal education in the humanities is the bedrock of an informed and active citizenry, one prepared to assume leadership in society. With Jefferson, I put my faith in liberal education—for its ability to make students aware of their cultural birthright, to awaken them to their social and civic responsibilities, and to encourage them to seek the common good.

And hopefully, there will be gardening, too.

Dr. Booker T. Ingram


Charles Dana Professor of Political Science
Chair of the Political Science Department
B.A., Winston-Salem State University
M.A., Ph.D., Ohio State University
Joined PC in 1987

Professional interests

Democratic theories, institutions and practices, political ideologies, American political development, theories of development, political movements, and American politics.

Courses taught

American Politics, African Americans and the Political System, Classical Political Thought, Modern Political Thought, Contemporary Political Thought, the American Presidency, and Politics and the Media.


Reading non-fiction; following the San Francisco Giants (a lifetime fan of the Giants and the great Willie Mays); listening to jazz and blues music (some favorites include: Les McCann, Houston Person, Coleman Hawkins, Etta James, B.B. King, Keb Mo, Taj Mahal); and traveling (visited Guyana, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, Bahamas, Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Ukraine, Russia, Estonia, and England).

A favorite quote

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity,”—Martin Luther King, Jr.

If you would like to contact Dr. Ingram, he can be reached at 864-833-8447 or btingram@presby.edu

Dr. Richard Thomas

Associate Professor of Music
Cello, Orchestra, Chamber Strings
BM, DePauw University;
MM, University of North Texas;
DMA, University of South Carolina
Office Phone: 833-8469
Joined PC in 2007

Dr. Richard Thomas is Associate Professor of Music at Presbyterian College, director of the PC Chamber Orchestra, and Adjunct Instructor of cello at Lander University.  He studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music, DePauw University, the University of North Texas, and received a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of South Carolina.  Thomas, who currently plays double bass in the Anderson Symphony, is a former member of the cello sections of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Colombia (Bogotá), the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional of the Dominican Republic, and United States regional orchestras including the  South Carolina Philharmonic, Augusta Symphony, the East Texas Symphony, Dallas Lyric Opera Orchestra, Wilmington Symphony (NC), and the Greater Anderson Musical Arts Consortium Orchestra (SC).  In addition, he is a former faculty member of the Universidad del Cauca and Universidad del Valle in Colombia, the Conservatorio Nacional of the Dominican Republic, the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and was String Department Head at Camp Encore-Coda in Sweden, Maine from 1999-2008, and Visiting Lecturer of Cello at the University of South Carolina in 2004.  More recently Thomas has performed, lectured, and taught in China, Japan, and Taiwan.  Thomas plays a 2004 Grubaugh and Seifert cello.

Dr. Dean Thompson


Mary Henry and de Saussure Davis Edmunds Professor of English
Office location: Neville Hall 211
Office phone: 864.833.8445
BA, Wofford College
MA, University of South Carolina
PhD, Vanderbilt University
Joined PC in 1988

Courses taught:

Survey of American Literature I, American Renaissance, Southern Literature, Appalachian Literature, Silent Film, Film Noir

I chose education after reading Pat Conroy’s The Water is Wide during my sophomore year at Wofford College; and while our Admissions Office may kill me for saying this, I came to PC in 1988 because I went to Wofford.  But it’s true: the ideal of a small, church-related, liberal-arts college kept me going through long years of graduate school.  Shortly after finishing my doctoral work at Vanderbilt University, I visited Clinton, fell under the spell of the PC campus and family, and have been teaching on the front steps of Neville Hall ever since.

Don’t ask which course is my favorite.  I love covering Southern Literature, as well as championing the Southern Studies minor.  But American Literature I, spanning the grand tradition of American ideals and identity from 1607 until 1865, is a joy as well. Teaching Literary Oxford under the shade trees of Corpus Christi College during the PC-at-Oxford Programme, followed by a walk along the Thames behind Christ Church meadow, has been the stuff of dreams.  Silent Film, however, just might be my baby.  The critic Pauline Kael once said that there is nothing like that moment when the lights go down and all our hopes are focused on the silver screen lighting up before us.  That’s so true of silent film, which can provide the most pure cinematic experience we’ll ever know.  Don’t believe me?  Take the course and find out.

On a personal note, I love music (early country, bluegrass, swing, big band, chamber, and opera) and all things baseball.  If reincarnation’s a fact, I’d like to be a shortstop for the Braves next time around.