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Arnold Michael Shankman Collection (1945-1983)

Digitized Collection (1849-1983) Finding Aid (PDF)
Digitized Collection (1946-1976) Finding Aid (PDF)

Arnold Michael Shankman

Winthrop Professor 1945-1983

    Dr. Arnold M. Shankman was Professor of History at Winthrop University from 1975-1983.  Devoted to his profession, Shankman was respected by colleagues and loved by his students.  Dr. Shankman’s scholarship and teaching focused on the Civil War, the history of the South, and the history of various ethnic and minority groups in America, particularly African-Americans, Jews, and women.  The author or editor of several books, notably, Ambivalent Friends and Human Rights Odyssey, as well as over 50 articles and papers, Dr. Shankman left a legacy that is both inspiring and edifying to today’s scholars. 

            A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Dr. Shankman graduated from Knox College in 1968 and received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Emory University, where he was the last doctoral student to study under noted Civil War historian Bell Wiley.  Shankman spent three years teaching at Oxford College of Emory University before joining the Winthrop faculty in the Fall of 1975, rising to the rank of Professor of History before his untimely death from cancer at the age of 37 in 1983.

            Dr. Shankman was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, a Ford Fellow, and the recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Postdoctoral Fellowship in Ethnic Studies at Harvard University, where he studied with pioneering scholar Oscar Handlin.  Dr. Shankman’s book, Human Rights Odyssey, containing the work of civil rights activist Marion A. Wright, won the Lillian Smith Prize of the Southern Regional Council for best non-fiction book on the South.

            During his career, Dr. Shankman established a reputation for meticulous research and historical accuracy.  His works are often cited in scholarly works and assigned as reading in college history classes.  A frequent correspondent with friends and colleagues, Shankman was generous in providing assistance to students and fellow historians.  He was a popular lecturer and well known for his sense of humor and his joy in teaching. 

Shankman Class At Winthrop, Dr. Shankman also served on a number of administrative committees, most notably the first Advisory Committee for Archives and Special Collections, through which he was instrumental in the development of the Winthrop Archives, where his papers are now stored.

The Arnold Shankman Memorial Lecture Series was established by family and friends to honor Dr. Shankman’s life through continuing scholarship.


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