Adriana Méndez Rodenas

Adriana Méndez Rodenas is Professor of Caribbean and Latin American Literatures in the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. Trained in Romance Studies at Cornell University (Ph.D) and Duke University (M.A.), she was professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature at the University of Iowa and came to the University of Missouri to direct the Afro-Romance Institute (2017-2021). Professor Méndez Rodenas’ areas of research are transatlantic studies, Caribbean literature, and travel writing. Her books explore the connection between gender and nineteenth-century Spanish American history. Gender and Nationalism in Colonial Cuba: The Travels of Santa Cruz y Montalvo, Condesa de Merlin (1998) retrieves a pivotal figure in Cuban letters, followed by critical editions of Merlin’s Les esclaves dans les colonies espagnoles (2005) and Viaje a la Habana (2009). Transatlantic Travels to Nineteenth Century Latin America: European Women Pilgrims (2014) traces the rise of Spanish American nationalism as documented in women’s travels. Currently she is engaged in Transatlantic Sketches: Fredrika Bremer’s American Journey (1851-1853) and the Iconography of the Plantation, a book on a pioneering Swedish novelist and early feminist whose travels to the U.S. and Cuba during the ante-bellum era show a comparative view of plantation society. Her research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Huntington Library, the Newberry Library, the Notre Dame Center for Advanced Studies, and the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University.

She serves on the editorial board of Karib-Nordic Journal for Caribbean Studies and Instituto Internacional de Literatura Iberoamericana (IILI).



Mary Stegmaier

Mary Stegmaier is an Associate Professor in the Truman School of Public Affairs and the Vice Provost for International Programs at the University of Missouri. Her research concentrates on elections and voting behavior in the U.S. and Europe, and has been published in a variety of political science journals including the British Journal of Political Science, East European Politics & Societies, Electoral Studies, Political Behavior, Politics & Policy, Public Choice, and the Annual Review of Political Science. She serves on several journal editorial boards, including the International Journal of Forecasting, Political Science Research and Methods, Electoral Studies, the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, and Politics & Policy. In addition to publishing in peer-reviewed journals, her work has also appeared in the Washington Post, the Brookings Institution Blog, the Democratic Audit, and the London School of Economics Blogs.  Dr. Stegmaier has also served as an international election observer with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Albania, Macedonia, Belarus, and Kyrgyzstan.

Daive Dunkley

Daive Dunkley is an Associate Professor in the MU Department of Black Studies and an affiliate faculty member at the Kinder Institute and in the Departments of History and Religious Studies. His research focuses on the history and culture of the Caribbean and the wider Black Atlantic, and he has authored publications exploring slave resistance, British colonialism, decolonization, and the politics of the Rastafari. He is the author, co-author, or editor of several books, including Readings in Caribbean History and Culture: Breaking Ground (2011), Agency of the Enslaved: Jamaica and the Culture of Freedom in the Atlantic World (2013), Leonard Percival Howell and the Genesis of the Rastafari (2015), and Black Resistance in the Americas (2019). Additionally, his book chapters and articles include “Enslaved Africans and the Transformation of Society in Brazil and the Caribbean: A View from the Churches,” published in the collection The African Heritage in Brazil and the Caribbean (2011), and “The Politics of Repatriation and the First Rastafari, 1932-1940,” published in Souls (2018). Prof. Dunkley has a strong desire to educate others about Black history and its implications for the present.

Erin Holmes

MU History Postdoctoral Fellow,
Erin Holmes holds a B.A. in History from the College of William and Mary, a Certificate in Early American History and Museum Studies from the National Institute of American History and Democracy, a Ph.D. in History from the University of South Carolina, and a Certificate in Historical Archaeology and Cultural Resource Management from the USC Department of Anthropology. Her manuscript project, The House that Slavery Built: Social and Material Transformation in the British Atlantic World, 1670-1831, explores how the built environment—buildings, landscapes, objects, and the spaces in between—shaped the experience of slavery within the plantation house, transforming colonial identity to create the conditions that made the American Revolution possible. Her research has been funded by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon, among others, and from 2017-2019, she was an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow at the American Philosophical Society.


Thom Lambert

Thom Lambert received his J.D. from the University of Chicago and currently serves as Professor and Wall Chair in Corporate Law and Governance at the University of Missouri School of Law. His scholarship focuses on antitrust, corporate, and regulatory matters, and he is the co-author of Antitrust Law: Interpretation and Implementation (5th ed., Foundation Press, 2013) and the author or co-author of over 20 scholarly articles, which have appeared in journals and publications including, Antitrust Bulletin, the Boston College Law Review, the Minnesota Law Review, the Texas Law Review, and the Yale Journal on Regulation. He also blogs regularly at “Truth on the Market,” a site focused on academic commentary on antitrust, business, and economic legal issues. He is a past recipient of the Law School’s Blackwell Sanders Peper Martin Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award for teaching excellence; the MU-wide Gold Chalk Award for Excellence in Teaching at the graduate level; and the 2007 and 2011 Shook Hardy & Bacon Excellence in Research Awards for best law faculty scholarship. Prior to joining the faculty at the Law School, he practiced law in the Chicago office of Sidley Austin; served as a John M. Olin Fellow at Northwestern University School of Law and the Center for the Study of American Business; and clerked for Judge Jerry E. Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Steven Watts

Steven Watts is Professor of History at the University of Missouri, where he has won the Kemper Teaching Award and the system-wide Thomas Jefferson Award and served two terms as Chair of the Department of History. He has published six books, including biographies of Walt Disney, Henry Ford, Hugh Hefner, and Dale Carnegie, and, most recently, John F. Kennedy. His books have been widely reviewed in prominent newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Review of Books, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, The New Republic, The Atlantic, The Economist, The Nation, Commentary, and National Review, and they have been issued in many foreign editions, including Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Spanish, German, and Korean. Professor Watts has appeared on NPR, PBS, C-SPAN, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNBC, Fox, Bloomberg News, Telemundo, BBC, the History Channel, and dozens of radio stations around the United States and Europe. Most recently, he has been involved with two PBS “American Experience” documentary films on Henry Ford and Walt Disney. He has delivered invited lectures at the University of California at Berkeley, Duke University, University of London, University of Paris, Wake Forest, University of Minnesota, Washington University in St. Louis, and many others.

Stephen C.W. Graves

Stephen C.W. Graves is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Black Studies at the University of Missouri. His research focuses on Black Politics and Theory, American Government, and Leadership Studies. Professor Graves is the author of A Crisis of Leadership (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016), which explores the concepts of the citizen, citizenship, and leadership in contemporary America and the lack of leadership in the African American community since 1970. He is the founder of Troublesome Movement, a non-profit organization that focuses on community outreach and providing educational and professional services to minorities and underprivileged groups. Dr. Graves teaches Black Political Thought, African Political Thought, American Government, and American Political Thought. He won the Outstanding Teaching Award in 2015 from Mt. Hood Community College and the MU Faculty Achievement Award in Diversity in 2017 from the University of Missouri.

S. David Mitchell

Professor S. David Mitchell is a member of the University of Missouri School of Law faculty. He teaches Torts, Advanced Torts, Criminal Justice Administrations, Collateral Consequences of Sentencing, and Law & Society, and his research is on the collateral consequences of sentencing and ex-offender reentry. He earned his J.D. and Ph.D. (Sociology) from the University of Pennsylvania, and before joining the faculty at University of Missouri, he worked as a Scholar in Residence in the Sociology Department at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has served as a law clerk to the Honorable Andre M. Davis (D. Md.) and is currently a member of the Missouri Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He is also an Affiliate of the Black Studies and Sociology Departments.  Recently, he has served as the Chair of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Council.  In 2015, he was a recipient of the MU President’s Award for Community Engagement.

Robert Smale

Robert L. Smale is Associate Professor of History at MU. After earning B.A. degrees in History and Spanish at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, he went on to complete his M.A. and Ph.D. in History at the University of Texas at Austin, where he specialized in the study of Latin America. His research focuses on the political and social history of South America’s Andean nations. He is the author of “I Sweat the Flavor of Tin”: Labor Activism in Early Twentieth-Century Bolivia (2010). He regularly teaches courses on the history of constitutional democracy in Latin America and the region’s revolutionary traditions.

Robert G. Bailey

Bob Bailey is a 1968 graduate of Marist College and a 1979 graduate of the University of Missouri -Columbia School of Law, where he commenced his career after graduation. In 1983, Prof. Bailey became the City of Columbia’s Municipal Judge, serving for four years before returning to the MU Law School full time in 1987 as the Assistant Dean and Senior Fellow. Prof. Bailey is also Vice President of the National Academy of Arbitrators and has an active labor and sports arbitration practice. In addition, he is a Commissioner for the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniformed State Laws (NCCUSL), and he serves on the Uniform Athlete Agent Act and the Veterans Court Act drafting committees. Prof. Bailey is actively involved in campus committee work and chairs the mid-month Institutional Review Board (IRB), and he has a long history of community services. Presently, he chairs Boone County Family Resources, an agency providing services to 1,300 developmentally disabled citizens, and in the past, he has chaired the Family Health Center, the Central Missouri Food Bank, and the Regional Aids Inter-Faith Network (RAIN). He served as Director of the Law School’s nationally renowned Center for Dispute Resolution from 2005-2013, and he teaches Arbitration, a Lawyering Seminar, a first-year Lawyering class, and a Freshman Interest Group (FIG). Prof. Bailey is married to Sharon, and they have two daughters and four grandchildren.