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Department of English Language and Literature


Neal Polhemus

Title: Instructor
Department: English Language and Literature
College of Arts and Sciences
Office: HOB 605
Neal Polhemus


PhD, University of South Carolina 
MA, College of Charleston 
BS, College of Charleston  

Areas of Specialization

African Diaspora
Slavery in the US & Caribbean
American Environmental Movement  

Courses Taught

Social Advocacy and Ethical Life
The Black Experience in the United States to 1865 
Introduction to Latin American History 

Selected Awards

   • Bridge Humanities Corp. Fellowship, Office of the Provost and College of Arts and Sciences, University of South Carolina, 2017-2019.
   • Russell J. and Dorothy S. Bilinski Dissertation Completion Fellowship, College of Arts & Sciences, University of South Carolina, 2015-2016.
   • Ralph Lee Woodward Jr. Prize, Best Graduate Student Paper, Latin American and Caribbean Section of the Southern Historical Association (LACS), January 2016.
   • Robert Wienefield Essay Prize, Best Graduate Student Research Paper, University of South Carolina, 2014.


   • “Bodies on the Beach: Sullivan’s Island and the Processing of West African Bodies for Market in the Anglo-Atlantic World,” in Watery Connections: A New History of Ports and their Transnational Entanglements in the US South, Carolina Lowcountry in the Atlantic World, Jacob Steere-Williams and Blake C. Scott, eds., (Columbia, University of South Carolina Press, 2023).
   • “One Man’s Contributions - John V. Dennis and Congaree National Park,” Friends of Congaree Swamp Newsletter, Fall 2022.
“50 Years Since the Torch was Passed: The Sierra Club and the Founding of Congaree National Park,” The Metropole – The Official Blog of the Urban History Association, October, 2019.
“The Congaree Swamp and the Floyd J. Spence Papers,” Friends of Congaree Swamp Newsletter, Summer 2018.
“Ouidah” and “Senegambia,” in David Head, ed., in Encyclopedia of The Atlantic World, 1400-1900: Europe, Africa, and the Americas in An Age of Exploration, Trade, and Empires (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2017). 
“A Dialogue with King Agaja: William Snelgrave’s 1727 Ardra Diary and the Contours of Dahomian-European Commercial Exchange,” History in Africa 43, (2016): 29–62.
“‘Nothing but Death Before My Eyes’: Mending Broken Spirits and Repairing Defensive Walls in Colonial Charleston.” Atlantic Studies 12, no. 4 (2015): 457–81.
“‘Differences in Opinion or Practice in Matters of Religious Concernment’: The Dynamics of Promoting Liberty of Conscience in Proprietary South Carolina, 1630-1687,” Transactions of the Huguenot Society of South Carolina, No. 115 (2011): 57-79. 

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.