Professor giving a lecture to students in old main

Goodchild, Whisnant named Chapman Professors

Wofford updates Chapman Program in Humanities

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Dr. Karen H. Goodchild, left, professor and chair of art and art history, and Dr. Clayton J. Whisnant, associate professor of history, have been named to Chapman Professorships in the college’s revamped Chapman Program in the Humanities.
2015-06-17

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Two Wofford College professors, Dr. Karen H. Goodchild, professor and chair of art and art history, and Dr. Clayton J. Whisnant, associate professor of history, have been named to Chapman Professorships in the college’s revamped Chapman Program in the Humanities.

Provost Dennis M. Wiseman announced the updated program as an innovative approach to the Chapman family’s generous support of teaching and scholarship at Wofford. Previously, the family has supported the Chapman Family Professorship in the Humanities. Beginning this fall, the program annually will support two Chapman Professorships by providing generous funding for professional development in both scholarly research and pedagogical innovation. Each professorship will continue for a period of five years with the possibility of a second term should the scholarly and pedagogical work suggest continued support.

Members of the Chapman family of Spartanburg have been significant leaders in the historic textile industry and other commerce in Spartanburg County for many generations. Their philanthropic support extends to numerous organizations throughout the region. The family has supported every major campaign or project at Wofford for decades. The downtown Spartanburg showplace, the Chapman Cultural Center, bears the family name as well. The impetus to start the endowed program/professorships at Wofford was led by the late W. Marshall Chapman, who served as a Wofford trustee from 1978 to 1990 and served as board chair from 1988 to 1990, following in the footsteps of his late father, James A. Chapman, Wofford Class of 1913, who was a trustee from 1946 to 1958. In addition to support given to the professors receiving the Chapman Professorships, each year’s recipients will collaborate to identify and bring to campus a noted visiting scholar who will give a public lecture in the humanities and who also will join their Wofford colleagues in the classroom for both disciplinary and professional discussions. This will be an annual event.

“Wofford welcomes this enhanced support to its distinguished work in the humanities,” Wiseman says. “The Chapman Professorships in the Humanities will provide professional development resources for our professors, and the lectureship will give annual evidence of the family’s sustained commitment to excellence in scholarship and teaching.”

Goodchild received her Ph.D. in the history of art from the University of Virginia. Her recent published articles include “Bronzino’s Wandering Eye,” forthcoming in Source, 2015; “Bizarre Painters and Bohemian Poets: Poetic Imitation and Artistic Rivalry in Vasari’s biography of Piero di Cosimo,” published in Ashgate’s 2014 Research Companion to Giorgio Vasari; “Managing (and Moving Beyond) Peasants in the Lives: Vasari’s Class-Conscious Art Theory” (Source: Special Edition for Leo Steinberg, 2012); and “A Hand More Practiced and Sure: The History of Landscape Painting in Giorgio Vasari’s Lives of the Artists” (Artibus et Historiae, 2011.) As well as her ongoing interest in Vasari and in landscape theory, Goodchild’s research investigates intersections between landscape and medicine, as well as cultural exchanges between northern and southern Europe in the 16th century. Her current book project is titled “Art and the Verdant Earth.”

Whisnant teaches a range of courses in 20th century European history, including the two world wars, the Cold War and major themes in modern intellectual life. He received his B.A. from Rice University in 1993 and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in 2001. His essays have been published in professional journals such as Central European History and The Journal of the History of Sexuality. Whisnant has written two books on issues of gender and sexuality in Germany. He now is beginning a new research project on West German Social Democracy confronting the challenges of terrorism and economic recession during the 1970s.