Dr. Russell Pryor
History and Political Science
Assistant Professor of History
Dr. Russell Pryor is an Assistant Professor of History in the School of Liberal Arts, and has worked at ABAC since the fall of 2013. He earned a B.A. in History from Columbus State University in Columbus, GA and an M.A. and Ph.D. in History from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.
While at Carnegie Mellon, Pryor helped teach world and food history courses and read extensively on the histories of labor, food, and capitalism. The Department of History awarded him a graduate fellowship from 2007 to 2011, and he lived and taught for three semesters at Carnegie Mellon’s campus in Doha, Qatar in 2011 and 2012. In addition to a dissertation completion fellowship for the spring of 2013, the Department of History recognized him with the Goldman Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching.
Currently, he is revising sections of his dissertation, “Work, Nature, and the American Dinner Plate: Making Chicken in the Twentieth Century United States,” into a book manuscript. The book explores the social, environmental, and cultural history of the chicken, from farm to plate, in the twentieth century U.S. South. It raises questions about relationships among the histories of race, gender, and the political ecology of agricultural industrialization, and provides a starting point for two other research projects. One explores African-American women’s use of cookbooks as a way to rearticulate their identities as Africans and southerners in the context of the Black Power movement and third world decolonization. The other explores Popular Front critiques of and imagined alternatives to the U.S. industrial food system during the Great Depression.
At ABAC, Pryor teaches both halves of the U.S. History survey and the second half of the World History survey and is the primary advisor for History majors. He is also active as a teacher and mentor in the Politics and Modern Cultures track of ABAC’s Rural Studies program. In addition to advising students and supervising senior research projects, he has developed and taught courses on food history and social movements.
In addition to his commitments in the classroom, Pryor is an active member of the ABAC community. He has served on numerous Department of History and Political Science, Liberal Arts, and College-wide committees and has taught in the Honors Program and in the dual enrollment program for area high school students. He is also the faculty advisor for the History Club and a co-advisor for Campus Cats.
Dr. Pryor has deep roots in South Georgia. His maternal grandparents were farmers in De Soto, GA and met at ABAC in 1939, and his father’s family is from nearby Fitzgerald, GA where they have owned and operated The Herald-Leader newspaper since 1916. Dr. Pryor has three brothers and grew up in Fitzgerald and Columbus, GA. He lives in Tifton with his wife, Lisa Seibert, and their cat Emma and dogs Sasha and Rosa, and he enjoys monster movies, punk rock, and Dr. Who.