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Ruth McClelland-Nugent, PhD - Augusta University. Augusta, GA, US

Ruth McClelland-Nugent, PhD

Chair History, Anthropology & Philosophy | Augusta University


Dr. Ruth McClelland-Nugent focuses on gender and politics in popular culture. Fields in US, Canadian, and British history.






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Wonder Woman: More than a superhero


Why give to Augusta University?

Areas of Expertise (8)

Popular Culture

Wonder Woman



20th Century

17th and 18th Centuries

Theatre and Film

Comic Books

Accomplishments (5)

Caught in the Act of Promoting University Value "Inclusion", Office of Faculty Development and Teaching Excellence


Nominated for Faculty Teaching Award, Augusta State University


"Caught in the Act of Great Teaching"


Most Valuable Professor, Augusta State University Ambassadors


Most Valuable Professor, Augusta State University Ambassadors


Education (2)

Dalhousie University: PhD, History 2000

Franklin College of Indiana: n/a, History 1993

Media Appearances (5)

History As It Happens: Turkey on Thanksgiving

The Washington Times  online


When the Pilgrims and Wampanoag people shared a feast in late autumn 1621, it did not occur to them that they were celebrating a “first Thanksgiving.” And there’s no evidence they ate turkey. Yet by the late 19th century, most Americans associated these cultural images with the national holiday as it had been proclaimed by President Lincoln in 1863. An estimated 45 million turkeys will be eaten today, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The big bird is the centerpiece at the table of a quintessential American holiday with its mythic connections to our national origins. In this episode, cultural historian Ruth McClelland-Nugent of Augusta University talks about how turkeys emerged as the main course from a long tradition of days of Thanksgiving in colonial America.

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Friends, colleagues honor memory of ‘Cowboy Mike’ Searles

WJBF  tv


People around the community are mourning the loss of a beloved educator. Michael Searles, known as “Cowboy Mike,” educated students and the public about the contributions African Americans made to the growth of the American West. “You know how Augusta University has the motto ‘Like no other,’ that is truly applicable for Mike Searles,” said Director of Reese Library, Melissa Johnson. “If I had to pick one word to describe Cowboy Mike it would be generous. He was generous with his time, he was generous with his laughter, he was generous with his food,” said Associate Professor of History, Ruth McClelland-Nugent.

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Coronation of King Charles III: AU prof talks about what to expect

WRDW  tv


Eyes from around the world will be on Westminster Abbey in London this weekend as Charles III will be crowned king following the passing of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II on Sept. 8, 2022. As you might expect, there will be plenty of pageantry involved with the ceremony. Ruth McClelland-Nugent, Ph.D., is chair of history, anthropology, and philosophy at Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and an expert on the royal family says this is a major day for those in the United Kingdom, and to a lesser extent, some parts of the Commonwealth “where the British monarch is also still monarch such as Charles will become King of Canada as well as the U.K.”

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Augusta University Professor remembers legacy of Queen Elizabeth II and discusses what's next for commonwealth

WFXG  tv


Queen Elizabeth was the longest reigning monarch in British history. With 70 years in power, her accomplishments are extensive. Augusta University associate Professor Ruth McClelland-Nugent specializes in British history. McClelland-Nugent says the queen was a towering figure over the last two centuries and a pioneer who paved the way for other women to follow. “Having the heir to the thrown serve in the army and she was a mechanic, she fixed her own cars for most of this life... She’s an interesting figure because here’s someone who is very at home in estate settings, but also loves horses and dogs and her grandchildren and fixes cars, what an interesting person she was.”

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History As It Happens: The commercialization of Christmas

The Washington Times  online


As another Christmas (or should we say holiday?) season unfolds, Americans are reviving their favorite customs for the festive season. Some may be religious, others secular, but there’s no doubt many Christmas traditions are the product of about 200 years of commercialization starting in the early 19th century. In this episode of History As It Happens, historian Ruth McClelland-Nugent dives into the origins of the modern Christmas, from ancient winter solstice feasts to family-centered gift-giving and Santa Claus myths, all the way to modern advertising campaigns and catchy tunes that have little to do with Christian theology.

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Articles (1)

Roe v. Wade overturned: The ruling is an unmitigated disaster for women’s rights in the US

Matisak Blog

Ruth McClelland-Nugent


This ruling is an unmitigated disaster for women’s rights in the United States. The history cited in the leaked draft was appalling bad, and even historically incorrect in many places (such as where it falsely asserted no right to abortion under common law, when in fact, any historian of the 17th or 18th century in England or colonial America can attest abortion was perfectly legal up to “the quickening” when fetal movement could be detected). This ruling is one of the worst-reasoned I have ever seen.

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