Continuing to Learn and Explore American History

Continuing to Learn and Explore American History

October 13, 20202 min read

In the United States, students take several American history courses throughout their K-12 experience. So, why should students bother to continue taking American history courses in college? For Southern Utah University's Dr. Mark Miller, the answer is simple.

“When I teach a history course, I am always looking for ways to point out how an issue or event in the past is relevant to something going on in today's world,” said Dr. Miller. “With this year's presidential election going on there have been plenty of examples to tie into regarding past politics and past political crises we have lived through as Americans.”

Dr. Miller has conducted some exciting research that will be published in 2021. His upcoming articles includes: “Polygamy under the Red Cliffs: Women’s Voices and Historical Memory at Centennial Park” in Utah Historical Quarterly, “A River Again: Fossil Creek, Desert Fishes, and Dam Removal in the American Southwest” in Pacific Historical Review, and “‘One Territory, Many Peoples:” Racial and Ethnic Groups and the Development of Arizona Territory” in The Smoke Signal.

“I think my work on plural marriage and environmental history shows that history is never dead,” said Dr. Miller. “It reveals that in current debates history is quite important. What happened in the past still informs the present. Since both of these topics are quite controversial today, I think historians provide a valuable service by exposing the history behind debates over allowing polygamy in modern America or whether we should make trade offs in development and water use to preserve unique species. Knowledge of people who practice plural marriage and their religious history as well as the history of preservation efforts toward endangered species is vital to all participants in the debates.”

Dr. Mark Miller is a professor of history and the department chair of History, Sociology, & Anthropology at Southern Utah University. His research and teaching specialties include United States History, American West, Borderlands, Indigenous Culture and History, World Civilization, and Latin America. He has published articles and books on modern American Indian History, most recently Forgotten Tribes (2006) and Claiming Tribal Identity (2013). He has published articles on race and ethnicity, on indigenous identity and politics in several journals.

Dr. Miller is familiar with the media and available for an interview. Simply visit his profile.

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  • Mark Miller
    Mark Miller Professor of History

    Specializing in Native American identity and citizenship, wars of independence, and the economic history of the American midwest

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