Dwana Waugh

Associate Professor of History, Social Sciences & Humanities Division Head

e: dwaugh@sbc.edu | p: 434-381-6174 |

o: Benedict 303

Dr. Dwana Waugh

University of North Carolina, M.A., Ph.D.

Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, B.A. 

Dwana Waugh teaches courses in U.S. history, global social movements, African American history, public history, and oral histories, and much more. These courses often incorporate interdisciplinary scholarship and are highly student-centered. Dr. Waugh’s teaching incorporates the use of historical simulations such as Reacting to the Past, where students run the class taking on personalities from the past. She also utilizes digital history tools such as ArcGis, StoryMaps, short documentaries, and various website applications.

Dr. Waugh’s research has fueled her teaching. Her research primarily explores how we collectively remember the past and why these collective memories are important to how people in the past and present identify themselves. This work has intersected with the College’s efforts to study its own diverse and multi-ethnic past. Students have investigated the histories of the local Monacan Nation and enslaved African Americans, along with the traditional white founders of Sweet Briar College. They have toured campus grounds, examined archival records, and conducted oral histories. Her goal in teaching is to have students understand their relationship to history by thinking broadly about the past, questioning their assumptions, developing their own ideas and arguments, and having the courage of their convictions.

Courses Taught

HIST 105 Doing Sweet Briar History

HIST 114 History Detectives

HIST 135 Origins, America to 1865

HIST 136 The United States, 1865 to the Present

HIST 207 Hollywood and (US) History

HIST 220 Introduction to Public History

HIST 225 The U.S. South

HIST 237 The 20th Century Black Freedom Struggle

HIST 312 Virginia: History and Memory

HIST 346 Telling the Told: Oral History

HIST 350 Global Social Movements

HIST 452 Senior Seminar


Waugh, Dwana. Review of Jon N. Hale. The Freedom Schools: Student Activists in the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement. New York: Columbia University Press, 2016, Journal of Southern History, vol. 83, no. 4 (November 2017): 1018-1020.

Waugh, Dwana. Review of Charles E. Cobb, Jr.. This Nonviolent Stuff’ll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible. Durham: Duke University Press, 2015, Journal of North Carolina Association of Historians, Fall 2017.

Waugh, Dwana. “Charleston’s American Cigar Factory Strike, 1945-1946,” Lowcountry Digital History Initiative, http://ldhi.library.cofc.edu/exhibits/show/cigar_factory/the_charleston_strike, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC (May 2014).

Waugh, Dwana. “‘The Issue Is Control of Public Schools’: The Politics of School Desegregation,” Southern Cultures, 18, no. 3 (Fall 2012): 76-94.

Dwana Waugh is a historian from Lynchburg, Virginia. She received her B.A. in History and Education at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in American history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Waugh is currently an associate professor of history at Sweet Briar College and the division head for the Social Sciences and Humanities division.

Her research specializes in African American educational history, with a focus on public and oral histories. She examines the connections between race, politics, and historical memory in southern education. As a former public high school teacher, she is committed to exploring these connections between the contemporary past with recent educational policies. Her current research agenda incorporates the study of educational policy, political decisions and laws, historical memory, and African American studies in North Carolina and Virginia.

Before starting her current position at Sweet Briar College, Dr. Waugh served as an assistant professor of history and the coordinator for the undergraduate and MAT-History Education programs. She also worked as a visiting public historian at the Avery Research Center at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina and as an adjunct assistant professor of education at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Since coming to Sweet Briar in 2018, Dr. Waugh has taught courses in modern U.S. history, African American history, social movements, southern history, historical memory, public history, and oral history. She has also served as the chair of the Presidential Sweet Briar’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Taskforce and the co-chair of the Campus Climate Assessment Working Group. Much of this work has involved students in studying the history of Sweet Briar’s past. When Dr. Waugh is not working, she is playing with her rambunctious and adorable beagle, Riley.