Phillip Payne's History Page

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Department of History

St. Bonaventure University

132 Doyle Hall

St. Bonaventure, NY 14778

Office Telephone:  716-375-2460






 Short CV SBU History Department Page
Things I Do Public History & Public History Career Page
History Department Facebook Group St. Bonaventure University Archives, Friedsam Library
My Facebook Page Constitution & the Presidency (TAH)




Course Materials
Courses I Teach
General Instructions for Writing a Paper
How to do well in a history class
General Instructions for Book Reviews
Friedsam Library
Department of History Guide to Research and Writing

Public History

I offer a series of Public History courses, including Introduction to Public History, History Internships, Computer and Archival Skills for Historians (in cooperation with the Dennis Frank, university archivist) and Culture Wars:  The Politics of Memory.  Students completing these courses will have a fairly comprehensive understanding of Public History.

Central to the Public History experience at S B U  is the internship program.  Internships are intended to create a mutually beneficial relationship between the history department, S B U  students, and local museums and historical societies.  Interns gain valuable work experience and are exposed to history outside of the academy.  They deal with many of the issues and complexities that confront historians, museum professionals, and people who work in non-profit organizations every day.  




My book on Warren G. Harding's legacy, Dead Last:  The Public Memory of Warren G. Harding’s Scandalous Legacy (Ohio University Press, 2009).  My interest in Harding carries over from my days as the Manager of The Warren G. Harding Home and Museum.  

Cover of Dead Last

Press Release for Dead Last.



2009 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

“Payne’s reappraisal of the Harding myth is first-rank scholarship and makes an impressive contribution to the debates about the life and misfortunes of Warren Harding. Summing Up: Essential.”


“Payne gives the reader much to consider and convincingly makes the case that Harding has remained relevant until today because he has become the benchmark by which other presidential failings are assessed, concluding that ‘Harding continues to hover at the edge of our national memory, where he is rediscovered when[ever] one of our leaders fails’.”

American Historical Review

“More so than previous historians, Phillip Payne has presented a much more nuanced understanding of Harding's political legacies. His well-structured narrative leaves Harding’s memory in the same place as his monument: balancing multiple eras, designs, and interpretations, and ultimately, left to future generations to evaluate fully.”

Northwest Ohio History

Taken from the Ohio Univesity Press Web page.  Click here for the page.



Mark Scott, of WBFO, interviewed me about Harding's Legacy and what George W. Bush's legacy might be.  History Professor Uses Harding Legacy to Assess Bush

I also participated in the Let's Talk:  Important People:  Presidential Politics with Phillip Payne.

C-Span televised the session I participated in as part of the Chasing Success or Courting Failure Conference hosted by the University of Massachusetts Law School

The Buzz on Warren G. Harding from Library Journal

The Harding Tomb 

I've also conducted local history focusing on issues of community and regional identity, small towns, industrialization and the transition to “modernity,” and deindustrialization.  My dissertation was a history of Ironton, Ohio, ("Modernity Lost:  Ironton, Ohio, in Industrial and Post-Industrial America").  Since arriving at St. Bonaventure I have encouraged my students to work on various local history projects.  The Allegany and Cattaraugus Educators History Resource Page has local history information plus tips on doing local history.



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since March 13, 2007


Courses Dr. Payne Teaches St. Bonaventure University
Short CV St. Bonaventure History Department