Richard Godbeer is Director of the Hall Center for the Humanities and Charles W. Battey Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Kansas. The Director provides leadership in the humanities at the University of Kansas, developing and sustaining broadly conceived interdisciplinary programs that benefit humanists both inside and outside the university, maintaining contact with state and national humanities programs and foundations, promoting external funding from both public and private sources, and furthering the exchange of ideas in the humanities in a variety of settings. The Director fosters public programming that highlights the significance of humanities research for our contemporary world and engages the citizens of Kansas and beyond in a national and global conversation about the humanities. The Director mentors junior faculty and resident scholars, serves as chief executive officer of the Hall Center, represents the Hall Center and humanities research at the Provost's Council and other entities on campus, and is the liaison between the humanities faculty and the KU Center for Research, Inc.
Dr. Godbeer joined KU on July 1, 2019. He received his B.A. from Oxford University in 1984 and his Ph.D from Brandeis University in 1989. He taught in the Department of History at the University of California, Riverside, from 1989 to 2004 and in the Department of History at the University of Miami from 2004 to 2014; he served as founding Director of the Humanities Research Center at Virginia Commonwealth University from 2014 to 2019. His research focuses on witchcraft, religious culture, gender, and sexuality in colonial and revolutionary North America.
Dr. Godbeer is the author of six books: The Devil's Dominion: Magic and Religion in Early New England (Cambridge University Press, 1992), Sexual Revolution in Early America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002), Escaping Salem: The Other Witch Hunt of 1692 (Oxford University Press, 2004), The Overflowing of Friendship: Love between Men and the Creation of the American Republic (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009), The Salem Witch Hunt: A Brief History with Documents (Bedford/St. Martins, 2011), and World of Trouble: A Philadelphia Quaker Family's Journey Through the American Revolution (forthcoming from Yale University Press in Fall 2019). Dr. Godbeer has been awarded research grants and fellowships by a range of institutions, including the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society, the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. He has taught a broad range of undergraduate and graduate courses on the colonial and revolutionary periods, including the first half of the U.S. survey, Images of a New World, Witchcraft in Early America, Religious Culture in Early America, Gender, Sex, and Sexuality in Early America, The American Revolution, and U.S. Gay and Lesbian History.