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Brewton-Parker professor, graduate make presentations at conference
A Brewton-Parker College history professor and a 2004 graduate whose research paper impressed him both made presentations recently at an annual conference on revolutionary European studies.
Dr. Kevin McCranie, assistant professor of history, and graduate Allen McCall of Vidalia, who has begun graduate studies at Georgia Southern University, presented their respective works at the 35th annual Consortium on Revolutionary Europe: 1750-1850 at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Fla., on Feb. 19.
McCall's paper was a revision of a work he originally wrote for his senior seminar course under McCranie during the spring 2004 semester.
Its title was "Duty, Honor and Justice in the Royal Navy: The Courts-Martial of Captain John Williamson" and concentrated on a British officer who was tried for cowardice action during the Napoleonic wars and refusing to take a ship into battle.
"He did a fantastic job on the original paper, an above-and-beyond type of work," McCranie said. "I really thought it would be a good fit at this conference, so he worked on it over the summer and in the fall and virtually rewrote the paper from 25 pages to 14 to 15 pages. He did an excellent job."
McCall said he owed McCranie "a sincere debt of gratitude" and also commended Dr. T. Ronald Melton, history professor and college provost, and Dr. Larry Toll, associate professor, who "demanded certain things from their students in class that I now enjoy the benefit."
"The conference experience was fantastic. I was pleased when Dr. McCranie encouraged me to take part in this excellent opportunity. The experience was quite intimidating.
"The session commentator, Lt. Col. Brian DeToy (of the U.S. Army's Combat Studies Institute) provided useful information for my consideration in future presentations. I hope to avail myself to similar opportunities in the future."
McCranie's presentation was in the same session, Naval War in the Revolutionary Era: British and French Quandaries.
His paper was titled " 'The Curse of the Service': Commissioned Officers, Advancement and the first Lord of the Admiralty" and focused on the head of the admiralty who oversaw the promotion of officers within the British Navy.
"Essentially, it was what do you know vs. who do you know?" McCranie said, adding that for one to gain an officer's promotion he had to be competent but needed to know the right person.
McCranie called his work one filled with preliminary findings and one that needs more research. He also added that the trip had sentimental significance since he earned his undergraduate degree from Florida Southern.
The two Brewton-Parker representatives were among some lofty company, including presenters from the U.S. Military Academy, major universities such as Florida, Florida State, South Carolina and the State University of New York; and the University of Liverpool, England.
About 75 presenters in all attended the consortium, which McCranie said is always in the Southeast but always draws well from around the country.