Community Histories Workshop
Robert Allen

Robert Allen

Allen photo

Robert Allen is co-director of the CHW and the James Logan Godfrey Distinguished Professor of American Studies. He has taught at UNC-Chapel Hill for more than forty years.  His research has spanned American cultural history and the application of digital technologies to history and the humanities more generally. He has written and edited books on film history, radio and television history, television criticism and theory, vaudeville, and burlesque. He has authored more thirty journal articles on American popular culture.

He was Co-Principal Investigator (faculty lead) for the $5 million Carolina Digital Humanities Initiative (2012-14), funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. From 2011 to 2016, he was Director of the University’s Digital Innovation Lab. Projects he led have been supported by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (Rocky Mount Mills), Preservation North Carolina (Digital Loray), National Endowment for the Humanities (Going to the Show), Capital Broadcasting (Rocky Mount Mills), and City of Raleigh (Asylum in the Archives). He has received fellowships from the Thomas J. Watson Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, American Council of Learned Societies, US Fulbright Commission, and the National Humanities Center.

His awards include the American Historical Association’s Rosenzweig Prize for Innovation in Digital History, C. Felix Harvey Award to Advance Institutional Priorities at UNC-CH, Harlan Gradin Award for Excellence in Public Humanities, Tanner Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching, and the George Freedley Award for Outstanding Contribution to American Theater History.

For twelve years (1987-1999) he was Associate Dean for Honors, helping to raise $7.5 million to restore the Graham Memorial Building and repurpose it as the James M. Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence. In that role he established the Burch Fellows Program and the Burch Field Research Seminar Program.