LSU History graduate Michael Robinson won the Josephine A. Roberts Alumni Association Distinguished Dissertation Award in Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences for his 2013 dissertation, “Fulcrum of the Union: The Border South and the Secession Crisis, 1859-1861.” The dissertation was overseen by Department Boyd Professor William Cooper.
Robinson’s dissertation explores the “Border South” states leading up to the American Civil War. He writes in a style that is accessible to both academic and popular audiences. His work reveals a much more complex context of politics, economics, and societal structures that kept these states from secession. He uses descriptive quantitative analyses to support his story, based on information he collected through exhaustive research in collections from Missouri to Delaware. He recently received the Atherton Award for best dissertation in Missouri history. The John Hopkins University Press currently has the dissertation manuscript in review for publication. Since graduating from LSU Dr. Robinson has taken a position as an assistant professor at the University of Mobile.