Jonson Miller

Associate Teaching Professor
Drexel University

2014 to 2015
Research Fellow

Engineers as Servant-Leaders of the Old South: The Southern Military Schools and the Foundation of the New South

Abstract: I am studying the efforts of engineering education reformers to transform the social order of the antebellum South. That these reformers participated in building a southern middle class is recognized. Moreover, this new class laid the foundation for post-Civil War economic changes. I will identify the reformers’ specific impacts on the post-war South and engineering. I am focusing primarily on southern military schools as centers of reform by pursuing the following questions: 1) what sort of men were the reformers trying to cultivate?, 2) how did their institutions or students serve the state?, 3) what purpose did engineering serve?, 4) how did the institution fit into the country as a whole?, and 5) what sort of social or political order were these men trying to create? I must also examine northern military and engineering schools to identifying links and distinctions between northern and southern institutions. Read more about Jonson's research as a fellow of the Consortium here.