Meet a Tiger: John “Mike” Coggeshall
This Tiger brings his research of American regional and ethnic groups into the classroom. Knowing about the research helps garner understanding, respect and appreciation for cultural differences.
Meet Mike Coggeshall.
Name: John M. (“Mike”) Coggeshall
Title: Professor of anthropology
Years at Clemson: 30 years
What I do at Clemson: As a professor, I combine teaching (mostly undergraduates), research, and service for every semester.
What I love about Clemson: The combination of an expectation of excellence in undergraduate teaching enhanced by our own research and community service.
What was a defining moment for you at Clemson: Probably the highlight for me was our “Anthropology Launch Party” in spring 2012 when we officially announced the establishment of an anthropology major. The audience combination of current and former students, along with my colleagues, all excited about this new intellectual endeavor reminded me of what I like most about the atmosphere of Clemson University.
Accomplishment I’m most proud of: The publication of my new book, Liberia, South Carolina: an African American Appalachian Community (University of North Carolina Press). The book is an oral history of an enclave of descendants of freed slaves, still living on land their ancestors acquired in 1865 in upper Pickens County. As a cultural anthropologist, I loved the opportunity to allow this resilient community to present their own story in their own words and thus to contribute a vital part of the overall history of the state and nation.
Where I see myself in five years: Teaching anthropology classes at Clemson and presenting my research on my next book, tentatively entitled, Mountains of Menace and Majesty, which is about the critically-important ties to land that long-term residents of Upstate South Carolina feel.
Last thing I watched on TV: Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
Guilty pleasure: Peanut M&M’s.
One thing most people don’t know about me: During my lifetime, but not simultaneously, my family has owned two pet monkeys: a spider monkey and a squirrel monkey. I know what it feels like literally to have a monkey on your back.
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