John Inscoe is the Albert B. Saye Professor of History, Emeritus, and University Professor Emeritus in the history department at the University of Georgia. John received his Ph.D. in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1985. He edited the Georgia Historical Quarterly from 1989 to 2000 and during his editorship the GHQ became a nationally recognized state historical journal.
John was born in Morganton, North Carolina, on November 3, 1951. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Davidson College in 1974, an M.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Ph.D. in history from UNC in 1985. John taught at the Darlington School in Rome, Georgia, from 1974 to 1978, and then at the University of Georgia from 1984 to 2019. He was a Visiting Professor at Rice University in 1988-89 and at Tulane University in 1991. He and his wife Jane have two children, Meg and Clay.
John is the author of Mountain Masters: Slavery and the Sectional Crisis in Western North Carolina; Race, War, and Remembrance in the Appalachian South; Writing the Southern through the Self: Explorations in Southern Autobiography, and co-author of The Heart of Confederate Appalachia: The Civil War in Western North Carolina. He has edited or co-edited volumes on Georgia race relations, Appalachians and race in the 19th century, southern Unionists during the Civil War, Confederate nationalism and identity (produced as a tribute to Emory Thomas), and a volume on film representations of 19th-century America. He has served as the editor of the on-line New Georgia Encyclopedia since 1999. He also served as Secretary-Treasurer of the Southern Historical Association from 2000 through 2014.
John is the recipient of many awards for his scholarship, including the Georgia Historical Society’s John McPherson Berrien Award for lifetime achievement in and service to Georgia history in 2016 and the Malcolm and Muriel Bell Book Award for Writing the South through the Self, 2012; the Leadership in History Award of Merit from the American Association of State and Local History, 2012; the Hugh McCall Award from the Georgia Association of Historians , 2012; the Lothar Tresp Award for Outstanding Honors Professor, UGA Honors Program, 2010; and the Governor’s Award in the Humanities, 2005.
The Inscoe Award, given for the best article published in the GHQ in the previous year, was established in 2018 to honor John’s distinguished tenure as editor of the GHQ from 1989 to 2000. Under John’s leadership the GHQ featured the latest in cutting-edge scholarship, propelling it into an elite circle of scholarly journals worldwide. His editorship of the New Georgia Encyclopedia provided a national model and set the standard for online educational resources for the twenty-first century.
The Inscoe Award is made possible by an endowment fund created through contributions from friends and admirers of John Inscoe. The endowment honors John’s life, work, and legacy and provides funds for a cash prize for the Inscoe Award recipient.