Baylor History Department Alumni Spotlight: Carlton Barnett

May 25, 2023
Man smiling outdoors

    Carlton Carter Barnett III received his BA from Baylor University in 2018, received his MA in Middle Eastern Studies from The University of Texas at Austin in 2021, and is currently working on his PhD at John Hopkins University researching the History of Medicine. While at UT-Austin, Carter was awarded four Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowships in Arabic and Modern Hebrew, published two book reviews, and defended his thesis entitled “Anglo-American Missionary Medicine in Gaza, 1882-1981.” During his first semester at John Hopkins University, Carter presented research at the Middle Eastern Studies Association’s 2022 Annual Conference and was then invited to join a panel called “Palestinian History without Colonialism” at MESA in 2023.

   Carter reminisced about two of his most influential classes during his time at Baylor, stating,“The first was the History of Texas with Dr. Michael Parrish who not only guided me through the subject but taught me how to be a historian.” Using his final paper from Dr. Parish’s class, Carter published his first article in the Journal of South Texas. Carter said, “Another amazing class was War and Peace in the Middle East with Dr. George Gawrych. A schedule conflict prevented me from registering for the course, but Dr. Gawrych generously offered to teach it as an independent study... By the end of the class, I had the confidence to pursue Middle Eastern history at the graduate level.”

   Not only did the History Department guide Carter’s interest in Middle Eastern History, but it prepared him for the heavy workload of graduate school. Carter said, 

“the practical skills that I learned as an undergraduate historian directly translate to my daily joys as a graduate student- writing, reading, researching and more.”

   When he initially entered graduate school, Carter faced the challenge of the reading load. Asked to read hundreds of pages a week, Carter had an epiphany, stating, “I started reading each book cover to cover and said goodbye to my weekend free time. But then I remembered the advice Dr. Thomas Kidd gave me in passing. He recommended reading the introduction and conclusion before focusing on topic sentences in each chapter. This also entailed identifying the scaffolding of the book, its structure, and from there addressing its argument, methods and sources. That advice stuck with me, and as I developed my own reading strategies it helped me quickly recover my weekends!”

   Carlton Carter Barnett III is an historian whose roots are in none other than Baylor University’s History Department.

   Sic ‘em, Bears!