Fall 2024 Department Welcomes Two New Faculty Members

March 25, 2024

Baylor University's Department of History is happy to announce two esteemed scholars who will be joining an already illustrious team of historians. With this step forward in pursuit of academic excellence in both research and education, these new faculty members bring with them expertise and fresh perspectives by delving into the complexities of the past for different historical periods and geographic regions. 

The new faculty members joining the Department of History this fall are Dr. Maggie Elmore, Historian of Southwest Borderlands, and Dr. John Handel, Historian of Britain and British Empire.


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Dr. Maggie Elmore

Associate Professor of History

Maggie Elmore is a historian of borderlands, with a focus on migration, religion and politics, and human rights. She earned her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, where her dissertation was nominated for the the prestigious Allan Nevins Prize. She recently served as a co-editor of Faith and Power: Latino Religious Politics Since 1945 (NYU Press, 2022). Her article, "Presidential Martyr: How Kennedy's Death Created New Political Possibilities for Mexican American Catholics" received the Patrick Foley Award for best article in the Catholic Southwest Journal. Dr. Elmore's current book project, Unholy Border: How the United States used the Catholic Church to Control Its Southern Border, is a study of 20th century religious politics and migration, and is under contract with the University of Pennsylvania Press. She is also co-editing a volume on Mexican American civil rights leader Carlos E. Castañeda. Dr. Elmore is a 2023-2025 Young Scholar in American Religion. In addition, she serves as the Vice-President and President-Elect of the Texas Catholic Historical Society. Dr. Elmore has previously held academic positions at Sam Houston State University, the Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University, the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame, and the University of California, Berkeley.


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Dr. John Handel

Assistant Professor of History

John Handel is currently a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Finance at the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce where he teaches and researches financial market micro-structure, and the relationship between the financial system, society, and ethics. He received his PhD in modern British History from the University of California, Berkeley in 2021, and his undergraduate degree in history from Cornell University. He is currently at work on two book projects: the first is a history of the infrastructures that underpinned Britain’s financial empire in the 19th century, the second is a history of the British financial sector’s investments in slavery abroad after Britain abolished within its own empire during the 1830s. In addition to his research in economic history, he also maintains a secondary interest in the life and work of the great theologian, John Henry Newman.

We are looking forward to the addition of Drs. Elmore and Handel into the Department of History here at Baylor University. Dr. Elmore joins a vibrant group of historians working on Latino/Chicano history and Latin American history. Dr. Handel brings a new specialty - economic history - to our undergraduate and graduate course offerings in empire and colonialism. Their addition will invigorate the scholarly endeavors of our institution, further solidifying Baylor's reputation as a beacon of academic rigor and innovation, particularly in the field of history.