Dr. Courtney Tollison is Assistant Professor of History at Furman University. Previously, she served as the Founding Historian for the Upcountry History Museum-Furman University and Founding Director of the Furman University Oral History Project. She specializes in modern American history, particularly in South Carolina and the Upstate, and in Public History.

She has been a Fulbright Scholar (Ukraine) and a fellow in Columbia University’s Oral History Research Office, a recipient of a grant from ASIANetwork’s Faculty Enhancement Program (India), and is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College Military History Instructors Program at Fort Leavenworth, and the Riley Institute’s Diversity Leadership Initiative.

She has published two books, curated three museum exhibits, worked on several documentaries, conducted over 100 oral histories, and served as historian for memorials, markers, and sculptures throughout downtown Greenville, including the Major Rudolf Anderson Memorial.

As a public historian, Tollison maintains an active presence in the humanities across the state. She serves on the boards of the S.C. Historical Society, Humanities Council SC, S.C. Sesquicentennial Commission of the Civil War, S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, the Advisory Board of the Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation, and Christ Church Episcopal School Alumni Board. She also served as the Program Chair for Greenville’s Year of Altruism.

She has been featured on WYFF-TV, WSPA-TV, SC-ETV, SC-ETV Radio, and has published in The Greenville News, TOWN, Belle, Post and Courier (Charleston), and the Greenville Journal, where she writes a regular column on local history. In addition to many local publications, she has also been interviewed in nationally prominent publications like The Boston Globe, USA Today, the History Channel, and ABC News.

Name Title Description


United States since 1877

North American history from 1877 to the present in the context of western traditions and global interactions.


American Military History

History of war, military, and society in America from the colonial period through the contemporary era. Emphasis on the actions of American military and political leaders, and how the American public has influenced those decisions. Focus on the various and evolving purposes of a military and how the military has been used as a tool to promote American political goals. Analysis of the relationship between the American public and the military, and the ways in which the military has adapted to social change. Examination of the evolving nature of military tactics, strategy, and logistics, and the role of the U.S. Military abroad.


Public & Local History Studies

Examination of history and its intersections with the public. Emphasis on museums, documentaries, memorials, holidays, archives, material culture, digital history, and preservation. Introduction to the profession in the academic and public realms. Through internships and/or projects, students apply their academic training in a professional setting or produce scholarly projects that contribute to a public audience. Declared history majors ONLY.


American Military History

Historical perspective on decisions made by American military leaders and study of major military engagements from the colonial period through the current operating environment. Examination of motivational devices, battle strategies, rules of engagement, supply management, transportation, and logistics. Review of approaches officers used throughout history to lead their troops into battle and inspire them to victory that cadets can continue to employ today. Limited to freshman and sophomores interested in participating in the ROTC program.


  • World War II and Upcountry South Carolina: "We Just Did Everything We Could" (Charleston: The History Press, 2009).
  • Furman University (Charleston: Arcadia Press, 2004).

Selected Other Publications

  • "Recording the Home Front Response" in Zen and the Art of Local History, edited by Carol Kammen and Bob Beatty (Rowman and Littlefield, 2014).
  • "A New Home for Furman University," in Proceedings of the Greenville County Historical Society (2014), edited by Jeff Willis.
  • "Furman University" and "Southern Liberal Arts College in the 21st century" for the New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, Volume 19 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2011)
  • "Ann Pamela Cunningham," and "Lucile Ellerbe Godbold" in South Carolina Encyclopedia, edited by Walter Edgar (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2006).
  • "Little Rock Nine" and "Women's Political Council
  • Montgomery, Alabama" in Encyclopedia of Black Women in America, 2nd ed., edited by Darlene Clark Hine, etc. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005).
  • "In Pursuit of Excellence: Desegregation and Southern Baptist Politics at Furman University," in History of Higher Education Annual 2004, edited by Roger Geiger (Pennsylvania State University, 2004).


  • Timothy P. Grady and Melissa Walker, eds., Recovering the Piedmont Past: Unexplored Moments in Nineteenth-Century Upcountry South Carolina History (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2013) in West Virginia History: A Journal of Regional Studies (2014).
  • Reviewer for Courtney McKinney-Whitaker, The Last Sister (University of South Carolina Press, 2014) and Tom Moore Craig, ed., Upcountry South Carolina Goes to War: Letters of the Anderson, Brockman, and Moore Families, 1853–1865 (University of South Carolina Press, 2009).
  • Lynn Hudson, The Making of "Mammy Pleasant": A Black Entrepreneur in Nineteenth Century San Francisco," H-Women, H-Net Reviews, April 2003.

Selected Presentations & Invited Talks

  • "Spreading the Word: Access to Oral History Collections in the Digital Age," Society of American Archivists Annual Meeting. Washington, DC., 2014
  • "Spotlight on Student Research," Panel Co-Chair at the Southeastern Museums Conference, September 2013.
  • "Using 'Centers' to Teach Public History and Engage Community Partners," National Council on Public History Annual Conference, 2011.

Other Scholarly Activity

  • Historian, Major Rudolf Anderson Memorial
  • Curated the exhibit "The New Digs: Furman Campuses and the Evolution of a University, 1939-1973."
  • Curated the exhibit "Weaving Our Survival: Upcountry South Carolina and World War II."
  • Provided historical research for the exhibit "Protests, Prayers, and Progress: Greenville's Civil Rights Movement."
  • Associate Producer and Historian, "Threads of Victory: Upcountry South Carolina During World War II."
  • "A Timeline of Desegregation in South Carolina's Colleges and Universities" for the state of South Carolina's Information Highway (http://www.sciway.net/edu/sc-college-university-desegregation.html).

Selected Articles in Newspapers & Magazines

  • The Furman Standard Inductee
  • Fulbright Scholar (Ukraine)and Speaker, US Embassy Outreach Program (Kiev, Ukraine)
  • 50 Most Influential People in Greenville
  • Southeastern Museums Conference Award of Excellence (Exhibit) for "Weaving Our Survival: Upcountry Stories of World War II"
  • American Association for State and Local History Award for the documentary "Threads of Victory: Upcountry South Carolina During World War II"
  • Seth and Mary Edith Hinshaw Fellowship, awarded by the North Carolina Society of Friends and Guilford College
  • Inaugural Recipient of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce's Young Professional of the Year Award
  • Furman University Outstanding Young Alumni Award
  • Link Magazine's "Who's Next: A List of 51 Future Upstate Leaders"
  • Greenville Magazine's Greenville First 35 and Under Best and Brightest
  • Association for Women in Communications Communicator of the Year Award
  • Matrix Awards Winner, Association for Women in Communications
  • 6 Furman Advantage Summer Research Fellowships
  • George D. Terry Professional Development Fellowship, South Carolina Federation of Museums
  • Furman University Research and Professional Growth Grant. Faculty Development Fund Grant
  • Community Foundation of Greenville Hollingsworth Funds Grant to support the development of Weaving Our Survival
  • South Carolina Humanities Council Grant.
University of South Carolina
University of South Carolina
Furman University

Connect with Admission

Furman is one of the nation's premier liberal arts and sciences universities. We offer our students The Furman Advantage—an over-arching approach to education that promises every student a four-year personalized pathway, a team of advisors and mentors, and the opportunity for an engaged learning experience that is tracked and integrated with the students' academic and professional goals.

Want more information about the admission process at Furman?

Contact us

Once you see our campus, making the right college decision will be so much easier.

Plan a visit

Undergraduate Evening Studies provides adults the opportunity to receive an education from one of the premier liberal arts universities in the nation.

Whether you are starting or continuing your education, or have been away from the classroom for a few months or several years, our program provides many services to assist you with accomplishing your educational and professional goals.

Apply now

Our graduate studies program is designed for the professional educator.

We know the challenges teachers and administrators face every day, and we are committed to helping you become a leader within your school system or district.

Apply now
  • Furman University