Joel Iliff

Ph.D. Candidate
High Res Photo

Advisor: T. Michael Parrish


  • M.Div., Yale University Divinity School
  • B.A. in History and Classics, University of South Carolina

Research Interests

I am a scholar of the nineteenth-century United States working at the confluence of religious, intellectual, and political history. My dissertation, “The Great Communion of Scholars: Germany and the Intellectual Life of the American South, 1825–1885,” not only reveals extensive contact between theologians in the US South and Germany, but also significant German influence on southern thought. Rather than feeling alienated from the rest of the world on the brink of the Civil War, southern intellectuals perceived themselves as part of a transatlantic communion of scholars battling the twin forces of political radicalism and religious infidelity.


Travel Grant, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), 2018; Teaching Fellowship, Armstrong Browning Library, 2018; D. M. Edwards Library Fellowship, Baylor University, 2016; Guittard Fellowship, Baylor University, 2015–16; Harriett Jackson Ely Prize, Yale University, 2014; Stipendium, Baden-Württemberg Foundation, 2014

Courses Taught at Baylor

  • History of United States to 1877

Miscellaneous: I serve on the board of a non-profit foundation that supports education in the humanities and debate in South Carolina.