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Key Named Chair of History Department at UA Little Rock

Dr. Barclay Key, associate professor of history, has been named the new chair of the Department of History at UA Little Rock.

“UA Little Rock has a strong history department, and I am looking forward to leading this group of great faculty members who are dedicated to research, teaching, and service,” Key said. “As the new chair, I hope this will be an opportunity to grow our numbers and attract more students to the study of history.”

The Department of History offers a bachelor’s degree in history, a bachelor’s degree in history/secondary education, a graduate program in public history, and minors in history, geography, and race and ethnicity.

Prior to joining UA Little Rock in 2012, he taught at Iowa State University and Western Illinois University. He is the recipient of two Fulbright awards, which gave him the opportunity to teach at Jan Kochanowski University in Poland and Universidad Veracruzana in Mexico.

At the start of his career, Key’s research investigated the intersections of race and religion in U.S. history. In 2020, he published a book with LSU Press titled “Race and Restoration: Churches of Christ & the Black Freedom Struggle.” Barclay is currently researching the history of school desegregation in the Little Rock School District during the 1960s and 1970s.

On Nov. 1, Barclay will lead an Evenings with History program that features a screening and discussion of a 1979 episode of “As We See it,” which documented the perspectives of Black and white students on integration at Little Rock Central High School and provides fascinating glimpses into the successes and failures of school integration in the 1970s.

Key also volunteers with DecARcerate, the Central High Neighborhood, Inc., the Little Rock School District, and local political campaigns.