Dr. René Harder Horst named the 21st I. G. Greer Distinguished Professor of History

Dr. Rene Harder Horst
Professor, Department of History
I.G. Greer Distinguished Professor of History

Horst has been named the successor and will assume the honor from the outgoing Greer Professor Dr. Jari Eloranta and hold the position for three years, during which he will receive a semester of Off-Campus Scholarly Assignment (OCSA) and a research stipend to pursue his work on two book projects:  

  1. A collaborative book with Dr. Anatoly Isaenko for Rowman and Littlefield Press on John Belaieff, the White Russian General, whose exile helped direct Paraguay’s victory over Bolivia in the Chaco War (1932-35).

  2. A monograph on Indigenous experiences in Paraguay following the end of the Stroessner Regime in 1989.

“His dedication to students and to his field of research are evidenced by the number of courses he has taught and by his tendency to be the first to volunteer anytime his field crosses into activities in which students are involved,” said Dr. James Goff, Chair, Department of History.

Horst earned a B.A. in History and Music at Goshen College in Indiana in 1989 and his M.A. and Ph.D from Indiana University in Latin American History in 1998. He taught Latin American history at Kalamazoo College in Michigan and Bates College in Maine before coming to Appalachian in 2000. His academic pursuits include Latin American History, Native American History and Religious Studies.

The History Department in the College of Arts and Sciences at Appalachian State University houses the I. G. Greer Professorship. The uniqueness of this prestigious award, started in 1977, is that the award is not granted to just one faculty member for the entirety of their tenure on campus, but it alternates every three years, giving the history department an opportunity to honor and create impact for the many faculty members of the department.

Students from the class of 1916 established the I.G. Greer Distinguished Professorship Fund in 1966 as a memorial to their "teacher, counselor and friend," Dr. Isaac "Ike" Garfield Greer. Greer was a native of Zionville, a town located only a few minutes from Boone, North Carolina and taught history and government at Appalachian from 1910-32.

In 1932, Greer left the university to pursue full-time work as the General Superintendent of the Baptist Orphanage in Thomasville, North Carolina. In addition to being a renowned folklorist, he served as the first President of the Allied Church League, the President of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, the President of the Southern Appalachian Historical Association, the President of the N.C. Folklore Society and a member of the North Carolina General Assembly.

This award honors excellence in teaching and can be used to further research, professional development and education. By maintaining this professorship, the history department can retain and develop better faculty to teach Appalachian’s students.


About the Department of History
The Department of History offers a broad curriculum in local, national, regional and world history at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, which encourages history majors to develop a comprehensive approach to human problems. The study of history is an essential part of a liberal arts education and offers valuable preparation for many careers, such as law, journalism, public history, public service and business, as well as in teaching and the advanced discipline of history. Learn more at https://history.appstate.edu.

Dec. 3, 2018
Andrew Scott and Ellen Gwin Burnette

Dr. Rene Harder Horst receiving the Distniguished Professor Award of History
Published: Dec 3, 2018 1:35pm