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Steve Gowler Gowler
Dr. Steve Gowler
Chester D. Tripp Chair in Humanities; Professor of General Studies|General Studies
Steve Gowler
Office Location
Draper Building, 200B
Office Hours
  • Mon/Wed: 10:45 a.m. – noon
  • Tues: 9 – 11:00 a.m.
Class Schedules
  • GSTR 310 E (Mon/Wed: 12:40 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.) GSTR 310 F (Mon/Wed: 4:00 p.m. – 5:50 p.m.)
  • GSTR 310 E
  • GSTR 310 F

Steve came to Berea College in 1993 as Head of Public Services in Hutchins Library and Assistant Professor of General Studies. From 2001 to 2006 he was Head of Special Collections and Archives, and in 2006 he began a five-year appointment as Director of General Education. He was Chair of Academic Division V from 2014-2019. In 2020-21 he served as interim Associate Provost. In 2018 he was awarded the Chester D. Tripp Chair in Humanities. Steve has taught primarily in Berea’s interdisciplinary General Studies core curriculum, with occasional classes in the Religion and History Departments, respectively. Since 1999 he has regularly offered a course on the Holocaust, ten times on campus and six times as a team-taught, study-travel course in Poland and Germany. His current research is focused on the radical abolitionist William Goodell.

  • Ph.D., History of Religious Thought, University of Iowa, 1989
  • M.A., Library Science, University of Iowa, 1988
  • M.A., English, University of Louisville, 1980
  • M.A., Theology, Vanderbilt University, 1977
  • B.A., English, Campbellsville College, 1976
Publications & Works
  • Selected Publications

    Thoughts that Burned: William Goodell, Human Rights, and the Abolition of Slavery (Cornell University Press, forthcoming in 2025)


    “Radical Orthodoxy: William Goodell and the Abolition of American Slavery.” New England Quarterly, December 2018.


    “The Habit of Seeking: Liberal Education and the Library at Berea College,” Library Trends, Fall 1995.


    “Liberation Theology: An Introduction to Its History and Themes,” Counseling and Values, October 1986.


    “No Second-hand Religion: Thomas Erskine’s Critique of Religious Authorities,” Church History, June 1985.


    “Coleridge as Hermeneut,” Anglican Theological Review, April 1984.


    “That Profound Silence: The Failure of Theodicy in Melville’s Pierre,” Southern Humanities Review, Summer 1981.


    Remembering Catastrophe: Holocaust Sites and Memorial