As an interdisciplinary teacher and scholar concerned with real and imagined urban landscapes, I integrate an historical understanding into investigations of contemporary culture.
My work is framed around a central question: What does it mean to be a scholar in the twentieth-first century? Informed by a community engagement framework that emphasizes the Classroom as Platform, I pursue a public humanity practice that supports student learning and community action.
Julian C. Chambliss explores the real and imagined city. From planning and community development to comic books and popular culture, his research, teaching, and writing explore how perceptions shape policy and action creating our collective urban experience. Like most Floridians, Julian was not born in the state. His true origin remains shrouded in mystery. We know that his quiet demeanor and glowing character guided him through childhood.
Once freed from high school, he embarked on an undergraduate education at Jacksonville University highlighted by an early inability to pick a major. After some trial and error, he discovered that history was both stimulating and enlightening through his experiences in the Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Program. Having completed his undergraduate work with honors in history he went on the University of Florida.Immediately he decided that urban history was the only logical course for historical study and focused his attention on policy formation, culture, regionalism, and civic infrastructure issues. His research evolved to focus on urban development and culture in U.S. cities.
Chambliss served as Professor of History in the Department of History at Rollins College from 2004 to 2018. He joined the Department of English at Michigan State University in the Fall of 2018. With a joint appointment in the Department of History and as core faculty in Critical Diversity in a Digital Age Initiative (CDDA) he teaches courses exploring critical making, comics, and culture in the United States. As a teacher-scholar concerned with community, identity, and power, he designs generative digital projects that use the classroom as a platform for students to act as co-researchers to trace community development, document diverse experience and explore culture. He has been recognized for his community engagement work with a Rollins College Cornell Distinguished Service Award (2014-2015) and Florida Campus Compact Service Learning Faculty Award (2011). Chambliss is one of the producers of "Every Tongue Got To Confess," a podcast exploring the experiences and stories of communities of color.
Dr. Chambliss serves as a member of the steering committee for HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory) and as a national planner for the Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities.