Connie L. Lester
Connie L. Lester, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of History
Director of RICHES of Central Florida
Editor, Florida Historical Quarterly
Ph.D. in History, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 1998
M.A. in History, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 1989
BS in Microbiology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 1969
Connie L. Lester is an historian of agriculture in the American South in the period 1870-1940. Her book, Up from the Mudsills of Hell: The Farmers Alliance, Populism, and Progressive Agriculture in Tennessee, 1870-1915 was published by the University of Georgia Press in 2006. In addition to her monograph, she is the author of seven articles and essays and was the associate editor of the award-winning Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. She is currently editing a book-length manuscript of the Civil War diaries of Lucy Virginia French, a Tennessee poet and essayist.
Dr. Lester came to UCF in 2005 to become the editor of the Florida Historical Quarterly, the peer-reviewed, scholarly publication of the Florida Historical Society. She is also the Director of RICHES of Central Florida, an interdisciplinary, digital research project that seeks to understand the history of the Central Florida region. The project was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Digital Start-up grant in 2011.
Dr. Lester currently serves on the board of directors of the Agricultural History Society, the Gulf South History Association, and the Conference of Historical Journals. In previous years she served on the editorial board of the international journal Agricultural History and chaired the Wayne Rasmussen Award Committee for the best article on agricultural history published in a journal other than Agricultural History.
Dr. Lester teaches courses in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, Environmental History, Modern American Reform, and the New South. For the past three years, she has team-taught an Honors course, “The Farmer, the King, and the Natural World” with Dr. John Walker.