Michael Wakeford

Dr. Michael Wakeford is an associate professor of history and humanities in the Division of Liberal Arts. He teaches courses in United States cultural and intellectual history — with particular interests in the histories of the arts in American life, urban history and public history. 

I am a deeply engaged teacher, personally invested in my students as learners, human beings, and future artist-citizens. I am passionate about the material I teach as well as the arts-conservatory context I teach within. Most important, I am committed to growth, innovation, and improvement as an instructor.

Dr. Michael Wakeford
Career Highlights
  • Co-Curator and Project Coordinator, "This School, This City: Celebrating 50 Years of UNC School of the Arts in Winston-Salem"
  • Dissertation: “The Aesthetic Republic: Art, Education, and Social Imagination in the United States, 1900-1960” (University of Chicago, 2014)
  • “Nonprofessional Education—In Pursuit of a ‘Broad Understanding of Architectural Values,’” in Joan Ockman and Rebecca Williamson, eds. "Architecture School: Three Centuries of Educating Architects in North America" (Boston, MA: MIT Press, 2012).
  • “A Short Look at a Long Past,” in Nick Rabkin and Robin Redmond, eds., "Putting the Arts In the Picture: Reframing Education in the 21st Century" (Chicago Center for Arts Policy, 2004)

Awards, Recognitions and Honors

  • UNCSA Excellence in Teaching Award, 2021


  • Society for United States Intellectual History
  • Chair, UNCSA Faculty Council
  • Interim Executive Director, MUSE Winston-Salem
  • Trustee, North Carolina Humanities Council
  • Member, Board of Directors, Kaleideum
  • Member, Board of Directors, Creative Corridors Coalition


Ph.D. HistoryUniversity of Chicago

M.A. HistoryIndiana University at Bloomington

B.A. HistoryUNC Chapel Hill