Thomas Harriot College of Arts & Sciences
Department of History

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Christopher Oakley

Christopher Arris Oakley

Chair and Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Tennessee
Phone: 252-328-1025
Office: Brewster A315
Fax: 252-328-6774

Christopher Arris Oakley specializes in North Carolina History and Native American History.  Oakley received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Tennessee in 2002.  From 2002-03, he served as Assistant Editor for the James K. Polk project in Knoxville, where he worked on Volume X of The Correspondence of James K. Polk.  From 2003-2005, he was Visiting Professor of History at High Point University.  Oakley has published scholarly articles in The North Carolina Historical Review, Mississippi Quarterly, The Native South, and Southern Cultures.  He has also presented papers at a number of professional conferences, including the Southern History Conference, the Western History Conference, the Native American Indigenous Studies Conference, and the Ethnohistory Conference.  In 2005, University of Nebraska Press published Oakley's first book, Keeping the Circle: American Indian Identity in Eastern North Carolina 1885-2004, as part of its Indians of the Southeast series.  In Keeping the Circle, Oakley “presents an overview of the modern history and identity of the Native peoples in twentieth-century North Carolina, including the Lumbees, the Tuscaroras, the Waccamaw Sioux, the Occaneechis, the Meherrins, the Haliwa-Saponis, and the Coharies."  His current manuscript, Coming Full Circle: Tribal Economics and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in the Twentieth Century, is currently under contract with the University of Tennessee Press. Oakley offers courses at both the graduate and undergraduate level in North Carolina History, Native American History, and American History.

Selected Publications:


Greenville in the Twentieth Century. (Co-Author). Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2013.

Native Carolinians: The Indians of North Carolina.  (Co-Author). Raleigh: N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, 2010.

Keeping the Circle: American Indian Identity in Eastern North Carolina, 1885-2004.  Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2005.


“The Center of the World: The Principle People and the Great Smoky Mountains.”  In Landscapes of Origin in the Americas,” edited by Jessica Christie.  Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama Press, 2009.

“The Native South in the Post World War II Era,” Native South Vol. 1.1 (Fall 2008).

“When Carolina Indians Went on the Warpath: The Media, The Klan, and the Lumbee Indians of North Carolina.”  Southern Cultures 14.4 (Winter 2008): 55-84

“The Legend of Henry Berry Lowry: Strike at the Wind and the Lumbee Indians of Robeson County.”  Mississippi Quarterly (Summer 2007).

“Indian Gaming and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.”  The North Carolina Historical Review LXXVIII (April 2001): 133-155.

Courses Offered:

HIST 1050: American History To 1877

HIST 1051: American History Since 1877

HIST 3100: North Carolina History

HIST 3170: History of Native Americans

HIST 5135: Problems in North Carolina History

HIST 5141: History of the South 1877