WALNUT RIDGE, Arkansas – The Arkansas Historical Association has named Dr. Blake Perkins the 2022 recipient of the Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives Award for Exemplary Archival Research at its annual conference and banquet of awards ceremony in Little Rock on April 22.
Perkins, who is an associate professor and chair of the history and political science department at Williams, received the award for his research on the history of northern Arkansas from the early 1800s through the Civil War era. .
He was also elected to a two-year term as Vice President of the AHA.
“Zooming in to look at the evolution of the area and the experiences of local blacks and whites who lived here illuminates important dimensions of broader American history during the period,” Perkins said. “It is particularly fascinating to see how the political and social divisions between North and South that finally tore the nation apart in 1861 impacted the common people of northern Arkansas, changing life and culture on the ground and sometimes created intense local conflicts.”
Perkins previously won the NEARA Award in 2015 for her work on female settlers in Lawrence County before the statehood of Arkansas.
Perkins, a Lawrence County native, has a doctorate from West Virginia University and has taught history at UMA since 2013. He has published two books and dozens of articles and reviews in professional history journals. He, his wife Jodie and their two sons, Maddox and Rylan, live in Lynn.
The NEARA Award for Exemplary Archival Research was established by the Arkansas Historical Association in 2013 to honor Lawrence County Historical Society volunteers who safeguarded the territorial records for future scholars when the Powhatan County seat was abandoned in 1963. Lobbying for a regional archive began almost immediately, a dream realized in 2011. The award is funded by the family of Eugene Sloan (1892-1981), a Jonesboro lawyer born in Powhatan.
Williams is a private Christian university in Walnut Ridge, Ark.
Press release – Williams Baptist University