Skip area navigation

Dr. Daniel Spillman

Professor of History

Office Location Owens Hall, 305
Phone (Office) 405.585.4217


Daniel Spillman (Ph.D., Emory University) serves as Professor of History. His research interests include American political, intellectual, and religious history in the 20th century. He writes about the role of 1960s-era conservative youth on the development of post-war conservatism. He also writes about the history of American fundamentalism during the 1920s and 1930s. His article, "Rethinking the Jonesboro Church Wars: Southern Fundamentalism and Arkansas's Feuding Baptists, 1932-1934,” won the 2020 Lucille Westbrook Award from the Arkansas Historical Association.

Dr. Spillman loves teaching history and spending time with students. He won a "Seven Who Care Award" from OBU students in 2020. He serves on the OBU Honors Committee. Prior to OBU, he taught at Williams Baptist College and Emory University. He served on the Board of Directors of a World War II museum in Arkansas from 2012-2017, during which time he organized temporary exhibitions by his college students. He enjoys traveling, exploring used bookstores, and spending time with his family.


  • B.A., Asbury University
  • M.A., Kent State University
  • Ph.D., Emory University

Subjects Taught

Dr. Spillman teaches a wide range of courses in American history, including courses on the history of crime, the American Civil War, the history of American family life, the history of sports, and 20th century US history. He also teaches both courses in OBU’s Western Civilization sequence, a global history of the Second World War and several courses in the Honors Program.

In January 2020, he co-led a class of twenty OBU students as they explored World War II- and Holocaust-related sites in Europe, including Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany and the Netherlands.

Professional Memberships

  • Midwestern History Association
  • Conference on Faith and History
  • Arkansas Historical Association

Awards and Honors

  • Lucille Westbrook Award in 2020 from the Arkansas Historical Association.
  • “Seven Who Care Award” in 2020 from OBU students.
  • Francis Benjamin Prize in 2006 from the Emory University History Department.

Selected Publications

  • “Combative Conservatism at the ‘Berkeley of the Midwest’: The American Spectator and Baby Boomer Conservative Intellectuals, 1967-1973,” in Jon K. Lauck and Catherine McNicol Stock, eds., The Last Battleground: Conservatism in the American Midwest, 1946-2016 (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2020).
  • Review, Quaker Brotherhood: Interracial Activism and the American Friends Service Committee, 1917-1950, by Allan W. Austin, in Fides et Historia (Summer/Fall 2014).
  • Contributing Writer, “The Triumph of the Right,” in The American Yawp textbook, edited by Ben Wright and Joseph Locke, (2014).
  • “The Sharon Statement Launches Young Americans for Freedom (1960),” in Encyclopedia of American Reform Movements, edited by John R. McKivigan and Heather L. Kaufman (Facts on File: Library of American History Series, 2010).
  • “Student Conservatives,” in Encyclopedia of the Culture Wars: Issues, Voices, and Viewpoints, edited by Roger Chapman (Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 2009).

Selected Presentations

  • "'The College Campus is a Battle Zone Again': The American Spectator, The Dartmouth Review, and Conservative Campus Magazines in the 1980s.” Presented at the Midwestern History Conference, Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, Michigan, on May 31, 2019.
  • "The Feuding Disciples of J. Frank Norris: Shotguns, Sermons, and Schismatic Baptists in Arkansas, 1932-1934.” Presented at the International Conference on Baptist Studies, Baylor University, Waco, Texas, July 21, 2018.
  • “‘His Cheatin’ Heart:’ The American Spectator and Conservatism’s Clinton Obsession, 1993-1999,” Presented at the Annual Meeting for the Association of Arkansas College History Teachers, Hot Springs, Arkansas, October 5, 2012.
  • “‘He Spoke to the People’: Young Conservative Intellectuals, Ronald Reagan, and the Republican Presidential Primaries in 1976,” Presented at the Annual Meeting for the American Historical Association, San Diego, January 8, 2010.
  • “A Serviceable Alternative: Student Conservative Writers at Indiana University, 1967-1970,” Presented at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, Comparative Discussion on ‘Rightist’ Movements Conference, March 13, 2008.

Selected Lectures

  • Invited speaker, “Spies, Resistance Fighters, & Assassins in World War II,” Mock Class for OBU’s Admission Department’s Preview Days, April 6, 2019 and October 5, 2019.
  • Invited speaker, “Holy War in the Delta: The Jonesboro Church Wars and American Fundamentalism in the Great Depression,” Sponsored by Arkansas State University’s Department of History, Phi Alpha Theta, Jonesboro, Arkansas, April 6, 2017.
  • Invited speaker, “Holy War in the Delta: The Jonesboro Church Wars and American Fundamentalism in the Great Depression,” at the Northeast Arkansas Regional Archive’s Program, “All You Need is Love: War and Religion in Northeast Arkansas,” Powhatan, Arkansas, August 20, 2016.