Dr. Newton Key
Introduction My EIU Story Education & Training Conference Presentations Publications Funding & Grants Frequently Taught Courses Research & Creative Interests Professional Affiliations Update your profile

Dr. Newton Key

Distinguished History Professor Emeritus Email: nekey@eiu.edu
Website: http://ux1.eiu.edu/~nekey/


My teaching, directing, and consulting has tried to reflect the ideas that faculty are learners, students are creators, and that learning spaces matter. Check out my students' award-winning work. Past syllabi are available online (most enhanced). I am interested in learning spaces, active learning, and the Center for Student Innovation in Booth Library.

My EIU Story

If you made it this far in my profile, you might like to know that Johnny Hartman and Johnny Nash had amazing voices, Selah Sue still makes exciting music, and Nova Twins are way fun.

Education & Training

  • Cornell University: Ph.D. in History, 1989. Dissertation, "Politics beyond Parliament: Unity and Party in the Herefordshire Region during the Restoration Period."
  • University of Cambridge: M.Phil. in Social Anthropology, 1981. Thesis, "Crime as Custom: Norfolk Smuggling Organization, 1690-1760."

Conference Presentations

  • “UDL and ALCs: The Card Game Version” (Making Excellence Inclusive Conference, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, 11 Oct. 2019)
  • Zach Newell, Newton Key, Todd Bruns, Stacey Knight-Davis, CC Wharram, Steve Brantley, “Creating a Cross-disciplinary Hub for Active Student Learning in the EIU Library” (Playful by Design Symposium, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 4-5 April 2019)
  • "Mrs. Bedamore in the Study through the Keyhole: Privacy, Local Knowledge, and National Rhetorics in the First Age of Party," for panel on "Privacy and the Public Gaze in Late-Stuart Britain" (North American Conference on British Studies [NACBS], Denver, 3-5 Nov. 2017)
  • "1683: The Revolution That Never Was (But the Two Revolutionary Situations That Were)" (The Bangor Conference on the Restoration 2017: Turning Points in Britain and Ireland, 1658-1715, Bangor, Wales, 25-27 July 2017)
  • "Print as Performance?: Dramatizing Group Identity at Feasts in Late-Stuart London" (Seminar 31, "Performance and the Paper Stage, 1640-1695," Shakespeare Association of America Atlanta, 5-8 April 2017)
  • "Cut-ups, the Relational Database, and Mapping the Associational Metropolis of late-Stuart London" (Roundtable "Making maps of the past: historical cartography and early modern Britain," NACBS, Washington, DC, 12 Nov. 2016)


Funding & Grants

  • Lawrence A. Ringenberg Award, College of Library Arts and Sciences, Eastern, 2021

  • Distinguished Professor, Eastern, 2019

  • American Sociological Association Section on Sociology of Religion's Distinguished Article Award, 2018

  • Folger Shakespeare Library Fellowship, Dec. 2015–Feb. 2016

  • Rodney S. Ranes Graduate Faculty Mentor Award, Graduate School, Eastern, 2013

  • Lewis Walpole Library Fellowship, April 2008

  • William Andrews Clark Library Fellowship, Jan. 2008

  • co-authored five-year grant proposal (funded by Lumpkin Foundation) and established Localités/Localities, a web-based center for local history, 1997–2006

  • Nichols Prize for Local History of England and Wales, Centre for English Local History, University of Leicester, 2005

Frequently Taught Courses

I have taught undergraduates about the early modern world, early modern England, modern Britain and the British Empire, as well as how to research and write history. I have taught graduates about revolutions, early modern society, historiography, and the premodern world. I have taught both graduates and undergraduates Irish history and London crime & poverty.

Research & Creative Interests

I have written about unsuccessful plotters, imaginary kings, feasting & drinking, preaching as politics, preaching as culture, and blogging and digital history (see cv). I usually write about early modern England and Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, and co-author a best-selling text, Early Modern England (now in 3rd ed.).

Professional Affiliations

North American Conference on British Studies, Midwest Conference on British Studies, American Historical Association, H-Albion, H-Net