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EIU Department of Sociology, Anthropology & Criminology

Faculty and Staff Listing

Dr. William E. (Bill) Lovekamp, Professor of Sociology

Office: 3151 - Blair Hall
Phone: 217-581-6217

William Lovekamp's Vita

Office Hours: (Spring 2023) Tuesday/Thursday 12:30-1:30, Wednesday 10:00-12:00 or by appointment.

Dr. Lovekamp is Professor of Sociology with training in the sociology of disasters, collective behavior, social movements, race/ethnicity, and gender studies. He is also President (2018-2022) of the International Sociological Association's Research Committee on Sociology of Disasters (RC #39) and served as the secretary/treasurer (2012-2018) of the organization and its flagship publication, The International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters.

Current Syllabi

Frequently Taught Courses

Introduction to Sociology; Research Methods; Social Problems (Honors); Social Movements, Crowds, and Violence (Senior Seminar); Sociology of Disasters; Sociology of Popular Culture; Sociology of Social Movements


Ph.D., Southern Illinois University-Carbondale
M.A., Western Illinois University
B.A., Illinois College

Professional Organizations

Alpha Kappa Delta, American Sociological Association, Gender and Disaster Network, Illinois GIS Association, Illinois Sociological Assocation, International Sociological Association's Research Committee on Sociology of Disasters (ISA RC39), Midwest Sociological Society, American Red Cross.


Dr. Lovekamp's research emphasis is disaster preparedness, recovery, and social vulnerability of diverse human populations. He has also recently published about various aspects of cemeteries and the importance of maintaining and archiving cemeteries as a means of disaster planning. His research has been published in various outlets such as The International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, The Association of Gravestone Studies Quarterly, Markers, Teaching Sociology, Natural Hazards Observer, and The Journal of Criminal Justice Education.

He co-produced a documentary film in 2017 called "Nature's Fury and the Human Spirit: The Charleston and Mattoon Tornado 26 May, 1917" that examines and commemorates the 100th anniversary of the May 26, 1917 Mattoon-Charleston (Coles County) Tornado. The documentary regularly airs on the local PBS television station, WEIU-TV.

Additionally, he published a new book in 2019 called "Cemeteries and the Life of a Smoky Mountain Community". The Palgrave MacMillan Book Publisher describes the book as follows... "In one of the few studies to draw upon cemetery data to reconstruct the social organization, social change, and community composition of a specific area, this volume contributes to the growing body of sociohistorical examinations of Appalachia. The Authors herein reconstruct the Cades Cove community from circa 1818 to 1939, whose demise can be traced to the establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. By supplementing a statistical analysis of Cades Cove's twenty-seven cemeteries, completed as a National Park Study (#GRSM-01120), with ethnographic examination, the authors reconstruct the community in detail to reveal previously overlooked social patterns and interactions, including insight into the death culture and death-lore of the Upland South. This work established cemeteries as a window into (proxies of) communities, demonstrating the relevance of socio-demographic data presented by statistical and other analyses of gravestones for Appalachian Studies, Regional Studies, Cemetery Studies, and Sociology and Anthropology." (Palgrave MacMillan Publisher book summary)

Dr. Lovekamp has been in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology at EIU since 2005.




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Contact Information

Eastern Illinois University
Department of Sociology/Anthropology

Blair 3170
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920
(217) 581-3123

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