Dr. Lisa M. Toland
JWHC Associate Director
Associate Professor of Humanities and History
Lisa M. Toland (B.A., Indiana Wesleyan University; M.A., Miami University of Ohio; M.St., University of Oxford; D.Phil., University of Oxford) is proudly and originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She is also an Anglophile having lived in England. She currently resides in an old drafty character-filled home in Marion, Indiana, and frequently travels to visit family and friends.
Lisa researches the social and legal experiences of early modern English families. She is currently working on a project related to siblings and the structure of the family in late 17th and 18th century English elite families. Lisa is asking, "How did early formative relationships between siblings contribute to young men and women's emotional literacy?" In particular, she is writing about the nature and purpose of practices like leave-taking and the experiences and rituals of grief and mourning when a sibling lost a brother or sister as a child. She has been published in Southern History on burial habits and trends among Somerset-based baronet families and the eschatological beliefs that can be read in family funeral monuments and memorial placement within the parish church. She has also been published in Christianity Today and Women's History.
Lisa also loves theology and enjoys thinking and writing about the Wesley brothers and the "life of the mind," particularly by considering how the larger historical context, life experiences, and theological insights of John and Charles Wesley contribute to her understanding of who she is as a professor at a Wesleyan university and how she should operate as a Christian historian. She is delighted that working in the JWHC provides her the opportunity for these ruminations!
Lisa teaches "Wisdom, Justice, and Culture through the Ages" (to 1600), "History of England," the "History of the Christian Muslim Encounter" and research tutorials on paleographic skills, or learning how to read 17th & 18th-century English legal script. As associate director of the JWHC, Lisa most enjoys meeting one-on-one with students to talk about big ideas, history and international experiences. She organizes JWHC teas once a semester and relishes creating spaces, usually with caffeinated beverages and food, for students, faculty and guests of our community to have thoughtful, imaginative and challenging conversations.