The Arkansas Historical Association has named Dr. Blake Perkins as the 2022 recipient of the Northeast Arkansas Regional Archives Award for exemplary archival research at its annual conference and awards banquet in Little Rock on April 22.
Perkins, who serves as an associate professor and Chair of the Department of History and Political Science at Williams, was presented the award for his research on the history of northern Arkansas from the early 1800s to the Civil War era.
He was also elected to serve a two-year term as the AHA’s Vice President.
“Zooming in close to look at the region’s evolution 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 especially fascinating to see how the political and social divisions between the North and South that eventually tore the nation apart in 1861 impacted everyday people in northern Arkansas, changed life and culture on the ground, and sometimes created intense local conflicts.”
Perkins previously won the NEARA award in 2015 for his work on women’s settlers in Lawrence County before Arkansas’s statehood.
Perkins, a native of Lawrence County, holds a PhD from West Virginia University and has taught history at WBU 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 volunteers from the Lawrence County Historical Society who saved the territorial records for future researchers when the Powhatan county seat was abandoned in 1963. Lobbying for a regional archives began almost immediately, a dream realized in 2011. The award is funded by the family of Eugene Sloan (1892-1981), a Jonesboro lawyer who was born in Powhatan.
Williams is a private, Christian university in Walnut Ridge, Ark.