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Professor of History and Project Director, The Papers of Martin Van Buren
(615) 547-1341
Labry Hall, Room 216
Presidential Papers, Martin Van Buren
The Millard and JJ Oakley School of Humanities, Education and the Arts
B.A., Cumberland University
M.A., Middle Tennessee State University
Ph.D., Mississippi State University

A graduate of Cumberland University’s undergraduate history program, Mark R. Cheathem received his M.A. in history from Middle Tennessee State University and his Ph.D. in history from Mississippi State University. After serving as an assistant professor of history at Southern New Hampshire University, he returned to his alma mater and is now a professor of history. Cheathem’s main teaching and research interests focus on Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, nineteenth-century politics, southern history, and documentary editing.

Dr. Cheathem is the author or editor of nine books, including two award winners: Andrew Jackson, Southerner (2013 Tennessee History Book Award) and The Coming of Democracy: Presidential Campaigning in the Age of Jackson (2018 Phi Alpha Theta Best Subsequent Book Award). His most recent book, Who Is James K. Polk? The Presidential Election of 1844, was a finalist for the 2023 Tennessee History Book Award. Dr. Cheathem has contributed to international, national, and regional media outlets, including Le Monde, NRC Handelsblad, CTV-Toronto News, Voice of America, C-SPAN, PBS, the Associated Press, NBC News, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, History News Network, the Nashville Tennessean, Nashville Scene, and the Lebanon Democrat.

Since 2015, Dr. Cheathem has been the project director and co-editor of the Papers of Martin Van Buren. Housed in Cumberland University’s Vise Library, this project is producing digital and print editions of the eighth president’s papers.

Along with his research, Dr. Cheathem teaches a variety of courses at Cumberland, including Jacksonian America, the American Presidency, Civil War America, and Conspiracy Theories in American History.