History Professor Patricia Watkinson
The Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC) has awarded a Maurice L.
Mednick Memorial Grant to Randolph-Macon College History
Professor Patricia Watkinson.
Founded in 1952, the VFIC is a non-profit fundraising partnership supporting the
programs and students of 15 leading independent colleges in the Commonwealth. Administration
of the Mednick Memorial Fund is vested in the VFIC to encourage the professional
development of college teachers and improve their academic competence through fellowships
for research and advanced study.
The grant will allow Watkinson to spend several weeks at Cambridge University researching
her book project, Empire’s Champion, Leo Amery and the Imperial Idea.
“This is a study of Leo Amery, a British Conservative statesman who was the leading
proponent of neo-imperialism in the inter-war period, examining to what extent his
theory of imperialism shaped the twentieth-century debate on the British Empire
and helped determine the direction of the Conservative party as well,” says Watkinson.
“My work focuses on the nexus between Amery’s political activities in the Conservative
party and his neo-imperialist influence in the formation and content of a wide range
of British policies. Amery was no armchair intellectual, but a diminutive fighter,
wielding a broadsword through the Conservative Party to spur it to action.”
“Professor Watkinson is a gifted teacher and scholar,” says R-MC Provost William
T. Franz. “She is dedicated to her students and to Randolph-Macon, and she personifies
what is best about VFIC institutions.”
Watkinson began teaching at R-MC in 1993 and joined the faculty in 2008. She earned
her B.A. at The College of William & Mary and her M.A. and Ph.D. at the University
of Virginia. In 1997 she was the recipient of R-MC’s Thomas Branch Award for Excellence