About Me

me 4

Hi! My name is Debra Neill. I teach history at Arizona State University Polytechnic. In preparation for my graduate studies in history I studied abroad in Macedonia (August 2000 – March 2001) after receiving a National Security Education Program Graduate International Fellowship. I completed my PhD in European history in 2007. My early research focused on religious and ethnic conflict more broadly and on the wars in the former Yugoslavia in particular. Currently I am studying the concept of “liberty of conscience” as it evolved from the Reformation to the First Amendment. I have an article that will be published in the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography in 2018 (“The Disestablishment of Religion in Virginia: Dissenters, Individual Rights, and the Separation of Church and State”). I am also working on a book about the unlikely alliance between rationalists like James Madison and Thomas Jefferson and pious religious dissenters to bring an end the establishment of religion in Virginia. (“The Unlikely Allies Who Established Religious Freedom in Virginia: Jefferson, Madison, and the Religious Dissenters”)

I don’t have a lot of free time, but when I do I like to spend it dancing (latin ballroom of course!).


15 thoughts on “About Me

    • You’re never going to believe this but I was just working on my book and I thought I made a mistake so I went to your book to make sure I had the story right. Then I checked my email and there was your reply to my blog! How crazy is that!
      I love your book, by the way!


      • I’m not going to get into a debate about Macedonia, but it is not “pseudo” Macedonia. I have been to Greece. While I was studying in Macedonia we went to Greece several times. We spent some time in both Thessaloniki and Athens. I had a great time and would love to go back some day! Ciao!


  1. Actually my fault, not “pseudoMacedonia”, just Pseudo we should call it. Even the stones know there is only one Macedonia and we’re privileged to live in it. Slavs, Albanians and Bulgarians on the north should call themselves Vardarska, it would be more sincere. Soro’s money won’t change History….as i’m sure that you know. It is rather sad ‘cos they’re poor, much more than we are, and they play along with this sham. On the long run, truth prevails.

    Liked by 1 person

    • To be clear, I wasn’t agreeing with you. I know the history. It doesn’t matter that they’re Slavs! There is a country called Macedonia and those living in it are Macedonians!! This has nothing to do with historical truth. It’s time to let it go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


      • Dear Debra how would you feel if they called themselves Arizonians? …and claimed the land of Arizona with maps etc? …while being of different ethnicity, not speaking your language and also claiming your history? That is not good. Forgive me for saying so, but of all people a historian SHOULD put historical truth above all. They claim our land, not just our history and name. How can we let go? Would you?

        Liked by 1 person

      • I could care less it they called themselves Arizonans!! I despise nationalism in all its forms!! Hasn’t it drenched Europe in enough blood? And once again this has nothing to do with historical truth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know the history. It doesn’t matter that they’re Slavs. And Macedonians know the history and don’t pretend to be of Macedonian lineage. Nor do they actually make any claims to Greek territory!! And even if they wanted to they have no means to achieve such an absurd goal. You should go and meet. You’d realize that they nice people who want the same things that everyone else wants: peace and happiness. Holding grudges and resentments over historical slights (real and perceived) is destructive for those who hold the grudge and the targets of the animosities. This is what tore Yugoslavia apart.

        I’m of Irish decent, but I hold no ill-will or resentments against the English. That was in the past and the English today cannot be held responsible for what their ancestors did. There’s been enough violence and hatred in the world and I want nothing to do with it!!!! Have we learned nothing from history?!!!!!!! Let it go!!! Be friends. You would like them if you got to know them.


  2. “I despise nationalism in all its forms!! ” Do you? Good! That means you automatically despise countries which use a name, build pseudo-statues (like the one of the ancient Greek King Alexander the Great in Skopje which I’m sure you have seen) and claim History of other nations as theirs, in order to justify their territorial claims over another country. THAT’S NATIONALISM. Protecting History, protecting your land and therefore the peace at your borders is not called nationalism, darling. It’s called efforts to maintain peace. And please don’t tell me that FYRoM is not trying to do all that to Greece, because maybe Europe is a new concept to you, but we’ve been around for a long time.
    And since you claim to lrespect History, let’s talk with facts, because so far you are not – I’m sure a historian like you would prefer facts.

    Thousands of FYROMians at the center of Skopje (where the pseudo-statue of Alexander the Great is located), shouting “the field of Thessaloniki will become ours”.. The subtitles are in English. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjlN64V49r0

    FYROMinas protesting. Do you the map? Solun is the name of Thessaloniki in all Slavic languages.: That map has Grek land on. https://www.google.nl/search?q=solun+will+be+our+capital+city+again&biw=1366&bih=599&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiL27v6ocTOAhUBjxQKHZnwCUQQ_AUIBigB#imgrc=B7ZjsxZrhw30YM%3A

    The Prime Minister of FYROM, Nikolas Gruevski (the nationalistic party of FYROM), paying honor to the statue of t’he unknown soldier’, as we call it in Europe. Do you see the map behind him? Do you the Greek land on that map? https://www.google.nl/search?q=solun+will+be+our+capital+city+again&biw=1366&bih=599&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiL27v6ocTOAhUBjxQKHZnwCUQQ_AUIBigB#tbm=isch&q=gruevski+wreath&imgrc=pXOHcPXbNiHg-M%3A

    I could go on like that for ever, but I will have to write an essay. So now I’m gonna to ask you the following: Please send me a photo of a Greek PM (or President or Minister) who has ever been seen with a map that includes foreign territory. Please send me a video showing Greeks in Athens during a protest, shouting “Skopje will become ours”. Please, send me a photo of Greek protesters, raising a banner of a ‘greater Greece’ with FYROMian land on. And once you do all that, then I will accept that Greeks are nationalists. But until you do all that, bear in mind that the only nationalists here are the ones you support! So either be honest and say that you approve the FYROMian nationalism, or say nothing. Because what you’ve been saying so far doesn’t make any sense. It’s like admiring Hitler and then claiming you condemn fascism.

    PS: Do I need to send you the official site of FYROM which says that ancient Greeks (region of Macedonia) were actually not Greeks but Slavs?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Some of that stuff is garbage and the rest is from extremists, which exist everywhere. They do not reflect the views of ordinary Macedonians!! Nationalism is different from the existence of a nation, whether it’s Macedonia, Greece, or the U.S. I believe that Macedonia is a nation. I believe that Greece is a nation. You can be a Greek and reject nationalism, something I wish everyone would do. Right now we’re experiencing a white nationalist movement in the US with Trump and his followers. All of these nationalist movements, even the one in Macedonia, are despicable as far as I’m concerned. It’s one thing to be proud of your nation, but the arrogance and myth-making of nationalism is dangerous.

      Send me what every you want. As far as I’m concerned we’re done with this conversation!! This is exactly why I didn’t want to bring up this topic!!! Hate and prejudice is an evil that is all too prevalent in the world.


  3. I host a Podcast on Blogtalkradio and was reading your comments about Slave Museums and some of the comments you have heard and some of the things you have learned…Would love to have you on our show ..It airs Thursdays from 4 to 6 and is heard all over the nation….Hopefully eventually we will get to all 50 states..right now in about 30 and a few countries overseas….

    Marc S. Lee


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