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State Humanities Council to Honor Political Scientist as MC’s 2024 Humanities Teacher of the Year

Glenn Antizzo, professor of political science at Mississippi College, will discuss the conflict in Gaza at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 7, in the Aven Fine Arts Building.
Glenn Antizzo, professor of political science at Mississippi College, will discuss the conflict in Gaza at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 7, in the Aven Fine Arts Building.

Growing up in Westbury, New York, during the height of the Cold War, Glenn Antizzo became fascinated with international diplomacy.

In school, he demonstrated an affinity for social studies – few of his sixth-grade classmates tracked the ramifications of the Angolan Civil War with as much fervor – and his academic passion was ignited by conversations he enjoyed with his grandfather, who challenged his ideas about the global workings of government.

“He was a very formative influence in my life,” Antizzo said. “He transmitted a lot of his love of country and his faith in Christ to me.”

As a student at Cornell University, Antizzo initially majored in hotel administration before switching his major to government. After trying law school for a semester, he realized all other pursuits paled in comparison to the intrigue of geopolitical affairs.

So, he charted a new academic course. He earned his M.A. in political science at the University of Georgia and obtained his Ph.D. in political science, with concentrations in international relations and comparative politics, from Louisiana State University.

“I’ve always been interested in international affairs and things happening around the world,” Antizzo said. “I see the U.S. as a force for good in the world. We’re not perfect – we do things for our own interests, like every other country does. But when we go to war, it’s always to help somebody else.

“We went to war in Afghanistan to punish those who attacked us on 9-11. We went to war in the Persian Gulf to help Kuwait get its sovereignty back. We went to war in Korea to save South Korea from the North Korean invasion. The United States is a leader of the free world, and that’s something I’ve always been proud about this country. It stands up for certain principles in the world, like the rule of law and democracy.”

The popular professor of political science in the Department of History at Mississippi College will be among 30 outstanding faculty to be recognized by the Mississippi Humanities Council as their respective institution’s outstanding faculty in traditional humanities fields. Antizzo will receive the Humanities Teacher of the Year Award for Mississippi College on Friday, March 22, during the 2024 Public Humanities Award ceremony and reception at the Two Mississippi Museums in Jackson.

“This is tremendous,” Antizzo said of the recognition. “This honor is special to me. This is an award that is given after careful consideration of your contribution to the humanities.

“I am humbled that the Mississippi Humanities Council is recognizing the work that I’ve done in this area.”

As MC’s recipient of the coveted honor, Antizzo will give a special humanities presentation, “Hpw We Got Here: Israel and the Conflict in Gaza,” at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 7, in the Aven Fine Arts Building. A question-and-answer session and reception will follow the event. The lecture is free of charge and the public is invited.

During his talk, the international relations specialist will give an overview of the events of the Oct. 7, 2023 attack on Israel by Hamas, review the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since 1920, discuss the Israeli offensive in Gaza and the looming humanitarian crisis there, dissect the obstacles to peace in the region, and provide his thoughts on how the conflict may end.

“I want people to know what’s going on in the region and why they’re fighting,” Antizzo said. “I’ll go through the main actors, give a background on Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, Israel, and the Houthi rebels, and go into what Israel’s response has been.

“With an election coming up, there’s a lot going on in the world that Americans need to know about. I’m glad to have the spotlight put on international relations and issues that have an impact on us.”

The lecture is not to be missed, according to his colleague, Christian Pinnen, professor of history and past recipient of the Humanities Teacher of the Year at MC award recipient.

“If at all possible, the MC community should come and hear Dr. Antizzo’s analysis of the current conflict in Israel,” Pinnen said. “Dr. Antizzo is an expert and he is such an engaging lecturer. As someone who has had to pause class to let Dr. Antizzo’s rhetorical prowess wash over the class, I know that it will be a rapt audience and an amazing learning opportunity for all of us.”

A frequent guest on local media programs centered on politics and international affairs, Antizzo teaches a required course in international relations during the fall semester and an elective class in American military intervention during the spring. He authored a textbook on military intervention that is used in the elective course.

“Dr. Antizzo is an engaging teacher who has built a strong political science program that includes many future MC School of Law students,” said Patrick Connelly, associate professor and chair of history and political science at MC. “He is a great mentor for students and his passion for teaching is evident if you walk by his classroom.”

Pinnen said it would be difficult to find a student who wasn’t engrossed in Antizzo’s lectures.

“Dr. Antizzo is a wonderful teacher,” he said. “Students usually are spellbound by his expertise. His analysis of foreign and domestic issues on radio and TV stations is in keeping with the MHC slogan, ‘The humanities are for everyone.’”

Antizzo isn’t the only MC faculty member being honored by the MHC for outstanding contributions to the humanities in Mississippi. Pinnen will receive the 2024 Humanities Scholar Award at the March 22 ceremony in recognition of his outstanding work in preserving and sharing the state’s unique history and culture.

“The Humanities Scholar Award is deeply meaningful to me,” Pinnen said. “It recognizes one recipient in the state and my work in the academy and the community at large stood out enough to the awards committee to grant me this special honor.

“That means I was chosen from a pool of in-state scholars across Mississippi’s major universities, highlighting the good work we are doing in the humanities at MC.”

His colleagues hold Pinnen in high esteem.

“Dr. Pinnen is a very committed scholar who has published two scholarly works on Mississippi’s colonial history, co-founded the African American Studies Program, and engaged in a variety of public history activities in recent years,” Connelly said.

“When it comes to Mississippi history – particularly things related to the history of Natchez – I don’t think there’s anybody greater than Christian Pinnen,” Antizzo said. “He’s the finest in the department in the amount of research he pushes out. He lives for research, and that helps make him an outstanding teacher.”

Pinnen obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in history from the University of Southern Mississippi. He joined MC’s faculty in 2012 and teaches U.S. history, history of the Old South, Latin America survey, the American Revolution, and American slavery. His research focuses on race and slavery in the Spanish-American borderlands and capitalism in early America.

Antizzo joined MC’s faculty in 2010. Recipient of the Outstanding Professor of the Year Award in 2013, he has been a finalist for the MC Distinguished Professor of the Year honor. He has served as chair and co-chair of the Department of History and Political Science.

“The Department of History and Political Science has enjoyed a strong connection with the Mississippi Humanities Council, and we are so pleased to see both Dr. Glenn Antizzo and Dr. Christian Pinnen honored through their respective awards,” Connelly said. “Mississippi College values our relationship with the MHC. They do such good work in collaborating with Mississippi-based scholars to promote learning about our state’s fascinating, complex history and cultural riches.”

Tickets to the 2024 Public Humanities Award ceremony and reception cost $50 each and may be purchased on the MHC website at