Michael Gagnon

Dr. Michael Gagnon

Associate Professor of History

  • Office C-2219
  • Office Phone 678.407.5843
  • Cell Phone 678.485.1697
  • Email Address mgagnon@ggc.edu
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Dr. Michael Gagnon is a graduate of Hall County public schools and served in the U.S. Navy as an enlisted person on a nuclear powered submarine. He has degrees from Gainesville Jr. College, Georgetown University, and Emory University. He began teaching college history courses in 1992. Gagnon recently published a history of industrialization in the antebellum US South focusing on Athens, Georgia, as a case study. Transition to an Industrial South, published by LSU Press in 2012, is available through your favorite online retailer. Gagnon promises to sign all copies of his book, when presented to him. He also helps organize and participate in scholarly conferences, and he regularly presents papers or comments on other scholars' papers at history conferences. His next major project is a biography of Augustin Clayton, for whom Clayton County is named.

In teaching history at the college level, Gagnon pursues six general goals. First, he conveys sufficient information, organized as a narrative, so that students will remember it well after they leave college. Secondly, he regularly refers to historical themes found in current events in presenting the narrative to convince students that the study of history produces knowledge that is usable in the present. Thirdly, he introduces students to the analytical categories of race, class and gender to help make sense of history and of their own world. Fourthly, he seeks to introduce students to scholarly discussion within the historical field, so they will see the discipline of history as a process of inquiry rather than as a finite body of knowledge. Fifthly, he introduces them to the craft of historical research and takes the time within class to introduce historical research methods, using both traditional and online documents. Sixth and finally, he helps students to write well. He emphasizes how to organize an historical argument and how to use evidence to make a point. Gagnon's agenda in these six academic goals is to encourage students to think for themselves and to communicate what they think to others.


  • Doctorate – US history – Emory University
  • Master’s – US history – Emory University
  • Bachelor’s – international politics – Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service
  • Associate’s – political science – Gainesville Jr. College

Academic Interests

  • Industrialization history
  • History of the early American republic
  • Southern history