MSU’s Snyder named Mississippi Humanities Council Teacher of the Year

Contact: Sarah Nicholas

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Christopher A. Snyder, professor of history and the inaugural dean of Mississippi State’s Bobby and Judy Shackouls Honors College, is the university’s 2024 Mississippi Humanities Council Teacher of the Year.

Christopher A. Snyder
Christopher A. Snyder (Photo by Grace Cockrell)

Snyder’s MHC tribute for his outstanding work includes a $400 honorarium and delivery of the College of Arts and Sciences annual humanities lecture—free and open to the public—on March 21, 3:30 p.m., in the John Grisham Room of Mitchell Memorial Library.

He will receive his award from the Mississippi Humanities Council at its annual Public Humanities Awards ceremony on March 22. Approximately 30 awards will be given to individuals from Mississippi whose work is recognized for bringing insights of the humanities to public audiences.

Snyder’s campus presentation is titled “The Abolition of Myth: Lewis and Tolkien in Weber’s Age of Disenchantment.”

“Max Weber famously declared in 1917 that we had entered an Age of Disenchantment, in which scientific research had replaced myth and religion and would define humanistic inquiry going forward,” Snyder said. “In my talk I will be taking issue with this evaluation, showing how the writings of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien—both their fiction and their scholarly work—provide just two examples of how myth and fantasy address basic human needs for storytelling and for grasping certain truths.”

Currently director of British Studies at MSU, Snyder was dean of the Honors College for more than a decade, was a 2023 senior academic visitor at Oriel College, University of Oxford, as well as a visiting fellow at the National Institute for Newman Studies in Pennsylvania. He was a history research fellow at the University of Oxford from 2014 to 2019.

Snyder has authored 10 books and numerous articles in the fields of archaeology, history, literary criticism, ethics and medieval studies. He is a Society of Antiquaries of Scotland Fellow and sits on the editorial boards of several academic journals and internet projects in medieval and Arthurian studies.

The Mississippi Humanities Council, funded by Congress through the National Endowment for the Humanities, provides public programs in traditional liberal arts disciplines to serve nonprofit groups in Mississippi and pays tribute annually to outstanding faculty in traditional humanities fields at each of Mississippi’s institutions of higher learning.

For more details about MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences or the Department of History, visit or The Shackouls Honors College is online at

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