Skip to main content
Devan Lindey

Devan Lindey

Limited Term Lecturer // History

Research focus:
American Legal and Constitutional History, Political History, Educational History

Curriculum vitae

Office and Contact


HIST 152 United States Since 1877

HIST 382 American Constitutional History

PhD - Purdue University


American Legal and Constitutional History, Political History, Educational History

My manuscript Faith, Freedom, and Knowledge examines the court case, Grove City College v. Bell (1984). Between 1977 and 1984, Grove City College engaged in a legal dispute with the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) regarding their refusal to sign Title IX as a prerequisite for their students to receive federal funds in the form of Pell Grants and Guaranteed Student Loans (GSLs). Using philanthropy, oil magnate and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Grove City College, J. Howard Pew, shaped the curriculum and student life policies of Grove City College. By relying on his money, Pew steered the private college’s curriculum and student life to embrace Judeo-Christian norms, cultural conservatism, and libertarian economics. Motivated by deregulation ideology, Grove City College sought to defend its conservative and Christian values. What came was a legal battle that revealed the willingness of the New Right to use the judiciary to shape policy. Furthermore, my project bridges legal and political history as I show that Supreme Court decisions were shaped by activists and politicians. We must look beyond case law. The project connects grassroots activism and political decisions as both meted out the future of conservatism in the public square.

I have also recently become deeply interested in how we use popular culture to teach history. With recent blockbuster hits such as Oppenheimer, Killers of the Flower Moon, and Ridley Scott’s Napoleon, the way many people learn history is through popular culture forms outside of the academy. How then do we ensure that accurate information is portrayed or that people become intrigued enough to pick up a book by a historian and learn that popular culture and Hollywood at times sacrifice accuracy for dramatics, theatrics, and cinematography? My current work has resulted in publications at Purdue’s InnovatED research magazine, History News Network, Public Seminar, Clio and the Contemporary, and a blogpost with the Purdue Archives and Special Collections.