Professor Sowell's scholarship focuses upon the social history of Latin America. His initial research into labor history resulted in The Early Colombian Labor Movement: Artisans and Politics in Bogota, 1832 - 1919 (Temple University Press, 1992). An ongoing project on 'A History of Social Violence in Latin America' has been supported by an American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship and by Juniata's William P. and Frances Clemens Nyce Endowment for Faculty Development. His latest book, The Tale of Miguel Perdomo Neira: Medicine, Ideologies, and Power in the Nineteenth Century Andes, explores the history of medicine in Colombia and Ecuador during the 19th century. Sowell's 1992 lecture series, 'Contact, Conquest and Consequences' commemorating the Quincentennial of 1492, was published in Juniata Voices.
From 1996 until 1999 Dr. Sowell served as Assistant Academic Dean and Director of International Programs. Since coming to Juniata in 1989, he has been active in the 'internationalization' of the campus, having served on the 1993 Task Force on Internationalizing Juniata, the International Education Committee, and the Middle States Task Force on Internationalization. After service in the International Programs Office, he has been part of the International Studies Committee.
Professor Sowell lectures on 'American history,' offering courses on both Latin and Anglo-America. In 1994, he received the Junior Faculty Award for Distinguished Teaching. He was graduated with an A.B. from Western Kentucky University (1975), a B.A. from Grand Valley State College (1976), an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Florida (1980, 1986). His research and studies have been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright and Doherty Foundations, the Organization of American States, and the Tinker Foundation.
Dr. Sowell is a member of the American Historical Association, the Latin American Studies Association, and the Conference on Latin American History (having been secretary and president of the Gran Colombian Committee).
David and his wife Chris are the proud parents of a daughter, Emily.