“Storytellers and Sociopaths: Thoughts on How We Define Reality from Post-Obama Appalachia”
This lecture will explore connections between the rich storytelling tradition, grinding economic challenges, hard political choices, despair, and hope experienced by people in the southeast Kentucky coalfields. Gipe will read from his previously published fiction, and he will address the creation of the Higher Ground community performances, a series of oral history-based theater events in Harlan County, Kentucky which have been running from 2003 to the present.
Robert Gipe is the author of the award-winning illustrated novel Trampoline (Ohio University Press, 2015). His short story “Dreadful Crash” appeared in the 21C Fiction Issue of Southern Cultures (Fall 2016). Gipe teaches at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, where he directs the Appalachian Studies program. He has worked previously as a pickle packer, a forklift driver, and a DJ.
This lecture, to be held in 039 Graham Memorial Hall, is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
“What is the real basis of a public enterprise?” The Cherokee Nation and the Social Safety Net
In this lecture, Reed will discuss why nineteenth-century Cherokee people chose to surrender aspects of their holistic system of care for others rooted within a matrilineal clan system and governed by local community obligations and clan responsibilities that stretched across towns in favor of nationally administered social services by the Cherokee Nation to individual citizens. This shift ultimately resulted in the creation of an orphanage, a prison, and a facility for the (dis)abled and mentally ill in the period after the Civil War. Reed will share how Cherokee people evaluated the quality of their institutions and the conditions that led them to study and critique the social policies of states and the larger United States.
Julie Reed is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Her book Serving the Nation: Cherokee Sovereignty and Social Welfare, 1800-1907 was published by the University of Oklahoma Press in 2016. This lecture will be held in the Pleasants Family Room at Wilson Library. The lecture is free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be served.
In this lecture, titled “The Beekeeper: Collecting Oral Histories of Black Southern Queer Women,” Johnson discussed some methodological challenges of being a man conducting research on women as well as addressing some topics that he found to be common among many of the women he interviewed. He also performed excerpts from the oral histories.
E. Patrick Johnson is Chair of the Department of African American Studies at Northwestern University. He is the author of two award-winning books, Appropriating Blackness: Performance and the Politics of Authenticity, and Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South—An Oral History. He is the editor of Cultural Struggles: Performance, Ethnography, Praxis by Dwight Conquergood (Michigan UP, 2013) and co-editor (with Mae G. Henderson) of Black Queer Studies—A Critical Anthology and (with Ramon Rivera-Servera) of solo/black/woman: scripts, interviews, and essays and Blacktino Queer Performance (Duke UP, 2016).
This lecture was co-sponsored by the Department of Communication and the LGBTQ Center.
“Free-Market Activists and School Desegregation”
Suppose that something long understood as an ending was really a beginning. What if the white South’s massive resistance to the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision proved to be not just the death rattle of Jim Crow, but also the dawn of free-market fundamentalism in practice? In this James & Marguerite Hutchins lecture, Historian Nancy MacLean reveals how northern advocates of neoliberalism–the push to dismantle popular reforms of the New Deal and the Progressive Era–rallied to the segregationist call for private schools subsidized by the states, with the economist Milton Friedman in the lead.
Nancy MacLean is William H. Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University and Director of the Center for the Study of Class, Labor, and Social Sustainability. She is the award-winning author of Freedom Is Not Enough: The Opening of the American Workplace (Harvard UP); Behind the Mask of Chivalry: The Making of the Second Ku Klux Klan (Oxford UP); The American Women’s Movement, 1945-2000 (Bedford/St Martins); and, with Donald T. Critchlow, Debating the American Conservative Movement: 1945 to the Present (Rowman & Littlefield). Her latest book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, will be published by Viking/Penguin in the spring of 2017.
This lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the University Room at Hyde Hall. Light refreshments will be served.
“Manners, Memory, and Murder in America’s Holy City”
Sometimes called the “Holy City,” Charleston, South Carolina is one of America’s oldest and most historic cities. It has won numerous awards for its residents’ politeness, and it has been chosen as a top destination for world travelers. However, the nation was shocked by the racially motivated murders that occurred at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in the summer of 2015. The reverberations of this tragic event were felt most powerfully across the South, where they amplified ongoing and crucial debates about the region’s understanding of history, memory, and race. In this lecture, Powers will examine the meaning of what happened in Charleston, the cultural introspection it triggered, and its ongoing significance for understanding life in the South today.
Bernard E. Powers, Professor of History at the College of Charleston, has published numerous works on African American social and cultural evolution. His book Black Charlestonians: A Social History 1822-1885 (University of Arkansas Press, 1994) won a Choice Award for Best Academic Books. Powers also served as associate editor for The South Carolina Encyclopedia (Columbia: USC Press, 2006), and he recently co-authored We Are Charleston: Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel (Thomas Nelson, 2016).
This lecture, to be held in the Pleasants Family Room at Wilson Library, is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.