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Posts from the ‘Hutchins Lectures’ Category

Hutchins Lecture: Charles L. Hughes, Thurs Nov 5 at 4:30pm

Country Soul“I Got What I Got The Hard Way”: Memphis, Muscle Shoals, and the Racial Politics of Southern Music

The music of the South has long been a central metaphor for the region’s tumultuous racial history. Genres like country and soul remain symbols for the real and perceived borders between black and white, while the long history of interracial collaboration in southern music offers a defiant counter-narrative to the South’s troubled history. In this alternative story, there are few more celebrated moments than the integrated recording studios of Memphis and Muscle Shoals in the 1960s and 1970s. To this day, studios like Stax or FAME are held up as sites of Civil Rights-era progress or even utopias where skin color didn’t matter. This narrative of racial harmony has become central to both scholarly and popular understandings of the South’s cultural and political history. But, as historian Charles L. Hughes will discuss, this mythology obscures a more complex story of racial collaboration and conflict. In this lecture, drawn from his acclaimed book Country Soul: Making Music and Making Race in the American South, Hughes will discuss the ways that this mythology has distorted our understanding of the music, its makers, and the contexts from which it emerged. This lecture will be held in the Hitchcock Room at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History.hughes_charles

Dr. Charles L. Hughes is the Director of the Memphis Center at Rhodes College. Country Soul was published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2015. He has spoken and published widely on race, music and the South. This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Hutchins Lecture by Tracy K’Meyer, Thurs, Oct 22 at 4:30 pm

???????????????????????????????“The promise and failure,” “the rise and retreat,” the “failed social experiment”—these are terms used by scholars and pundits to characterize the lost battle for school desegregation in the South and across the nation.  But, drawing on nearly 100 oral history interviews, Tracy K’Meyer uncovers an alternative story of black and white allies fighting for and defending the integration of the Louisville and Jefferson County public schools as part of a broader struggle for racial equality.  By attending to the way local people remember both what went wrong in desegregation and the resulting damage especially to black students, and also what went right and the benefits to individuals and the community, K’Meyer argues, we can better understand contemporary debates over racial equality and diversity in the schools.

KMeyer cover imageK’Meyer is Professor of History and Chair of the Department of History at the University of Louisville, where she also serves as Co-Director of the Oral History Center.  Her research focuses on the history of modern U.S. social movements, most recently on the struggles for equality in education and housing.  She is currently working on a book on the American Friends Service Committee. K’Meyer’s lecture, titled “Remembering School Desegregation: Oral History and the Long Struggle for Equality in Education in Louisville, KY, 1954-2015,” will be held in the University Room in Hyde Hall.

This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Hutchins Lecture: Sam W. Haynes, Wed, Sept 16 at 4:30 pm

Dr. Sam W. Haynes presented a lecture on “Unbecoming Southern: The Roots of Texas Exceptionalism.”

haynesMany Texas historians have argued that the bitter experience of the Civil War prompted white Texans in later years to downplay their southern roots. In an effort to disassociate the state from the trauma of the Lost Cause, they tailored their historical memory to give greater emphasis to the region’s frontier heritage. In so doing, they laid claim to an artificial brand of exceptionalism, constructing an elaborate and ennobling mythology around the exploits of Anglo-Texans in their conflicts with Mexicans and Native Americans. However, Anglo-Texan men and women sought to craft a new identity for the state in strikingly different ways. This lecture will examine efforts to rebrand Texas in the early twentieth century, emphasizing the gendered dimensions of a process in which women’s organizations, such as the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, and male business leaders offered their own distinct interpretations of the state’s past.

Sam W. Haynes is a professor of History and director of the Center for Greater Southwestern Studies at UT-Arlington. Specializing in Jacksonian America, 19th century Texas, and the American Southwest, he is the author of three books, including Unfinished Revolution: Unfinished RevolutionThe Early American Republic in a British World, a study of nineteenth century American attitudes toward Great Britain, and James K. Polk and the Expansionist Impulse. He is the editor of an anthology of essays, Contested Empire: Rethinking the Texas Revolution, which was published last month by Texas A&M University Press. His current book project examines Anglo, Mexican, and Native American conflict in Texas during the early nineteenth century.

This lecture is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Hutchins Lecture by Waldo E. Martin Jr., Thurs, March 19 at 4:30 pm

Please join us for the final Hutchins Lecture of the 2014-15 academic year, as Waldo E. Martin Jr. addresses “Reaping the Whirlwind”: The Contested History of the Black Panther Party. This lecture will be held in the Kresge Foundation Room (039 Graham Memorial Hall).

Black Against EmpireThis talk will draw upon the making and reception of Martin’s co-authored (with Joshua Bloom) work Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party (U of California P, 2013).  The history of the Black Panther Party is a minefield, but Martin will discuss key enduring historical controversies surrounding how the party has been perceived and conceptualized over time by various constituencies, including former party members, scholars, and ideologues.

Central to this presentation will be an analysis of two questions. First, he will discuss why the party was important in its own time and the party’s enduring historical importance. Second, he will argue for the centrality of the party’s radical politics in our continuing efforts to historicize and understand the party.

WaldoWaldo E. Martin Jr. is the Alexander F. & May T. Morrison Professor of American History & Citizenship at the University of California, Berkeley. He has authored, co-authored, and co-edited a host of authoritative works on African American History and Culture, with a special focus on the Civil Rights Movement. He is currently Co-Editor (with Patricia A. Sullivan) of the John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture at UNC Press, and he recently published (with Deborah Gray White & Mia Bay) Freedom on My Mind: A History of African Americans with Documents (Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2013).

This lecture is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Hutchins Lecture by Sophie White, Thurs, Feb 19 at 4:30 pm

sophiewhiteIn her lecture, “Beyond the Slave Narrative,” Sophie White showcases the judicial testimony of enslaved Africans in criminal trials in French colonial Louisiana. Drawing on her current research project, White locates the verbal and non-verbal stories which enslaved individuals, forced into a global African diaspora, sought somehow to narrate. Reading past the details of the criminal cases, and interspersing her analysis with excerpts from their testimonies, she focuses on individual slaves’s subjectivity as conveyed through their inflections and uses of imagery, their choice of words and their silences. This lecture will be held in the Kresge Foundation Room (039 Graham Memorial Hall).

Wild Frenchmen

Sophie White is Associate Professor of American Studies, Africana Studies, and History at the University of Notre Dame. She describes herself as an “historian of early America with an interdisciplinary focus on cultural encounters between Europeans, Africans, and Native Americans, and a commitment to Atlantic and global research perspectives.” Professor White is the author of Wild Frenchmen and Frenchified Indians: Material Culture and Race in Colonial Louisiana (University of Pennsylvania Press, McNeil Center for Early American Studies series, 2012), which demonstrates that material culture–especially dress–was central to the elaboration of discourses about race in French colonial Louisiana. Her current book project, “Voices of the African Diaspora Within and Beyond the Atlantic World,” is centered on the analysis of an extraordinary body of testimony by enslaved Africans in colonial Louisiana and beyond. Both book projects have been supported by fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.