Amrita Chakrabarti Myers, Associate Professor of History at Indiana University, will speak about “Making a Way out of No Way: Black Women in the Old South” in the Kresge Foundation Room, 039 Graham Memorial Hall.
Examining life, liberty, and ideas about civil rights from the perspective of those invested with the least formal power in the Old South, this lecture will show how black women in Charleston, South Carolina used all the resources at their disposal to enjoy a freedom of their own design. Drawing on family papers, legislative documents, probate records, parish registers, census data, tax lists and city directories, Myers considers black women as social, economic, and political actors in the antebellum South. She will also share her recent research on Richard Mentor Johnson, a Kentucky statesman who served as Vice President under Martin Van Buren, and Julia Chinn, a black woman who became Johnson’s common-law spouse for twenty years.
Amrita Chakrabarti Myers is a historian of the black female experience in the Old South. Her first book, Forging Freedom: Black Women and the Pursuit of Liberty in Antebellum Charleston, (UNC Press, 2011) has received numerous awards, including the 2012 Phillis Wheatley Book Prize from the Northeast Black Studies Association and the 2012 Julia Cherry Spruill Book Prize from the Southern Association of Women Historians. Myers’ work has been supported by a Scholarly Research Fellowship from the Kentucky Historical Society, a Mellon Fellowship from the Library Company of Philadelphia, and a Research Fellowship from the University of South Carolina.
CSAS welcomes Jesse Alemán, Professor of English at the University of New Mexico, whose address, “Loreta Janeta Velazquez’s Civil War as a Cuban Woman and a Confederate Soldier,” will focus on a woman who masqueraded as Harry J. Buford, enlisted in the Confederate Army, and fought in several Civil War battles before her gender was discovered. Velazquez later published a memoir titled The Woman in Battle (1876), which recounts her cross-dressing military adventures. Professor Alemán will discuss how this narrative gives expression to an “internal civil war” between Velazquez’s sexual, gendered, cultural, linguistic, and religious identities. This lecture will be held at 4:30 in the Kresge Foundation Room, 039 Graham Memorial Hall.
Jesse Alemán has authored numerous articles in scholarly journals and edited collections, including American Literary History, The Oxford Handbook to Nineteenth-Century American Literature, and Hemispheric American Studies. He edited a reprinted version of The Woman in Battle (2003) and co-edited Empire and the Literature of Sensation (2007). Alemán has received awards for teaching excellence from both the University of New Mexico and Middlebury College, where he serves as a summer faculty member at the Bread Loaf School of English. He is currently at work on “Wars of Rebellion,” which considers Hispanic writings about the U.S. Civil War in the context of related wars in Cuba and Mexico.
The James A. Hutchins Lectures
Named for James A. Hutchins Jr. (1917–2002), a distinguished Carolina alumnus who spent most of his life fighting world hunger, the Hutchins Lecture Series has been generously funded by the Hutchins Family Foundation since the 2010–11 season. Speakers are selected with attention to their ability to bring scholarly material to mixed public and academic audiences. Consistent with the Chancellor’s emphasis on outreach and engagement, the Hutchins Lectures bring faculty and students into conversation with community members to discuss issues of common topical interest. Hutchins Lectures are free and open to the public. Unless otherwise noted, they are held at 4:30pm in the Kresge Foundation Common Room (039) at the Johnson Center for Undergraduate Excellence in Graham Memorial Hall. (Previous Hutchins Lectures)
Samuel Freedman, Professor of Journalism at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, will present his address, “Football and Civil Rights: A Story of Two Groundbreaking Coaches.” Professor Freedman will be introduced by Ferrel Guillory, Professor of the Practice in UNC’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. This event will be held in the Freedom Forum in Carroll Hall.
Professor Freedman is an award-winning author, columnist, and professor. A columnist for The New York Times and a professor at Columbia University, he is the author of six acclaimed books, including Who She Was: My Search for My Mother’s Life (2005) and Letters To A Young Journalist (2006). Freedman’s seventh book, Breaking the Line: The Season in Black College Football That Transformed the Sport and Changed the Course of Civil Rights, was recently released by Simon & Schuster.
Our first Hutchins Lecture of the 2013-14 lecture series will be delivered by Kenneth Janken, Professor of African, African American, and Diaspora Studies, who will present his address, “Remembering the Wilmington Ten: African American Politics, Judicial Misconduct, and the 1970s.” The event will be held in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room on the second floor of Wilson Library.
Professor Janken has taught courses on the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights Movement, and intellectual history. He serves on the faculty advisory boards of the Center for the Study of the American South and the Academic Support Program for Student Athletes. He is the author of Rayford W. Logan and the Dilemma of the African-American Intellectual (University of Massachusetts Press, 1993) and White: The Biography of Walter White, Mr. NAACP (New Press, 2003). He is currently finishing a history of the Wilmington Ten.