Back Ways and “Good Roads”
Southern Oral History Program field scholars Darius Scott and Rachel Cotterman explore recent findings from Back Ways, an SOHP project that examines the relationship between infrastructure development and experiences of racial segregation in the rural American South. Their talk will focus on the activities of the North Carolina “Good Roads Movement,” an influential Progressive Era (1890s-1920s) reform project that worked to improve rural roads. The movement was shaped by both appeals to historic agrarian racism and commitments to scientific objectivity. The result was a supposedly unbiased plan that effectively institutionalized inequitable road development. This talk will address the challenges and possibilities of combining archival research and oral history in exploring the rural South as shaped by public policy and lived experience. You can read more here and listen to a “Press Record” podcast about this project via SoundCloud or iTunes.
This talk is free and open to the public, but RSVPs to firstname.lastname@example.org are appreciated. Light refreshments will be provided.
According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, economic historians have produced a number of new studies that “reshape how [we] view the connection between slavery and capitalism… show[ing] the role that coercion played in bringing about a modern market system that is more typically identified with freedom.” Was the economic rise of the West dependent upon slavery, or has the economic impact of cotton production been overstated? Have historians of cotton’s “empire” been playing fast and loose with the facts? Or have the economists become “champion nitpickers,” to quote Eric Foner, reducing history to “a source of numbers, a source of data to throw into their equations”?
This year’s Chandler Lecture in Southern Business History will be delivered by Trevon D. Logan and Caitlin Rosenthal. Logan, the Chair of Economics at Ohio State University, has published influential articles in economics, economic history, and sociology journals, as well as a forthcoming book with Cambridge University Press. Rosenthal, Assistant Professor of History at the University of California Berkeley, is the author of From Slavery to Scientific Management (forthcoming from Harvard University Press).
This lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the Davis Research Hub, on the second floor of Davis Library. Light refreshments will be served.
Join us at the Love House & Hutchins Forum for a discussion of the current state and politics of the death penalty. This program is offered in conjunction with the new Process Series production Count. Directed by Lynden Harris, Count will be performed on Friday, March 3 and Saturday, March 4 at 8:00 pm. More details about the play are available here.
Our panel will feature Professors Frank Baumgartner and Isaac Unah (UNC Political Science); Jennifer Thompson (author of Picking Cotton and President of Healing Justice); and Lynden Harris (Hidden Voices). This event is free and open to the public.
This oral history-based performance examines the history of a North Carolina aluminum town–or, really, two towns: Badin and West Badin. In addition to the personal losses experienced by the residents of these towns, the play reveals how discriminatory practices of pollution and toxic waste disposal produced disparate health outcomes for the residents of these primarily white and primarily black southern towns. We salute the courageous and compelling work of our 2016-17 McColl Fellow, Pavithra Vasudevan, as well as the community participants who had the courage to share their stories. Shows on Friday at 8:00 pm, Saturday at 8:00 pm, and Sunday at 2:00 pm.
“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.