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Winter Issue Launch @ the Nasher


Join us to celebrate the Winter Issue of Southern Cultures at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Curator Trevor Schoonmaker will discuss the Nasher’s current exhibit, Southern Accent, with artists Jeff Whetstone and Stacy Lynn Waddell. Selections from the exhibit as well as a conversation with Schoonmaker, Whetstone, and Waddell are featured in the new issue.

Hutchins Lecture: Nancy MacLean, Thurs, Dec 1 at 4:30 pm, Hyde Hall

“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 maclean1954 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 freedom_is_not_enoughof 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.

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Charleston Lecture: Joseph Bathanti, Thurs, Nov 17 at 4:30 pm

Award-winning poet, author, and creative writing professor Joseph Bathanti will deliver the 2016 Charleston Lecture in Southern Affairs, titled “Alma Stone Williams: Black Mountain College’s First Black Student.” This lecture will be held in the Pleasants Room in Wilson Library.

alma_stone_williamsIn 1944, Alma Stone Williams, an African American musician from Atlanta, Georgia, attended Black Mountain College for its eleven-week summer session. She already held degrees from Atlanta University and Spelman College (where she had graduated as valedictorian), but that summer she became the first black student to attend Black Mountain College. This occurred ten years before Brown vs. Board of Education and twelve years before Autherine Lucy, another African American woman, matriculated in 1956 at the University of Alabama for a mere three days. While Lucy is generally credited as the first African American student to attend an all-white college in the Jim Crow South, it appears that Williams initially bmccracked that barrier. After Black Mountain College, Williams attended Julliard on a Rosenwald Fellowship, then launched a distinguished career as a musician, professor, and community leader. For a woman of her singular importance, over a broad spectrum of disciplines–including African American Studies, Cultural Studies, Sociology, and Women’s Studies–she has often been overlooked and remains a well-kept secret.


Joseph Bathanti teaches English and Creative Writing at Appalachian State University. He is the author of nine poetry collections, three novels, a short story collection, and a book of nonfiction essays, and he served as Poet Laureate of North Carolina from 2012-2014. Among many other honors, he has twice received the Roanoke Chowan Prize, awarded by the NC Literary & Historical Association for the best book of poetry in a given year. His latest collection, The Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost, was recently published by LSU Press.

Building a Radical Black Student Movement in North Carolina, Thurs, Nov 3 at 4:30 pm


As a complement to the intensely personal stories chronicled in the Black Pioneers Project, a play which is being staged by the Process Series Nov. 4 and 6, the Center is pleased to sponsor a panel discussion about the building of a radical black student movement on college and high school campuses across North Carolina in the 1960s and 1970s.  We are honored to have Ms. Joyce Johnson and Rev. John Mendez discuss their experiences in organizing this movement at a critical juncture in the African American Freedom Struggle. Among the topics they will explore are the issues that animated the movement for radical change, the connections they made between their local issues and national and international movements for social and economic justice, and the methods they employed to achieve their goals.

This event, to be held at the Love House and Hutchins Forum, is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.