Join the Summersell Center on Thursday, April 11, 2013, when James Oakes will be offering a talk entitled “The Emancipation Proclamation: Myths and Realities,” in commemoration of the proclamation’s 150th anniversary. Professor Oakes is Distinguished Professor of History at the CUNY Graduate Center, New York, and is a two-time winner of the Lincoln Prize, including for his most recent book, Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865. His talk will take place in Smith Hall 205 on the University of Alabama campus at 5:30, and will be followed by a small reception and a book signing.
Please join the Summersell Center on April 5, 2013, as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the “Stand in the Schoolhouse Door” with a one-day conference. Gathering scholars doing some of the best new work on the history of the civil rights movement and the racial integration and culminating with a keynote address by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Diane McWhorter on the site of the Stand itself, this promises to be among the most exciting events the Summersell Center has sponsored yet. This event is free and open to the public. Panels will be held at 9:30 am and 1:30 pm in the AIME Building Room 110 on the University of Alabama campus. The keynote address, at which Ms. McWhorter will be introduced by Peggy Wallace Kennedy, will take place at 5:15 on the Malone-Hood Plaza at Foster Auditorium.
Please join the Summersell Center on March 14 at 5 pm in Room 110 of the AIME Building on the University of Alabama campus, where Lila Quintero Weaver will present “South Americans in the American South: A Memoir.” Ms. Weaver is the author of Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White, a graphic novel about growing up the child of immigrants from South America in the segregated/civil rights era American South. Darkroom is a truly stunning piece of work, and hearing the author speak ought not to be missed. Books will be available for purchase at a small reception to follow the talk.
On February 25, 2013, Natalie Ring, Associate Professor of History at the University of Texas-Dallas and author of The Problem South: Region, Empire, and the New Liberal State, 1880-1930, will be speaking on “The U.S. South as a National and Global Problem.” The talk will begin at 5:30 pm in the Summersell Room on the second floor of ten Hoor Hall on the University of Alabama campus, and will be followed by a small dinner reception. This event is free and open to the public, but the Summersell Center requests an RSVP by February 20 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On February 11, 2013, Andrew Torget will speak on “The Promise and Perils of Doing History in the Digital Age.” As we consider what will become of the humanities in the age of Google, Torget, a faculty fellow and director of the Digital History Lab at the University of North Texas, will talk about the unprecedented challenges and opportunities that face historians in the twenty-first century. Tracing the evolution of the digital humanities over the past two decades, he will explore how new research methods (such as geospatial analysis and text-mining) are creating a quiet revolution among historians, and what that could mean for how we understand the past. This event is free and open to the public, and will be held at 3 pm in Gorgas Library, Room 205.
Please join the Summersell Center on November 14 at 4:30 in Lloyd Hall Room 324, where music journalist Preston Lauterbach will be speaking about his new book, The Chitlin’ Circuit and the Road to Rock n’ Roll, which details the story of the network of black nightclubs that blossomed in the 1930s and 1940s and gave rise to the music and many of the pioneering stars of early rock n’ roll.
This event is a rescheduling of a presentation originally planned for September.
In spite of what Ed Folsom has extolled as the “epic transformation of archives,” the issue of archival silence–or gaps in the archival record–remains difficult to address. With the example of James Hemings, Thomas Jefferson’s enslaved chef (and Sally Hemings’s older brother), Lauren Klein will show how a set of techniques associated with the digital humanities–in particular, techniques that derive from the fields of computational linguistics and information visualization–can help to illuminate Hemings’s faint archival trace. In the course of narrating his life story, she will also show how the circumstances surrounding the record of Hemings’s life pose challenges to the current rhetoric of much digital humanities scholarship. As a critical stance so often framed in terms of epistemological “possibilities,” the digital humanities, when confronted with the unique demands of the archive of slavery, requires a rethinking of what it truly means to know.
Dr. Klein, who is Assistant Professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at Georgia Tech, and director of Georgia Tech’s Digital Humanities Lab, will be making her presentation on November 7 at 4 pm in Lloyd Hall Room 324.
On October 22, Jay Watson, Howry Professor of Faulkner Studies at the University of Mississippi, will be offering a public lecture entitled “The Consumptive Aesthetic and the Tubercular Grotesque: Coming of Age in Katherine Anne Porter’s ‘Old Mortality’,” based on his book, “Reading for the Body: The Recalcitrant Materiality of Southern Fiction, 1893-1985.” This event is co-sponsored by the Department of American Studies, will take place in Lloyd Hall 324 at 4 pm, and will be followed by a brief reception and book sale in the New College lounge, Lloyd Hall 216.
On October 18 at 4:30 pm in Lloyd Hall room 233, Daniel Sharfstein, Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Social Justice Program at Vanderbilt University, will be delivering a talk entitled “Secrets and Lines: Uncovering a Hidden History of Race in the United States,” based on his book “The Invisible Line: Three American Families and the Secret Journey from Black to White.” A brief reception and book sale will follow in the New College lounge, Lloyd Hall room 216.
On October 2, James Giesen, Assistant Professor of History and Director of the Center for the History of Agriculture, Science, and the Environment in the South at Mississippi State University, will be speaking about his book, “Boll Weevil Blues: Cotton, Myth, and Power in the American South.” Professor Giesen’s book was recently awarded the 2012 Deep South Book Prize from the Summersell Center, and he will be formally awarded the prize prior to the lecture, which will take place at 4:00 pm in Gorgas Library Room 205.