The Summersell Center is pleased to welcome Jelani Cobb to the University of Alabama campus on Thursday, March 5. An associate professor of history and Director of the Africana Studies Institute at the University of Connecticut, Cobb is the author of several books; a frequent contributor to The New Yorker magazine and MSNBC; a writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Republic, The Washington Post, Essence, and Vibe; and a featured commentator for NPR, CNN, Al-Jazeera, and other national broadcast outlets on subjects related to civil rights, African American history, and contemporary politics. His talk, entitled “The Two Browns: Civil Rights in the Age of Ferguson and Obama,” will take place at 6:30 pm in Morgan Hall Auditorium, and is free and open to the public. This event is cosponsored by the Dean’s Office of the College of Arts and Sciences; New College; the Departments of American Studies, Criminal Justice, Gender and Race Studies, History, and Political Science; and by University Programs.
Please join the Summersell Center and the University of Alabama Libraries as we welcome Robert Allen, Professor of American Studies and Co-Director of the Digital Innovation Lab at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Professor Allen will be presenting “Digital Loray,” a multi-media online resource engaging the history of the iconic Loray Mill in Gastonia, North Carolina. A lecture will take place on Thursday, February 26, at 4 pm in the AIME Building room 110, and a discussion will follow on Friday, February 27, at 10 am in the Alabama Digital Humanities Center of Gorgas Library, room 109a. Both events are free and open to the public.
Please join the Summersell Center as it presents Dr. Coll Thrush, history professor at the University of British Columbia, who will be delivering a talk entitled “Indigenous London: Native Travellers at the Heart of Empire” on Wednesday, February 18, at 4 pm in Gorgas Library Room 205. Urban and Indigenous histories have usually been treated as though they are mutually exclusive. Coll Thrush’s work, however, has argued that the two kinds of history are in fact mutually constitutive. Dr. Thrush will present material from his current book manuscript, a history of London framed through the experiences of Indigenous people who travelled there, willingly or otherwise, from territories that became the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. Stories of Inuit captives in the 1570s, Cherokee delegations in the 1760s, Hawaiian royals in the 1820s, and more–as well as the memory of these travellers in present-day communities–show the ways in which London is one ground of Indigenous history and settler colonialism.
The Summersell Center is pleased to welcome Michael Jarvis, Associate Professor of History and Director of Digital Media Studies Program at the University of Rochester, and Director of Smiths Island Archaeology Project. On Thursday, January 29, at 4 pm in room 110 of the AIME Building on the University of Alabama campus, Professor Jarvis will deliver a public lecture entitled “Archaeology, Digital History, and Atlantic Microhistory in Bermuda, 1609-2015.” Then, on Friday, January 30, at 12:30 pm, in the Summersell Room on the second floor of ten Hoor Hall, Professor Jarvis will offer a smaller, lunchtime workshop on the subject of “Digital History: Building a Virtual St. George.”
On Monday, October 27, Joseph Crespino, Professor of History at Emory University, will join the Summersell Center for two events. First, at 3 pm in Room 110 of the AIME Building, the Summersell Center will screen two recently recovered and restored short films documenting George Wallace’s campaigns for Alabama governor in 1958 and 1962, after which Professor Crespino and Professor Kari Frederickson of the UA History Department will offer some comments and take questions. Then, at 6 pm in Gorgas 205, Professor Crespino will deliver a talk based on his most recent book “Strom Thurmond’s America.” This book was recently awarded the Deep South Book Prize from the Summersell Center, and the prize will be awarded to Professor Crespino prior to the lecture.
On Thursday, October 23, Joel Dinerstein, the James H. Clark Chair of American Civilization at Tulane University and the Director of the Center for the Gulf South, will present a lecture entitled “The Birth of Cool out of the U.S. South,” grounded in his most recent book, American Cool. Professor Dinerstein also curated an exhibit by the same name at the Smithsonian Institute, which ran at the National Portrait Gallery from February through September of this year (http://www.npg.si.edu/exhibit/cool/visit.html). This event is cosponsored by the Department of English and the Americanist Workshop, is free and open to the public, and will take place at 6 pm in Gorgas 205.
On October 13 at 5 pm in Gorgas Library Room 205, Ellen Griffith Spears, assistant professor in New College and the Department of American Studies, will deliver a talk based on her book, Baptized in PCBs: Race, Pollution, and Justice in an All-American Town. In the mid-1990s, residents of Anniston, Alabama, began a legal fight against the agrochemical company Monsanto over the dumping of toxic chemicals—PCBs—in the city’s historically African American and white working-class west side. Simultaneously, Anniston environmentalists sought to safely eliminate chemical weaponry that had been secretly stockpiled near the city during the Cold War. In her probing work, Ellen Griffith Spears offers a compelling narrative of Anniston’s battles for environmental justice, exposing how systemic racial and class inequalities reinforced during the Jim Crow era played out in these intense contemporary social movements. Spears focuses attention on key figures who shaped Anniston—from Monsanto’s founders, to white and African American activists, to the ordinary Anniston residents whose lives and health were deeply affected by the town’s military-industrial history and the legacy of racism. Baptized in PCBs situates the personal struggles and triumphs of Anniston residents within a larger national story of regulatory inaction and legal strategies that have affected toxic towns across America. Spears unflinchingly explores the causes and implications of environmental inequalities, showing how civil rights movement activism undergirded Anniston’s campaigns for redemption and justice. This book has already been awarded the 2014 Arthur J. Viseltear Prize in public health history from the Medical Care Section of the American Public Health Association.
This event is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a reception and book sale.
The Summersell Center is pleased to welcome Wayne Flynt, Emeritus Professor of History at Auburn University, to the University of Alabama campus on September 11, 2014. Professor Flynt will deliver a lecture entitled, “Fraternities, Sororities, Acceptance, Belonging, Otherness, Rejection: It’s More Complicated Than You Think,” at 5:30 pm in ten Hoor Hall room 30. This event is free and open to the public.
Please join the Summersell Center and the University Libraries on September 4 at 4 pm in Gorgas Library 205, as we welcome Robert Nelson, Director of the Digital Scholarship Lab at the University of Richmond. Professor Nelson will present “Mapping the Slave Frontier,” showcasing digital maps of the slave trade and planter migration, and considering more generally the value of mapping and spatial analysis for the humanities. Professor Nelson will also lead a group discussion on Friday morning, September 5, at 10 am in the Alabama Digital Humanities Center, Gorgas Library 109a.
Please join the Summersell Center on Wednesday, April 9, as we close out the academic year with our annual event commemorating the sesquicentennial of the Civil War. At 6 pm in Gorgas 205, Megan Kate Nelson, visiting assistant professor of history at Brown University and author of “Ruin Nation: Destruction and the American Civil War,” will deliver a lecture entitled “Home Sweet Home: Felling Trees and Building Camps during the American Civil War.”