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.”
Please join the Summersell Center and the University Libraries as we welcome Scot French, Associate Professor of Digital and Public History at the University of Central Florida and Digital Editor of the Florida Historical Quarterly, who will be delivering a talk entitled “Southern History as Spatial History: Visualizing the Local-Regional-Global Dimensions of Community Life and Place-Making.”
The spatial turn in digital humanities has transformed the field of the southern history over the past two decades by encouraging large-scale/center-based projects and, more recently, small-scale/D.I.Y. projects that highlight the movement of people/culture/ideas across time and space. How might southern historians take full advantage of vast new digital archives and desktop visualization tools to explore the local-regional-global dimensions of community life and place-making? Professor French will present several case studies drawn from his work as a digital public historian at the University of Virginia (1994-2010) and the University of Central Florida (2010-present) to illuminate larger developments in the field and suggest new directions for collaborative teaching and research.
This talk is free and open to the public, and will take place at 4 pm on Thursday, March 6, in room 205 of Gorgas Library on the University of Alabama campus.
On November 5, the Summersell Center undertakes its first venture into the art world as it welcomes artist and novelist Margaret Wrinkle to the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center at 620 Greensboro Avenue in downtown Tuscaloosa. Ms. Wrinkle will be speaking about her novel of slavery, Wash, and formally opening an exhibit of her photographs that are integrated into the book. This event is free and open to the public. The talk will begin at 5:30 pm and will be followed by a small reception. The photography exhibition will open on November 4 and remain on display through November 15. Cosponsored by the Departments of American Studies, Art and Art History, English, and Gender and Race Studies.
Please join the Summersell Center on Thursday, November 7, at 6 pm in Gorgas Library Room 205, where Randy Roberts, Distinguished Professor History at Purdue University, will provide “Five Reasons Why Alabama Football Matters to History.” A historian of twentieth-century America best known for his work in the field of sports history, Professor Roberts is the author of, among other works, “Joe Louis: Hard Times Man,” “Jack Dempsey: The Manassa Mauler,” and “The Rock, the Curse, and the Hub: A Random History of Boston Sports.” Professor Roberts’ latest book is “Rising Tide: Bear Bryant, Joe Namath, and Dixie’s Last Quarter.” This event is free, open to the public, and a great way to start the weekend when the Tide crushes LSU’s dreams.
On September 30, 2013, the Summersell Center will welcome David Roediger, Babcock Professor of History at the University of Illinois. Professor Roediger is one of the finest scholars of race in the United States, and will be delivering a lecture entitled “Emancipation from Below: The Jubilee of US Slaves and Freedom for All.” The lecture is free and open to the public and will take place at 5:30 pm in Gorgas Library room 205 on the University of Alabama campus. Cosponsored by the Departments of American Studies and Gender and Race Studies.