Civil War Lecture Series Highlights Diverse Voices
The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith will host a civil war lecture series titled “Our only ‘felt’ history: New Perspectives on the U.S. Civil War” featuring leading scholars in the field throughout the semester, thanks to funding from a Research and Innovation mini-grant awarded by the UAFS provost’s office.
“This series meshes nicely with the university’s mission by making sure that that students leave UAFS with a complete understanding of the deep historical roots of contemporary U.S. issues,” said Dr. Evan C. Rothera, assistant professor of history.
“Many people fall into the trap of understanding the Civil War as all about battles and leaders,” Rothera said. “They focus on the view from headquarters and only see the long blue and gray lines marching across a field. The speakers in this series will discuss the people often ignored in older Civil War narratives – women, African Americans, Native Americans, and immigrants, and their lectures will reinforce the current work of the institution’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.”
The first lecture in the series will be delivered by Dr. Antwain K. Hunter of Butler University. His talk, “‘A number of small black boys about town had pistols in their possession’: Race, Illegal Firearms, and the Law in Antebellum North Carolina” will take place Wednesday, February 23, 2022, at 3:30 p.m. on Zoom. Though originally intended to be hosted in-person, this kickoff event has moved fully remote due to the threat of inclement weather.
Future lectures will be delivered in hybrid format with refreshments at the Windgate Art & Design building ahead of each lecture, which will be delivered in person and via Zoom.
“This is indeed a world that can and does turn on a dime, and it is easier than ever to be connected to people and places across the world,” Rothera added. “Ironically, the flood of information brought about by global communication has caused many people to turn inward. All of the speakers in this series will problematize the Civil War and remind us that we have to understand the interplay between local, state, national, and transnational phenomena to truly understand the past, and its context in the present.”
The full slate of lectures includes:
Dr. Antwain K. Hunter of Butler University
“‘A number of small black boys about town had pistols in their possession’: Race, Illegal Firearms, and the Law in Antebellum North Carolina”
3:30 p.m., Wednesday, February 23, 2022
Dr. Matthew D. Norman of the University of Cincinnati, Blue Ash College
“Knowing Him by Heart: African Americans on Abraham Lincoln”
3:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 3, 2022
Dr. Claire M. Wolnisty of Austin College
“A Different Manifest Destiny”
3 p.m. Thursday, March 31, 2022
Dr. Shae Smith Cox of Nicholls State University
“Clothed in Service: Indigenous Civil War Service, Sacrifice, and Commemoration.”
3 p.m. Wednesday, April 20, 2022
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