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Friday, 10 October 2014

Exploring American Histories: A Survey Text for the Twentieth-first Century, October 15

Randall Stephens

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Here's the new poster for the 2014-15 American Studies Events and Research Seminars.  (See the picture at the bottom of the poster from the Selma to Montgomery March, 1965.)

I'd especially like to draw attention to the first in the American Studies Seminar series, co-sponsored with History.
On Wednesday, October 15 we have the pleasure to host Nancy A. Hewitt (Rutgers University) and Steven F. Lawson (Rutgers University) who will be speaking on: "Exploring American Histories: A Survey Text for the Twentieth-first Century," at 4:30pm in Lipman 033.

Says Professor Hewitt of her research and writing:

My interests include American women's history, nineteenth century U.S. history, women's activism in all its wonderful variety, women and work, the interplay of race and class with sex/gender, religion and reform, and feminism in comparative perspective. I am currently rethinking the grand narrative of American women's early political history--from Seneca Falls to suffrage--by placing the events of the period in a more global context and by taking seriously the versions of woman's rights embraced by African Americans, workers, immigrants, and American Indians. I am also working on a biography of nineteenth-century radical activist, Amy Post.

Says Professor Lawson:

My main areas of research have been the history of the civil rights movement, especially the expansion of black voting rights and black politics. My major publications include: Black Ballots: Voting Rights in the South, 1944-1969; In Pursuit of Power: Southern Blacks and Electoral Politics, 1965-1982; Running for Freedom: Civil Rights and Black Politics in America Since 1941; and Debating the Civil Rights Movement (with Charles Payne). I have also written about the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson and his civil rights programs. I am also interested in the connection between civil rights and the political culture the late 1950s and early 1960s. In this vein, I have done research on civil rights, fear of conspiracies, rock ‘n’ roll, and the Payola Scandal of 1959-60.

The presentation "Exploring American Histories" next Wednesday will:

focus on the intellectual challenges faced by scholars in the humanities when they move from writing monographs and research articles to work on university level text books. But it also will consider the potential reciprocal benefits of that relationship. How might working with big themes and having to distill complex narratives and arguments feed back into good, innovative scholarship?  How does teaching inform the ways that scholars compose general text books?  How does the process of writing these differ from the process of writing monographs?

The talks will be followed by a Q&A session.

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