Monday, 24 November 2014

Will Kaufman Lecture and Performance on Woody Guthrie, November 27

This week, as part of the American Studies Research Seminar series, we are hosting an exciting talk and musical performance.  Will Kaufman, a historian and musician who has played at festivals from
Italy to Glastonbury, will be presenting on "Woody Guthrie: The Long Road to Peekskill." The event is on Thursday 27 November and starts at 5:30pm in Squires 020A (Cinema Room), near SASC.

Kaufman (Professor of American Literature and Culture at the University of Central Lancashire) describes this performance as follows:

The Long Road to Peekskill presents the story of Woody Guthrie’s personal transformation from a youthful Oklahoma racist to the ardent anti-racist champion who, along with many others, risked his life holding the line against American fascism during the notorious Peekskill riots of 1949. Conventionally known for his championing of the poor white Dust Bowl migrants, Guthrie also left an extensive body of songs condemning Jim Crow segregation, lynching and race hatred. Most of these songs were never recorded, but they are the legacy of this remarkable journey that eventually brought Guthrie into the fellowship of Lead Belly, Josh White, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee and Paul Robeson. The Long Road to Peekskill is both a harrowing and uplifting presentation, showing through the example of Woody Guthrie that racists are not born, but made - and that they can be unmade.*

Read more about Kaufman's research and teaching interests here.

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