This workshop is part of the Many Wests book series and will generate a book tentatively titled, Rising Above: Language Revitalization in the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, published by the University of Nebraska Press. The workshop is sponsored by the McCabe-Greer Professorship, Department of History, and the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center.
The McCabe Greer Manuscript Workshop with Benjamin Frey will is open by invitation only.
May History Show Us the Way: Roots of Cherokee Language Endangerment and Paths for Reclamation with Benjamin Frey
The Cherokee language represents the heart and soul of Cherokee culture. Today, with fewer than 200 first language speakers remaining among the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ population of 18,000 citizens, the language is severely endangered. In this talk, Dr. Frey discusses the many driving factors of the language’s endangerment and how to address those factors for an effective program of language revitalization.
Dr. Ben Frey is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. His research focuses on language revitalization and the link between social networks, institutional structures, and language behavior over time.
This talk is part of the Many Wests book series and will generate a book tentatively titled, Rising Above: Language Revitalization in the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, published by the University of Nebraska Press. The talk is sponsored by the McCabe-Greer Professorship, Department of History, and the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center.
Many Wests Editors: Thomas G. Andrews, Ari Kelman, Amy Lonetree, Mary E. Mendoza, Christina Snyder; Acquiring Editor: Bridget Barry
On Tuesday, April 4th, the Richards Center will welcome Dr. Holly A. Pinheiro, Jr., Assistant Professor of History at Furman University, four our final Lunchtime Talk of the semester. Dr. Pinheiro, Jr. will discuss his process of turning his completed dissertation into multiple publications, including a monograph. In his previous experience, the process of writing publications–articles, books, or blog posts–was not made clear as he navigated the academy. As part of this conversation, Dr. Pinheiro, Jr., will discuss his experiences negotiating with presses–academic and trade–in the hopes of providing transparency to graduate students and fellows. He also welcomes attendees to come with their own questions that he, to the best of his ability, will address.
This event is open to Richards Center affiliated graduate students, pre-docs, post-docs, and faculty.
On Monday, April 3rd, the Richards Center and the Penn State Department of History will host Dr. Holly A. Pinheiro, Jr., Assistant Professor of History at Furman University, for a book talk in Foster Auditorium. Dr. Pinheiro will discuss his book, The Families’ Civil War: Black Soldiers and the Fight for Racial Justice, recently published in the University of Georgia Press UnCivil Wars Series.
Dr. Pinheiro’s research focuses on the intersectionality of race, gender, and class in the military from 1850 through the 1920s. Counter to the national narrative which championed the patriotic manhood of soldiering from the Civil War through the 1920s, his research reveals that African American veterans and their families’ military experience were much more fraught. Economic and social instability introduced by military service resonated for years and even generations after soldiers left the battlefield. He has published articles in edited volumes and academic journals, in and outside of the United States. His manuscript, The Families’ Civil War: Black Soldiers and the Fight for Racial Justice, (with The University of Georgia Press in the UnCivil Wars Series) highlights how racism, in and outside of military service, impacted the bodies, economies, family structures, and social spaces of African Americans long after the war ended. His book has received rave reviews in the LA Review of Books and the Civil War Book Review. It received an honorable mention, in the Civil War Monitor, for the best Civil War book of 2022.
This event is sponsored by the Department of History, Latin American Studies, and the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center and is free and open to the public.
The Catto-LeCount Fellows Program for Equity and Inclusion exposes students to doctoral study in the discipline of history. During this three-day virtual program, Pennsylvania State University faculty and staff demystify the graduate school admissions process and educate participants about the academic profession. All expenses including course materials are provided by the university. Students also will receive a $250 stipend upon completion of the program. Penn State’s Richards Center, the Department of History, the Latina/o Studies program, and the Department of African American Studies sponsor the program in a collaborative effort to attract and enroll students from underrepresented populations.
This year’s program will be held virtually from March 23-25, 2023. Application requirements and details can be found on our Catto-LeCount Fellowship Program page.
On Thursday, March 23, 2023, historian Peniel E. Joseph will speak about the ideas in his recent book, The Third Reconstruction, which offers a powerful and personal new interpretation of recent history. The racial reckoning that unfolded in 2020, he argues, marked the climax of a Third Reconstruction: a new struggle for citizenship and dignity for Black Americans, just as momentous as the movements that arose after the Civil War and during the civil rights era.
Joseph draws revealing connections and insights across centuries as he traces this Third Reconstruction from the election of Barack Obama to the rise of Black Lives Matter to the failed assault on the Capitol. Joseph is based at the University of Texas at Austin, where he holds the following titles: Associate Dean for Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion; Professor of Public Affairs; Barbara Jordan Chair in Ethics and Political Values; Founding Director, Center for the Study of Race and Democracy.
This event is sponsored by the McCourtney Institute for Democracy and the Richards Civil War Era Center, and is free and open to the public.
Kathleen M. Brown, David Boies Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania, will deliver a closing keynote address for the Symposium on Free State Slavery entitled “Encumbering Liberty in the Shadow of Slavery” on Friday, March 17th in Weaver 102. This event is free and open to the public.
At the University of Pennsylvania, Brown is a faculty affiliate of Africana Studies, the History and Sociology of Science, the Center for Research on Feminist, Queer, and Transgender Studies, and the lead faculty historian on the Penn & Slavery Project. Brown’s research focuses on intersectional questions of race, gender, sexuality, and labor in colonial North American, Atlantic, and early U.S. contexts. She is the author of two prize-winning books, Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs: Gender, Race and Power in Colonial Virginia (1996) and Foul Bodies: Cleanliness in Early America (2009). Her most recent book, Undoing Slavery: Bodies, Race, and Rights in the Age of Abolition (February 2023, University of Pennsylvania Press), considers how the campaign to end slavery entangled activists in a complex process of undoing longstanding practices and habits of the body central to that institution.
This symposium undertakes a consideration of the question of slavery in the so-called “Free States,” presenting cutting-edge scholarship by senior, mid-career, and early career scholars. Our authors cover a range of jurisdictions across the expanding United States, using a variety of methodological tools and offering a wide breadth of theoretical insights. Each paper will focus on the symposium theme of slavery and bound labor in jurisdictions that ostensibly banned the practice. Our authors probe their topics from several different angles, and the symposium as a whole reveals both the diversity in regimes and experiences of unfree labor as well as overlaps between the forms of unfreedom African and Native Americans experienced before 1865. In addition to workshops for the pre-circulated papers, this symposium will include two keynote addresses that are open to the public.
The Symposium on Free State Slavery is organized by Kellen Heniford, Richards Center Postdoctoral Scholar; Kathleen M. Brown, David Boies Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania; and Sarah Barringer Gordon, Arlin M. Adams Professor of Constitutional Law and Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania.
Schedule of Events
Thursday, March 16, Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library
4:45pm-5:45 pm., Opening Keynote Address
- Andrew Diemer, Towson University, “The Underground Railroad and the Struggle for the ‘Free’ State of Pennsylvania”
Friday, March 17, 102 Weaver Building
Registration for lunch and to receive the pre-circulated papers is required by March 10. Please email Barby Singer at firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
9:00 am-12:50 pm, Workshop Papers
9:00am-10:10am, Richard Newman, Rochester Institute of Technology, “Making and Breaking Free State Slavery in New York”
10:20am-11:30am, Lucien Holness, Virginia Tech, “The Colonial Legacy of Western New York and Southwestern Pennsylvania in the Making of Abolition”
11:40am-12:50pm, Sarah Barringer Gordon, University of Pennsylvania, “Unlikely Freedom: Slavery, Race, and Law in Antebellum California”
1:40-4:10 pm, Workshop Papers
1:40pm-2:50pm, Mycah Conner, Penn State, “’Damnable Revelation’: Connivance, Counternarratives, and the Wartime Meaning of Free Soil Illinois”
3:00pm-4:10pm, Cory James Young, University of Nebraska – Lincoln, “Hereditary Term Slavery and the Pursuit of Restitution in Antebellum Pennsylvania”
4:15-5:15 pm, Closing Keynote Address
- Kathleen M. Brown, University of Pennsylvania, “Encumbering Liberty in the Shadow of Slavery”
Andrew Diemer, Associate Professor of History at Towson University, will deliver the opening keynote address for the Symposium on Free State Slavery entitled “The Underground Railroad and the Struggle for the ‘Free’ State of Pennsylvania” on Thursday, March 16th in Foster Auditorium. This event is free and open to the public.
Diemer has taught at Towson University since 2011. He received his PhD from Temple University and is the author of The Politics of Black Citizenship: Free African Americans in the Mid-Atlantic Borderland, 1817-1863 (Georgia, 2016) and Vigilance: The Life of William Still, Father of the Underground Railroad (Knopf, 2022).
On Friday, February 24th, we will host a hybrid manuscript workshop featuring a dissertation chapter by Edward Green, the 2022-2023 Richards Center Center and Institute Fellow. Those interested in participating should read the pre-circulated paper beforehand and be willing to participate in a constructive conversation. This event is open to Richards Center affiliated graduate students, pre-docs, post docs, and faculty.
On Thursday, February 16th, editors of the Washington Post‘s Made by History series Brian Rosenwald, Scholar in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, and Kathryn Cramer Brownell, Associate Professor, Purdue University, will join us for a hybrid workshop. This session will dig into why to write for the public — and how to do it. It will cover everything from the benefits of writing for the public to how to write various types of op-eds, to how to pitch editors and how to publicize your work both within and outside of the academy. This session will address the differences stylistically between academic and public writing and how to adapt to the new form, the benefits and downsides to social media, citations, and other elements of public scholarship as well. This event is open to Richards Center affiliated graduate students, pre-docs, post-docs, and faculty.
Manuscript Workshop for Richards Center Postdoctoral Fellow Jessica Wicks-Allen
The Richards Center is excited to host a workshop for postdoctoral fellow Jessica Wicks-Allen’s manuscript, “‘If I Am Free My Child Belongs to Me’: Black Motherhood and Mothering in the Era of Emancipation.” The Richards Center hosts these workshops for our postdoctoral fellows during their time at the Center to help prepare their manuscript for publication. As part of the workshop, we bring in two senior scholars to comment. For Jessica’s workshop, Leslie A. Schwalm, Professor Emeritus at The University of Iowa and Marie Jenkins Schwartz, Professor Emerita at The University of Rhode Island, will be joining us. This event is open to Richards Center affiliated graduate students, pre-docs, post-docs, faculty, and other invited guests.
On Friday, February 3rd, María Esther Hammock, Barra Postdoctoral Fellow at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, will join us for a research talk entitled, “Bridging Underground Railroads: Diaspora, Black Freedom, and Abolition in Mexico.”
Dr. Hammack is a Mexican scholar and public historian whose work bridges through a gender lens, the histories of liberation and abolition in North America and the Black diaspora in Mexico. Her first book, Channels of Liberation: Freedom Fighters South of Slavery, reexamines the Underground Railroad to reconsider and broaden the actors, timelines, and geographies of Black liberation in North America and the transnational experiences of Black Americans who left the United States to claim freedom in Mexican spaces.
This research talk is sponsored by the Richards Center, the Penn State Department of History, and the Latin American Studies Program.
Manuscript Workshop for Richards Center/Africana Research Center Postdoctoral Fellow Joseph Williams
The Richards Center is excited to host a workshop for Richards Center/Africana Research Postdoctoral Fellow Joseph Williams’s manuscript, “Black Club Women, the Production of Religious Thought, and the Making of an Intellectual Movement, 1854-1933.” The Richards Center organizes this workshop for our postdoctoral fellows during their time at the Center to help prepare their manuscript for publication. As part of the workshop, we invite two senior scholars to comment. For Joseph’s workshop, Dr. Barbara D. Savage, Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought at the University of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Shannen Dee Williams, Associate Professor of History at the University of Dayton, will be joining us in-person. This event is open to Richards Center affiliated graduate students, pre-docs, post-docs, faculty, and other invited guests.
In “Academic Publishing in the Wake of COVID: What’s Changed, and What Hasn’t,” Robert Lockhart will share the detailed ins and outs of publishing in our current situation. As we begin to emerge from the pandemic and its related campus shutdowns and conference cancellations, what’s changed in how authors approach publishers and how publishers do their work, and what hasn’t? Topics to be discussed include how to approach prospective publishers and pitch your work, how to talk to an editor and what to talk about, and what happens after submission of a book proposal and after submission of a manuscript, among others. Attendees are encouraged to bring questions, both general and specific. This event is open to Richards Center affiliated graduate students, pre-docs, post-docs, and faculty.
Robert Lockhart is Senior Editor at the University of Pennsylvania Press, where, for more than 20 years, he has acquired books in U.S. history. Areas of particular interest include Atlantic history, politics and culture, and African American studies. Books he has published have won awards from numerous professional associations, most recently the Organization of American Historians, the American Historical Association, the Western History Association, and the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.
“The Troubled History of Epidemiology: How Slavery, Colonialism and War Transformed Medicine” with Jim Downs
The Richards Center is pleased to be co-sponsoring, alongside the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, this event featuring Dr. Jim Downs of Gettysburg College. A historian of slavery and medicine, Dr. Downs will be presenting research from his latest book Maladies of Empire: How Colonialism, Slavery, and War Transformed Medicine (Harvard University Press, 2021).
This event is both in person in Foster Auditorium and will be live-streamed here.
Memory of War: The Seventeenth Century and the US Civil War
Dr. Aaron Sheehan-Dean, the Fred C. Frey Professor at Louisiana State University, will deliver the 2022 Steven and Janice Brose Distinguished Lectures.
Thursday, November 3, 5pm EDT, Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library: Why the Civil War Happened
Friday, November 4, 5pm EDT, Mann Assembly, 103 Paterno Library: Managing Civil War
Saturday, November 5, 4pm EDT, Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library: What Civil Wars Mean
Dr. Sheehan-Dean’s lectures will explore how Americans’ historical consciousness shaped the Civil War. In particular, he will focus on how people remembered and analogized the English Civil Wars (or the Wars of the Three Nations) with their own conflict. Northerners and Southerners both made use of history, albeit in contrasting ways, and Northerners argued among themselves. From the war’s origins to its final moments, Americans drew on history to contest the legitimacy of rebellion, how to fight a civil conflict, and what the meant.
Aaron Sheehan-Dean is the Fred C. Frey Professor of Southern Studies and chairman of the History Department at Louisiana State University. He teaches courses on nineteenth-century U.S. history, the Civil War and Reconstruction, and Southern History. He is the author of the award-winning The Calculus of Violence: How Americans Fought the Civil War, Why Confederates Fought: Family and Nation in Civil War Virginia, and most recently Reckoning with Rebellion: War and Sovereignty in the Nineteenth Century.
The 2022 Brose Lectures are co-sponsored by the Richards Center and Penn State University Libraries.
Read more about the Steven and Janice Brose Distinguished Lecture and Book Series
The missing ingredient in American democracy is political equality, the idea that all citizens are of equal weight, even if they aren’t of equal voice. It’s not just that political equality is essential if Americans ever hope to realize the potential of their democracy, but that the absence of political equality from our institutions is part of what has warped our political system into something which struggles to express our democratic values.
Jamelle Bouie, a columnist for the New York Times and political analyst for CBS News, covers U.S. politics, public policy, elections, and race. His political instincts provide audiences with unique insight on the past, present, and future of our national politics, policy, and the state of race relations.
The event will take place at the State Theatre (130 W College Ave, State College 16801) and online. Registration is required to attend virtually and in person.
“Why the Founding Fathers Still Matter” is sponsored by the Richards Center and the McCourtney Institute for Democracy.
Keeping with the semester theme of writing, the October Lunchtime Discussion will feature Gerald Horne for an informal conversation to reflect on his prolific career and his practices as a scholar. The discussion will be moderated by Richards Center postdoctoral fellow Mycah Conner. This event is open to Richards Center affiliated graduate students, pre-docs, post-docs, and faculty.
Gerald Horne, Moores Professor of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston, has published three dozen books including most recently, The Counter-Revolution of 1836: Texas Slavery & Jim Crow and the Roots of U.S. Fascism (International Publishers, May 2022).
His research has addressed issues of racism in a variety of relations involving labor, politics, civil rights, international relations, and war. He has also written extensively about the film industry. Dr. Horne received his Ph.D. in history from Columbia University, his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and his B.A. from Princeton University.
On Tuesday, October 11th, Richards Center affiliates are invited to participate in a manuscript workshop featuring predoctoral fellow Michael Haggerty. Those interested in participating should read the pre-circulated paper beforehand and be willing to participate in a constructive conversation. This event is open to Richards Center affiliated graduate students, pre-docs, post-docs, and faculty.
On Tuesday, September 27th, Richards Center affiliates are invited to participate in a manuscript workshop featuring predoctoral fellow Lauren Feldman. Those interested in participating should read the pre-circulated paper beforehand and be willing to participate in a constructive conversation. This event is open to Richards Center affiliated graduate students, pre-docs, post-docs, and faculty.
On Saturday, September 17th, Richards Center affiliates are invited to join Dr. Gregory Downs and Dr. Kate Masur, editors of The Journal of the Civil War Era, to workshop papers with the contributors to an upcoming special issue of the Journal entitled “Asia and the United States in the Civil War Era.” Those who register for the event are expected t0 read the pre-circulated papers and be respectful of the collaborative dialogue between the volume’s contributors. This event is open to Richards Center affiliated graduate students, pre-docs, post-docs, and faculty.
During this Lunchtime Discussion, editors of The Journal of the Civil War Era, Gregory Downs and Kate Masur, will join members of the Richards Center community for an informal discussion about their own research and writing processes as well as their work as journal editors. This event is open to Richards Center affiliated graduate students, pre-docs, post-docs, and faculty.
Gregory Downs is a professor of history at University of California, Davis and the author of three books of history, most recently The Second American Revolution: The Civil War-Era Struggle over Cuba and the Rebirth of the American Republic. He also published a prize-winning book of short stories.
Kate Masur is the Board of Visitors Professor of History at Northwestern University. She’s currently working with illustrator Liz Clarke on a graphic history of Reconstruction in the Washington, D.C., region. Her recent book, Until Justice Be Done: America’s First Civil Rights Movement, from the Revolution to Reconstruction (W.W. Norton 2021), was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for History, won the John Nau Prize, and was named a New York Times Critic’s Pick for 2021.
Downs and Masur have collaborated on three amicus briefs for federal courts, including to the U.S. Supreme Court in the current affirmative action case, and a report to the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. They co-authored the National Historic Landmarks theme study “The Era of Reconstruction, 1861-1900” for the National Park Service, co-edited The World the Civil War Made (UNC Press 2015); and currently serve as editors of The Journal of the Civil War Era.
On Tuesday, September 13, 2022, Dr. Brian Luskey, Professor of History at West Virginia University, will deliver “Mercenaries or Patriots? Bounty Men in the Union Army,” for an event sponsored by the Richards Center and organized in conjunction with the Central Pennsylvania Civil War Round Table. The lecture will take place from 7:00pm to 8:00pm at the Pennsylvania Military Museum in Boalsburg and is free and open to the public.
Dr. Luskey is the author of two books, On the Make: Clerks and the Quest for Capital in Nineteenth-Century America (New York University Press, 2010) and Men is Cheap: Exposing the Frauds of Free Labor in Civil War America (University of North Carolina Press, 2020). At West Virginia University, he teaches courses on antebellum and Civil War America, Abraham Lincoln, American cultural history, and the history of capitalism.
Lunchtime Discussion with Heather Ann Thompson – Open to Richards Center affiliated graduate students, post-docs, and faculty
Histories of Healing: An Africana Symposium on Movement and Wellness Plenary Discussion
The symposium plenary discussion, “A Way of Life: Practitioner Reflections on Movement” will be moderated by Dr. Kathyrn Sophia Belle, chaired by Dr. Jamie Lee Anderson, and will include Ericka Huggins, Dr. Darlene DeFour, Dr. Germon Moriniere Bey, and Nitanju Bolade Casel. – Open to the public
Co-sponsored by the Richards Civil War Era Center and the Africana Research Center, and organized by Dr. Maryam K. Aziz, Richards Center & African Research Center Postdoctoral Fellow, this Works-in-Progress Paper Symposium will be held virtually on Thursday, April 28 and Friday, April 29, 2022. The theme is “Histories of Healing: An Africana Symposium on Movement and Wellness.” African-descended folks in the Americas have always given serious thought to what activities and materials human beings need to live full lives. Developing strategies to heal and feel well, mentally and physically, reoccurred in Black community building and organizing during the 20th century. Considerations about how to thrive and find joy under systems of oppression centered diverse practices of body movement that were intimately connected to mental and spiritual wellness.
This symposium focuses on connecting scholars whose research provides new thoughts on histories of Black bodies in motion as healing. Practices of African- and Asian descended-movements proliferated the decades that preceded, encompassed, and followed the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements. Papers will flesh out how movement practices such as karate, yoga, diving, and bachata animated Black life while forcing practitioners to grapple with questions of Diaspora, U.S. cultural imperialism, racial formation, gender, and sexuality. Selected papers will move beyond theorizations of the “body” to explore the myriad ways that historicizing Black peoples’ attention to, and love of movement, captures the relationship of ease and embodiment to “Blackness.” Overall, this symposium aims to bridge the scholarly divide that can separate diverse movement practices and parse out the relationship between the written archive, the oral archive, and the archives inscribed in the techniques passed down in arts of movements.
Histories of Healing: An Africana Symposium on Movement and Wellness Keynote Address
Dr. Jasmine Johnson will deliver the symposium keynote address, “An Ephemeral Sum: Black Dance, Conferral, and the Question of Healing” – Open to the public
Lunchtime Discussion with Premilla Nadasen – Open to Richards Center affiliated graduate students, post-docs, and faculty
RCWEC Community Manuscript Workshop with Sasha Coles – Open to Richards Center affiliated graduate students, post-docs, and faculty
Lunchtime Discussion with Jonathan Gienapp – Open to Richards Center affiliated graduate students, post-docs, and faculty
RCWEC Community Manuscript Workshop with Cathleen Cahill – Open to Richards Center affiliated graduate students, post-docs, and faculty
Ariel Ron Author-Meets-Readers with Sally McMurry, Matthew Karp, and Gautham Rao, moderated by Emma Teitelman – Open to the public
Lunchtime Discussion with Karlos Hill – Open to Richards Center affiliated graduate students, post-docs, and faculty
Please join the Richards Center for the first in a new series of virtual book conversations on Wednesday, December 1 at 4pm EST. The 75-minute conversation will feature editors Sean Morey Smith and Christopher Willoughby, and contributors Rana Hogarth, Elise Mitchell, and Deirdre Cooper Owens on the new book, Medicine and Healing in the Age of Slavery. Former Richards Center Postdoctoral Fellow Sasha Turner will moderate the discussion.
RCWEC Community Manuscript Workshop with Emma Teitelman – Open to Richards Center affiliated graduate students, post-docs, and faculty
Lunchtime Discussion with Whitney Martinko – Open to Richards Center affiliated graduate students, post-docs, and faculty
Shakespeare Fights the Civil War
Dr. Sarah E. Gardner, Distinguished University Professor of History at Mercer University, will deliver the 2021 Steven and Janice Brose Distinguished Lectures. The lectures will take place on Zoom.
Thursday, October 14, 5:30 p.m. EDT: Political Speech and the Rhetoric of War
Friday, October 15, 5:30 p.m. EDT: Shakespeare at War
Saturday, October 16, 4:00 p.m. EDT: National Identity and Cultural Affinity
These lectures examine how warring parties engaged Shakespeare during America’s deadliest conflict. Shakespeare spoke to the cultural and political moment like no other figure. Macbeth and Julius Caesar had something to say about tyranny. The Tempest and Richard II offered a meditation on usurpation. And Henry V and Richard III told of war and its effects on those who waged it. What’s more, Shakespeare played a critical role in the nationalist strivings of both the Union and the Confederacy. Just as each warring party posited itself as the rightful inheritor of the Founding Fathers’ vision, both harkened back to Shakespeare in a similar fashion and for similar reasons. Finally, Civil War-era Americans also turned to Shakespeare for universal truths. Shakespeare, they believed, spoke to abiding concerns, such as the soul of genius, the power of the imagination, and of the heroic individual’s ability to determine an event’s outcome. By elucidating how Unionists and Confederates interpreted Shakespeare and, in turn, how Shakespeare shaped their understanding of war, these lectures reveal how the war’s participants turned to Shakespeare to articulate and justify what they thought and felt about the war and its attendant consequences.
Dr. Sarah E. Gardner is Distinguished University Professor of History at Mercer University, Macon, Georgia. Her work focuses on the cultural and intellectual history the Civil War era through the early decades of the twentieth century. She is the author of Blood and Irony: Southern White Women’s Narratives of the Civil War, 1861-1937 and Reviewing the South: The Literary Marketplace and the Southern Renaissance, 1920-1941. Most recently she has co-edited with Natalie J. Ring, The Lost Lectures of C. Vann Woodward and, with Steven M. Stowe, Insiders, Outsiders: Toward a New History of Southern Thought.
Op-ed Workshop with Brian Rosenwald and Kathryn Brownell from the Washington Post‘s Made by History series – Open to Richards Center affiliated graduate students, post-docs, and faculty
In 2020, the Supreme Court held in McGirt v. Oklahoma that the boundaries of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation remained and therefore Oklahoma lacked criminal jurisdiction over crimes involving tribal citizens. The ruling has since been extended to include the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Seminole Nations. In a virtual format, the panelists will discuss the impact of this decision on the Five Tribes and explore its implications for other Native nations as well. Each speaker will consider some of the ways Native Nations are considering the promises and potentially unfulfilled possibilities at the end of the trail.
Stacy Leeds (Cherokee Nation), is the Foundation Professor of Law and Leadership at Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University and Dean Emeritus of University of Arkansas College of Law. Leeds is a former Justice on the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court and former Chairperson of the Cherokee Nation Gaming Commission. She is currently a district court judge for Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
Doug Kiel (Oneida Nation), is an Assistant Professor of History at Northwestern University. He recently published the article “Nation v. Municipality: Indigenous Land Recovery, Settler Resentment, and Taxation on the Oneida Reservation” in NAIS, a case that ended favorably for the Oneida Nation in part because of the McGirt decision. He is currently working on a book manuscript entitled “Unsettling Territory: Oneida Indian Resurgence and Anti-Sovereignty Backlash.”
Chief Ben Barnes (Shawnee Tribe) currently serves the Shawnee Tribe as the elected chief of the Tribal Council. He has also served as the Director of Tribal Gamingfor Miami Nation Enterprises. He advocates for language and cultural preservation. He is the co-author of “Salvaging the Salvage Anthropologists: Erminie Wheeler-Voegelin, Carl Voegelin, and the Future of Ethnohistory,” which articulates an important call to scholars to collaborate with Native nations whenever possible.
Lunchtime Discussion with Alaina Roberts – Open to Richards Center affiliated graduate students, post-docs, and faculty
RCWEC Community Manuscript Workshop with Jonathan Jones – Open to Richards Center affiliated graduate students, post-docs, and faculty
Lunchtime Discussion with Kanisorn Wongsrichanalai – Open to Richards Center affiliated graduate students, post-docs, and faculty
Lunchtime Discussion with Michelle Krowl – Open to Richards Center affiliated graduate students, post-docs, and faculty
Dr. Lorien Foote, Patricia & Bookman Peters Professor in History at Texas A&M University, will deliver the 2019 Steven and Janice Brose Distinguished Lectures. The lectures will take place on October 24, 25, and 26 in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, and are free and open to the public. This lecture series is sponsored by the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center at Penn State through the generosity of an endowment by Steven and Janice Brose.
Thursday, October 24, 6:00pm EDT: “The Sternest Feature of War”: The Ritual of Retaliation
Friday, October 25, 6:00p, EDT: Barbarians in a Civilized War: Retaliation and Servile Insurrection
Saturday, October 26, 4:00pm: “Present Difficulty and Future Danger”: Retaliation and Free Black POWs
The three lectures will cover civilization and savagery in the American Civil War, retaliation, and the conduct of campaigns. Every military campaign of the American Civil War included a ritual of retaliation. In these incidents, a commander charged his opponent with violating the customs of civilized warfare among western nations. The commander stated that if he did not receive a satisfactory response to his charge, he would retaliate, often threatening to execute prisoners of war that had been set aside for the purpose. During these negotiations, military commanders and the Lincoln and Davis administrations drew the lines that they believed should not be crossed in civilized warfare. Retaliation shaped how the Union and the Confederacy conducted their military campaigns, yet there has been no scholarly study of the practice. The Brose Lectures will use the rituals of retaliation to help the audience understand the cultural construct of “civilization” in the nineteenth century and its relationship to military practice in the Civil War.
Dr. Foote is the Patricia & Bookman Peters Professor in History at Texas A&M University. She is the author of four books on the American Civil War and numerous articles and essays. Her books include The Yankee Plague: Escaped Union Prisoners and the Collapse of the Confederacy (2016), which was a 2017 Choice Outstanding Academic Title, and The Gentlemen and the Roughs: Manhood, Honor, and Violence in the Union Army (2010), which was a finalist and Honorable Mention for the 2011 Lincoln Prize. In addition to numerous publications, her digital humanities project Fugitive Generals: A Digital Investigation of Escaped Union Prisoners maps the escape and movement of 3000 Federal prisoners of war. She is the co-editor, along with Earl J. Hess, of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of the Civil War.
The post-Civil War world witnessed an explosion of rights demands by a wide range of women—more than at any point in U.S. history. Yet we have little history of this. Instead, the conventional story focuses on women’s suffrage as the main event, eclipsing the many other rights campaigns women launched. This workshop aims to foreground those other rights demands and spur new thinking about how we might narrate this complex expansion in women’s claims upon dignity and equality.
On Friday, September 20 and Saturday September 21, 2019, the Richards Center, along with the Department of African American Studies, the Africana Research Center, the Department of History, the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Penn State University Libraries, hosted Women’s Rights and the Post-Civil War World. Tera Hunter delivered the keynote lecture, “‘Confronted by Both a Woman Question and a Race Problem’: African American Women, Slavery, and Post-Civil War Rights” on Friday evening the Foster Auditorium. Scholars, including Lori Ginzberg, Kimberley Reilly, Charlene J. Fletcher, Tiffany Hale, Cathleen Cahill, Lauren MacIvor Thompson, Felicity Turner, and Lisa Tetrault, gathered on Saturday to share and discuss papers with workshop participants.
Dr. Stephen Kantrowitz, Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will deliver the 2018 Steven and Janice Brose Distinguished Lectures. The three lectures, entitled Citizenship and Civilization: A Ho-Chunk History of the Civil War Era, will take place on November 1, 2, and 3 in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, and are free and open to the public. This lecture series is sponsored by the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center at Penn State through the generosity of an endowment by Steven and Janice Brose.
Thursday, November 1, 6:00 p.m.: Hiding in Plain Sight: Native Americans and the History of American Citizenship
Friday, November 2, 6:00pm: “The Habits and Customs of Civilization”: Citizenship and Belonging in the Ho-Chunk Diaspora
Saturday, November 3, 4:00 p.m.: Conquered Citizens: Ho-Chunks and Settlers in Post-Removal Teejop
This lecture series will ask, how did Native Americans shape the emergence of national citizenship in the 1860s, and how did national citizenship reshape Indian life? How were jurisdiction and allegiance in the Civil War era mediated by notions of “civilization”? Citizenship and Civilization explores these questions through the removal, diaspora, defiance, and creativity of Wisconsin’s Ho-Chunk people, the settlers who sought to displace them, and the officials and politicians who oversaw the confusing and often violent world of the mid-nineteenth-century Midwest.
Dr. Kantrowitz is Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where his scholarship and teaching focus on race, politics, and citizenship in the nineteenth century. His publications include More Than Freedom: Fighting for Black Citizenship in a White Republic, 1829-1889 (Penguin, 2012), which was a finalist for both the Lincoln Prize and the Frederick Douglass Prize; Ben Tillman and the Reconstruction of White Supremacy (UNC Press, 2000), which won several scholarly awards and was a New York Times Notable Book; articles in The Journal of American History, Boston Review, and other periodicals; and an edited collection on the history of African American Freemasonry, All Men Free and Brethren (Cornell University Press, 2013). He has been a Fulbright Distinguished Chair of American Studies at the University of Southern Denmark, a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and an OAH Distinguished Lecturer. He is currently a Senior Fellow at UW-Madison’s Institute for Research in the Humanities.
McCabe Greer Manuscript Workshop with Patricia Marroquin Norby, Water, Bones, and Bombs: Twentieth Century American Indian Art and Environmental Conflict in the Southwest
In 2017, the Richards Center partnered with the Department of African American Studies and the Penn State Libraries to host a two-day conference titled Rethinking Violence in African American History: History, Memory, Trauma. Nan Woodruff, Professor of African American Studies and Modern U.S. History, organized the conference, which grew out of her research into the legacies of racist violence since the Civil Rights era. The conference explored the impact of racial violence from Reconstruction through Jim Crow segregation and from the Civil Rights movement to the present. Participants included social activists, Penn State faculty, and visiting scholars from the fields of history, anthropology, political science, and law whose collective work expose the historical dimensions of racial violence in U.S. history and the terror it created. Associate Professor of History and African American Studies Crystal Sanders, Richards Center director and Ferree Professor of Middle American History William Blair, and Woodruff presented papers drawn from their current book projects. Margaret Burnham, University Distinguished Professor of Law at the Northeastern University School of Law, delivered the keynote address, “Racial Violence, Rendition, and Radical Lawyering: 1930-1960.” Dianna Freelon-Foster, a longtime Civil Rights activist, gave the closing address, advocating for the use of history to effect social change in the present.
The conference comes at a time of growing public discourse over racism in state violence and the criminal justice system. Dr. Woodruff noted that “racial violence has been central to U.S. history since the founding of a country built on African slavery. The legacies of racial violence and terror continue to resonate in our society as revealed in the persistence of state violence, the incarceration state, and growing racial inequality.” Rethinking Violence in African American History places the contemporary discourse on racial and state violence in a historical context and focuses on the recovery of the legacy of violence and trauma that can be found in the historical memories of African American communities, families, and individuals.
Remaking North American Sovereignty: Towards a Continental History of State Transformation in the Mid-Nineteenth Century
In 2015 the Richards Center joined with the University of Calgary in organizing an international conference, Remaking North American Sovereignty: Towards a Continental History of State Transformation in the Mid-Nineteenth Century. The conference took place from July 30 to August 1 at Canada’s renowned Banff Centre, an incubator for artistic, cultural, and intellectual projects. Convening amidst the 150th anniversaries of the end of the U.S. Civil War (1865), Canadian Confederation (1867), the restoration of the Mexican Republic (1867), and the prosecution of wars and signing of treaties between these states and Native Americans, the conference discussed shared patterns of change that remade the North American map in the 1860s. More than 60 leading scholars attended from Canada, England, Mexico, and the United States to pioneer a hemispheric approach to studying the profound social, political, and governmental transformations that took place throughout the continent in the Civil War era. As the conference organizers explained, the event allowed scholars the opportunity to examine “the real interconnections across the continent” to see “an inter-related struggle to re-define the relationship of North Americans to new governments.” Plans are under way to publish material from the conference in various venues, including in a special issue of The Journal of the Civil War Era titled Crises of Sovereignty in the 1860s.
Co-sponsor Frank Towers, Associate Professor of History at the University of Calgary, noted that “the event exceeded expectations for all involved” and thanked the Richards Center for “playing the lead role in funding the conference” and making it possible.
The Richards Center’s co-sponsorship of the conference was made possible through the NEH’s We the People challenge grant.
The World the Civil War Made, a groundbreaking conference on Reconstruction, served as the 2013 Brose Lectures. The conference brought fifteen leading scholars of the Civil War era to University Park to bring fresh insights to our study of Reconstruction. Marking the 25th anniversary of the publication of Eric Foner’s trailblazing work, Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, the conference assessed a generation of Reconstruction scholarship inspired by Foner’s book and its emphasis on the revolutionary transformations of the post-war period. By wrestling with the concepts of revolutionary change and continuity, the conference provoked well-developed debates that challenged conventional understandings of Reconstruction and its legacy, while laying out pathways for future research.
Pulitzer and Bancroft Prize winning historian Steven Hahn kicked off the conference with a keynote address that reconsidered the extent of change and the persistence of continuity occasioned by Reconstruction.
The conference participants’ revised and expanded papers subsequently appeared in The World the Civil War Made, edited by Gregory Downs and Kate Masur. The twelve essays collected in the volume explore how Reconstruction re-shaped politics and governance throughout the nation following the Civil War. The World the Civil War Made was published in September 2015 by the University of North Carolina Press as part of The Steven and Janice Brose Distinguished Lecture Book Series.