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Evenings with History

Evenings with History

The 2015-2016 Series

The University History Institute

You have a unique opportunity to share in the excitement of historical discovery through the twenty-seventh annual Evenings with History series.

The Evenings with History series, sponsored by the University History Institute, features presentations by UALR faculty members sharing their current research. Although these talks are aimed at a general audience, each offers insight into the real workings of historical scholarship. The nationally-recognized series covers a variety of times, areas, and subjects. Many of the presentations illuminate current affairs. The format also allows for questions and discussion.

This year’s lecture series focuses on a wide variety of topics. You can learn how Augustus created the Roman Empire, look at the factors that have influenced modern political movements in the Middle East, consider how lynching restored white supremacy in the post-Reconstruction South, discover how Bonnie Prince Charlie helped to scar the French monarchy, find out what caused the decline of progressive unions in the 1930s and 1940s, and revisit the Rockefeller Years in Arkansas on the fiftieth anniversary of Winthrop Rockefeller’s inauguration as governor.

The six sessions of the 2015-2016 Evenings with History series will be held on the first Tuesday of October, the second Tuesday of November, and the first Tuesday of December in 2014. The 2015 sessions will be on the first Tuesdays of February, March, and April. This year’s meetings will be held at the Ottenheimer Auditorium in the Historic Arkansas Museum at 200 E. Third Street in Little Rock.  Historic Arkansas’s downtown location and the museum’s adjacent parking lot at Third and Cumberland make the sessions convenient and pleasant to attend. Refreshments and an informal atmosphere encourage the interchange of ideas.  Refreshments are served at 7:00 p.m., and the talk begins at 7:30 p.m.

Come experience the joy of history in a truly historic setting!

An individual subscription to the series, at $50 annually, includes these benefits:

–Admission to all six lectures.

A joint subscription to the series, at $90 annually, offers couples and friends a savings of $10.

A Fellow of the Institute, at $250 annually, receives admission to the six lectures plus an invitation to special presentations for Fellows only. This often includes a private evening with a noted author.

The Institute also offers a Life Membership at $1,000.

Subscribers to the series help support historical research.  The presenters donate their time, and the University History Institute uses all proceeds from the series to encourage research at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.  In recent years annual Institute grants, made possible by the Evenings with History series, have made major purchases of historical research materials for UALR.  Subscriptions and donations to the Institute are tax deductible as allowed by law.

2015-2016 Evenings with History Series.

October 6 –  Edward Anson, “The Augustan Transformation of Ancient Rome.”

Augustus, grandnewphew, adopted son, and heir of Gaius Julius Caesar, founded the Roman Empire and was its first Emperor.  In this talk Dr. Anson shows how Augustus gained control of the state while at the same time appearing to maintain Republican traditions and serve the needs of the people.  His creation of institutions brought him power but at the same time also solved problems that had long festered during the Republic.  While his adoptive father brought about the end of the Republic, it was the adoptive son who created the governmental structure known as the Empire.

November 3 –  Clea Hupp, “Tribalism, Sectarianism, and Political Islam.”

Current events in the Middle East are rooted in the politics of the 20th century.  Communism, nationalism, and imperialism left a footprint on the region and shaped the recent conflicts of the area.  To what extent do cultural factors like tribalism and sectarianism influence the people of the Middle East, and how do they intersect with politics?  Dr. Hupp will look at the struggle between secularism and political Islam, and how the philosophical trends of the region have influenced political movements.

December 1 – Vincent Vinikas, “Abolition as Aberration:  Lynching as Insurgency.”

Although the Constitution of the United States was amended to forbid slavery in 1865, to extend citizenship to blacks in 1867, and to enfranchise black voters in 1870, these achievements were soon mitigated.  Although the 13th and 15 amendments were relatively easy to undo through state laws, the denial of due process of law and equal protection of the law posed a more difficult challenge to Southern folkways.  Unlike disfranchisement, segregation, and peonage, equal protection of the law could not be abridged through legal channels.  In the afterglow of the abolition of slavery, a social institution that regulated Southern life for centuries, a new folk custom emerged to offer convincing proof to blacks and whites that blacks existed beyond the law.  In this lecture Dr. Vinikas argues that individual examples of lynching cannot be understood by looking for rational patterns of cause and effect; one must look instead at the phenomenon as a whole to grasp the counter-revolutionary function that these gruesome public spectacles served in restoring white supremacy to the South.

February 2 –  Thomas Kaiser, “The Drama of Prince Charlie and French Political Protest, 1745-1750.”

Surely one of the most colorful and irresponsible of all the Stuart princes, Bonnie Prince Charlie, had a major, if brief impact on French politics in the mid-18th century.  Dr. Kaiser’s presentation shows how the dissolute prince, after failing to capture the British throne by means of a French-backed invasion, returned to France to organize a very un-French publicity campaign to win government support for a second effort.  When instead of subsidizing another invasion, the French government would up arresting and exiling Bonnie Prince Charlie, supporters of the Prince unleashed a vicious attack on the French king and his mistress Mme de Pompadour for betraying the popular “hero,” an attack that would leave lasting scars on the French monarchy.

March 1 –  Charles Romney, “The American State and the Defeat of Progressive Unions in the 1940s.”

Progressive unions flourished in the 1930s by working alongside federal agencies created during the New Deal.  Yet in 1950, few progressive unions remained.  Why?  Most scholars point to domestic anti-communism and southern conservatives in Congress as the forces that diminished the New Deal state, eliminated progressive unions, and destroyed the radical potential of American liberalism.  Dr. Romney, in this talk, explores the reasons why historians have focused on progressive unions in the 1930s and 1940s and explains the existing interpretations of their decline.  He also provides a new answer to this scholarly question, arguing that anti-communism and congressional conservatism merely intensified the main reason for the decline of progressive unions;  The New Deal state’s focus on legal procedure.

April 5 – John Kirk, “Winthrop Rockefeller:  A Fiftieth Anniversary Reflection.”

In 1966, Winthrop Rockefeller was elected Arkansas’s  first Republican governor in over ninety years.  Fifty years later, although we know a good deal about Rockefeller’s time in office from 1967-1971, much of his life and career beyond remains an untold and unexplored story.  Dr. Kirk, in this presentation, sketches an overview of Rockefeller’s life including the little known events of his New York years, his move to Arkansas in 1953, his work as chair of the Arkansas Industrial Development Commission (AIDC), and his political campaigns in the gubernatorial elections of 1964, 1966, 1968, and 1970.  He also provides an assessment of Rockefeller’s governorship and his ongoing legacy in state politics after holding office and his untimely death in 1973.

About the University History Institute

The University History Institute, a nonprofit Arkansas corporation, is an organization of private citizens interested in history and in community support for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.  The officers and board of directors of the Institute represent a cross section of the Central Arkansas community. At present they are:

Craig Berry, President

Dr. Joe Bates, Vice President

Lee Johnson, Treasurer

Frederick Ursery, Secretary

Robert Adams             Judge Ellen Brantley

Kathryn Fitzhugh        Anne Fulk

Dr. Betty Hathaway   Bob McKuin

Dr. Bobby Roberts      Elaine Scott

Dr. Robert Sherer        Dr. David Stricklin

Dr. Allan Ward

All funds collected by the University History Institute are used to further historical research at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.  The UALR Foundation Fund is also a nonprofit Arkansas corporation and holds U. S. Internal Revenue Service tax-exempt status.  For additional information about the Institute, call (501) 569-3235.

Please consider subscribing to the University History Institute’s Evenings with History series at the Fellow ($250), Life ($1,000), or Corporate Sponsor ($250 minimum) levels. Members at this level receive special benefits. In addition to membership in the Evenings with History subscription series for a donor and guests, Fellows and Life members are invited to sessions held for them only.

Special sessions for Fellows and Life members include an annual event held in the Arkansas Studies Institute and other events held in a variety of locations. These delightful and intimate occasions involve a brief presentation by a special guest, and then an open discussion among everyone.  It’s a kind of history-in-the-making that is a rare opportunity.  The Fellow and Life member events usually feature distinguished scholars or, in many cases, significant historical figures themselves. In the past, that has included noted author Dee Brown; UALR law professor Lynn Foster; celebrated journalist Ernie Dumas; former Senator David Pryor; early Clinton observer Steve Smith; Native American Press collector Dan Littlefield; and others.


If you’re interested in becoming a major donor, contact any officer or board member of the University History Institute or write or call us at:

University History Institute

2801 South University Avenue

Little Rock, Arkansas 72204-1099

(501) 569-3235

FAX: (501) 569-3059

A Thank You to Corporate Sponsors for the 2014-2015 Season.

The generosity of Friday, Eldredge, & Clark and the Union Pacific Railroad help make these lectures possible. Thanks also for support and gifts in kind from the Ottenheimer Library, University of Arkansas at Little Rock; Historic Arkansas Museum, a museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage; UALR Public Radio—KUAR-KLRE; UALR public television; and Grapevine Spirits. Also a special thanks to the Museum of the Confederacy for the use of the image of the David O. Dodd window

Please return this form, along with your check, to:

University History Institute

UALR, 2801 South University Avenue

Little Rock, Arkansas  72204-1099

I would like to become a subscriber to Evenings with History, the UALR History Seminar Series, for the 2014-15 year.

Name: _______________________________________________________

Mailing address: ____________________________________________


Email:  ___________________________________________________

Telephone numbers:  (home) ___________ (business)____________

__ Individual Subscription                             $    50.

__ Joint Subscription                          $    90.

__ Fellow of the Institute                   $   250.

__ Life Member                                  $1,000.

AMOUNT ENCLOSED          $_____

Checks should be made payable to

“UALR Foundation Fund: University History Institute.”

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Union Pacific




Updated 9.17.2015