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Evenings with History

Evenings with History

The 2014-2015 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 society twists history to meet changing social needs with stories of David O. Dodd, the Boy Martyr of Arkansas, and the Battle of the Alamo and the fight for Texas Independence; discover how Little Rock’s neighborhood patterns of racial separation emerged; get to know how the lives of powerless people in the Dutch colonies in American can be uncovered; consider the Chinese Cultural Revolution and the reasons why it is remembered in diverse ways; and examine the 1960s fight for voting rights through the eyes of everyday people involved in this movement.

The six sessions of the 2014-2015 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.

2014-2015 Evenings with History Series.

October 7 –  Carl Moneyhon, “David O. Dodd: A Legend Emerges.”

One hundred and fifty years ago this year, David O. Dodd, convicted of spying for the Confederacy, was executed outside his old school in Little Rock. In the years that followed, the story of this seventeen-year-old’s death steadily changed, with new and usually undocumented additions. Today it is difficult to separate facts from the legend that has emerged. This talk examines the development of the legend, showing the facts of the story, then the additions. A major focus of the talk is an examination of when and who added to the legend and the purposes that lay behind these alterations.

November 11 –  John Kirk and Jess Porter, “Racial Redistricting in Little Rock, Arkansas.”

The contemporary urban landscape of Little Rock evokes questions of racial separation because of the persistently high rates of ethnic separation in housing and a public-private race cleavage in the local schools. How can these patterns be explained? Has it always been this way? Is the 1957 desegregation crisis at Central High School a reason for the persistent patterns of geographic separation between African Americans and whites within the city? In fact, the story of ethnic separation in Little Rock begins prior to the Central High Crisis. This talk begins with an examination of spatial patterns of racial segregation in the first half of the 20th century. It then discusses these patterns as they evolved in Little Rock and shows, in particular, the role of urban renewal in the mid-century decades in producing the separation of races that came into existence.

December 2 – Susanah Romney, “Finding the Women of the Atlantic World: Adventures in the Archives.”

 Based on her new award-winning book, New Netherland Connections, Professor Susanah Romney, one of our newest faculty members, invites the audience to come along on a trip back to Dutch New York in the 1660s. She will discuss the kinds of documents that allow us to see into the world of the Indians, slaves and settlers who built one of the first settler colonies in North America. In the early Hudson Valley, women and men from all these groups created diverse communities based around the fur trade, relying on their personal and family ties to create a new economy and society. She shows how historians piece together the lives and actions of people who did not hold power and never left any documents of their own.

February 3 –  Jeff Kyong-McClain, “The Reddest Red Sun in Our Hearts: Mao Zedong and the Cultural Revolution.”

The years 1966-1976 in the People’s Republic of China were, by all accounts, chaotic, traumatic, and deadly (untold hundreds of thousands killed). In the West, Mao is usually blamed for being megalomaniacal, disregarding all practical considerations of good rule in his quest for personal power. In China, the official line is that counter-revolutionaries (not Mao) and leftist-errors (Mao may have made a few) sabotaged China’s otherwise unstoppable path toward modernization. Despite the acknowledgment both in China and the West that something went wrong, there remain many people who remember the decade as one of idealism, and regret its passing. This talk will explore the historical context of the Cultural Revolution to better understand how and why it is remembered in such disparate ways.

March 3 –  Kristin Mann, “Remember the Alamo? Textbooks, Social Studies Standards,     and Myths in History.”

The Battle of the Alamo and the fight for Texas Independence have been the subject of books, films, and music since the 19th century.  These historical events of 1836 feature all the elements of a great dramatic, historical tale — martyrs, rascals, a siege, independence, and villains we love to hate.  But the story changes dramatically depending on who tells it, the time period in which it was told, and the story’s audience.  Texans, Mexicans, and Americans all emphasize different aspects of the story of the Alamo and Texas Independence, with different goals.  This talk will examine the degree to which myths have become incorporated into popular culture, state and national history education curricula and textbooks.

April 7 – Barclay Key, “Blood in the Black Belt: The Selma-Montgomery March and the Fight for Voting Rights.”

In addition to the memorable clash on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, four murders punctuated the tensions over civil rights activism in the Alabama black belt in 1965. This lecture reimagines the fight for voting rights through the eyes of these martyrs and the everyday people from across the nation who joined it. While the murder of a young black man compelled leaders of the civil rights movement to initiate the march, the subsequent murder of three white activists galvanized the nation and cemented support for federal legislation to protect voting rights. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 enabled the election of the first black legislators in Alabama since Reconstruction and produced a new era of black political activism. By the end of the century, the states with the most black elected officials were Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana.

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.”

Friday, Eldridge.png

Union Pacific




Updated 10.14.2014