Evenings with History

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 UA Little Rock 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.

Location and Time

This year’s meetings will be held at the Ottenheimer Auditorium in the Historic Arkansas Museum at 200 E. Third Street in Little Rock. The museum’s downtown location and 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.

A Life Membership is available at $1,000 and includes the benefits of a Fellow.

Corporate Sponsorships are available at a $250 minimum contribution.

Regular Registered Undergraduate and Graduate Students at UA Little Rock may attend the lectures free of charge.

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 UA Little Rock.  Subscriptions and donations to the Institute are tax deductible as allowed by law.

2018-2019 Evenings with History Series.

October 2, 2018 – Michael Heil
“Truth and Deception in early Medieval Law”

Early medieval European legislators cared deeply about truth and worried about lying and its consequences. Perjury, according to a capitulary of Charlemagne, was “the worst crime,” while compilers of religious law warned that, in the words of the Book of Wisdom, “a lying mouth destroys the soul.” Yet deception was rampant, at the highest levels of society. A majority of early medieval charters have been deemed forged or interpolated, and bogus legal texts such as supposed papal letters were confected in vast quantities. This talk will explore early medieval ideas of truth and falsity, the varieties of medieval efforts to deceive, and the methods used by legislators and judges to prevent deception and discover the truth.

November 5, 2018 (Monday Evening) – Marta Cieslak
“From ‘the Inevitable Cabbage’ to ‘American Vegetables,’ or How Rural European Women Became Urban American Housewives”

Between the 1870s and 1914, over eighteen million Europeans arrived in the United States. Most of them came from rural areas and settled in rapidly growing American cities where they faced multiple challenges of the urban life. This talk examines the unique transatlantic experience of rural women migrants from East-Central Europe. It explores what kind of lives they left behind in their European villages and what kind of lives they built in their new and often unwelcoming American home.

December 4, 2018 – Kristin Mann
“Bajo de campana: Living ‘Under the Bell’ in New Spain”

Bells were essential communication tools in the early modern Spanish empire. This talk will consider the ways in which they communicated information to all those within the range of their peals. In particular, it will focus on what a study of bells can tell us about religious accommodation, economic connections, conflicts, and spiritual devotion in New Spain.

February 5, 2019 – Brian K. Mitchell
“When the Depths Don’t give up their Dead: Exploring New Primary sources about the Elaine Race Massacre”

What is known as the Elaine Massacre began on September 30, 1919, and continued until the arrival of federal troops in Phillips County on October 2. In those days several hundred African Americans were murdered. Subsequent trials of black workers saw the conviction of many others on charges from murder to night riding. This talk examines newly discovered primary sources and discusses how these new sources are reshaping the existing narrative.

March 5 2019 – Charles Romney
“Defining the American Empire”

Scholars struggle to locate the right analytical framework to understand the expansion of the United States. Is the American empire similar to the British empire in its features, or is the acquisition of territory by the United States distinct from European imperialism because of America’s republican ideology? This talk will explain traditional approaches to defining the American empire before exploring more recent interpretations that stress the unusual—and possibly unique—history of zones controlled by the United States.

April 2, 2019 – Carl Moneyhon.
“The End of Reconstruction and the Long-term Cost of Conservative Redemption”

Progressive and bi-racial governments created following Congressional intervention in the Reconstruction of the South in 1867 all came to end in the period 1870 to 1875. This talk examines how Conservative and Democratic opponents of these governments used a variety of tactics that included violence, appeals to racial hatred, and charges of government corruption to achieve this end. It also considers the long-term social and economic impact of such tactics on the history of the South and the rest of the nation.

About the University History Institute

The University History Institute is an organization created to provide public support for the Department of History at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Funds raised by the Institute are used primarily to provide assistance to faculty members in pursuing their scholarly research. To this point the History Institute has provided—in conjunction with Ottenheimer Library and other outside grants—over a hundred thousand dollars for the purchase of archival and library materials to promote this research. Our current Board of Directors include:

Craig Berry, President
Dr. Joe Bates, Vice President
Lee Johnson, Treasurer
Frederick Ursery, Secretary

Judge Ellen Brantley  |  Bob McKuin
Nate Coulter  |  Delia Prather
Dr. Joe Crow  |  Terry Rasco
Kathryn Fitzhugh  |  Elaine Scott
Dr. Betty Hathaway  |  Dr. David Stricklin
Patrick Goss

All funds collected by the University History Institute are used to further historical research at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.  The UA Little Rock  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; UA Little Rock  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


FAX: 501-569-3059

A Thank You to Corporate Sponsors for the 2018-2019 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; UA Little Rock  Public Radio—KUAR-KLRE; UA Little Rock  public television; and Grapevine Spirits.

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