Evenings with History

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

Sponsored by the University History Institute, the series features presentations by UA Little Rock faculty members and guest speakers. They share their current research and teaching interests and many of the presentations illuminate current affairs. These talks offer insight into the workings of historical scholarship and cover a variety of times, areas, and subjects. The format allows for questions and discussion. Refreshments and an informal atmosphere encourage the interchange of ideas.

Venue and Parking

The venue is 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.


The six sessions of the 2022-2023 Evenings with History series will be held on the first Tuesdays of October, November, December, February, March, and April. Refreshments are served at 7 p.m., and the talk begins at 7:30 p.m.


Evenings with History is one of the primary ways that the History Institute raises funds to carry out its mission. All proceeds 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.

Subscribers to the series support historical scholarship.

  • Individual Subscription: $50 annually
  • Joint Subscription: $90 annually
  • Fellow of the Institute: $250 annually
  • Life Membership: $1,000
  • Corporate Sponsorships: Available with a $250 minimum contribution
  • Regular Registered Undergraduate and Graduate Students at UA Little Rock may attend the lectures free of charge.

To purchase your subscription, please visit the Evenings with History Subscriptions page

If you’re interested in becoming a major donor, contact any officer or board member of the University History Institute email or contact us at historyinstitute@ualr.edu or 501-916-3236.

Evenings with History, 2022-2023

October 4, 2022 – Edward Anson
We are the Champions! Terrorism, Body Counts, and the ultimate Purpose of Ancient Warfare

While war is often in the ancient Greek literature lamented as producing misery, the Athenian Callias reminds us that war is “divinely ordained.” No reader of the Iliad could ever believe otherwise. Indeed, in the literature of the time, such horrors are designed to elicit pity from the reader not to denounce them as practices. When the Athenians proclaimed to the Melians that the strong did what they wished and the weak suffered what they must, they were accepting not just a general belief in the efficacy of war as a decisive way to settle disputes but also as a means of declaring the fundamental dominance of the victor over the defeated. Body counts were then not just a way of keeping score, it was also a statement of the power and supremacy of the victorious. In ancient warfare, violence and terror were “what the weak had to suffer.” Killing the enemy and enslaving survivors, soldiers and civilians alike, was the ultimate measure of triumph and superiority, the decisive proclamation by the Champions.

November 1, 2022 – Barclay Key
As We See It: Integration at Central High School in the 1970s

Busing for integration expedited an exodus out of the Little Rock School District in the 1970s, but students who remained made efforts to facilitate racial harmony and understanding. Central High School students helped make two films to tell the story of integration at their school. The second one aired in a 1979 episode of As We See It, a series produced by high school students in Chicago in conjunction with the PBS station there, and the episode received a Peabody Award. The 29-minute film documents the perspectives of black and white students on integration at Central and provides fascinating glimpses into the successes and failures of school integration in the 1970s. Join us in screening the film and discussing integration in the 1970s.

December 6, 2022 – John Kirk and Students in the Public History Graduate Program
Doing History: Research-Based Teaching and Learning

Faculty and students reflect on their HIST 7391 Seminar in Public History (Fall 2021) award-winning project which started with a collection of raw archival materials and ended with the completion of a publishable research article. What can faculty and students learn from experiential hands-on research-based projects? How do they enhance the student experience? What challenges do they present? This roundtable addresses these questions and more.

February 7, 2023 – Jonathan Hancock
The New Madrid Earthquakes, the Quapaw Nation, and Little Rock

The New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-12 were the strongest temblors in the North American interior in at least the past five centuries. Drawn from the book Convulsed States: Earthquakes, Prophecy, and the Remaking of Early America (University of North Carolina Press, 2021), this talk will focus on the earthquakes’ consequences in the Quapaw Nation’s homelands, where U.S. settlers and speculators used land certificates from U.S. disaster relief legislation to pressure Quapaw people into ceding territory around present-day Little Rock.

March 7, 2023 – Kristin Mann
Teaching History in Polarized Times

This talk examines the contentious nature of history and social studies education, particularly in light of recent legislation attacking the 1619 Project, critical race theory, and the teaching of “divisive concepts.” How do we prepare teachers to educate the next generation of citizens? How does teaching history today compare with teaching history in other polarized times and places?

Monday, April 3, at 6 p.m.  – Linda Przybyszewski (University of Notre Dame)
The Origins of Religious Liberty in Modern America
Stella Boyle Smith Hall, in the Fine Arts Building on the UA Little Rock campus

In the fall of 1869, the Cincinnati school board took a vote to end Bible reading in the public schools, sparking mass protests, angry newspaper editorials across the nation, and a lawsuit that dragged on for four years. The Bible War, as it came to be called, sweeps us back to a time when Protestants and Catholics often saw one another as enemies and schooling as their weapon. It reminds us that arguments over the meaning of religious liberty and the value of religious pluralism are not new. And the argument that won for the school board reveals something surprising: that religious faith was often essential to the defense of religious liberty. This lecture is sponsored by the Notre Dame Club of Arkansas.

About the University History Institute

The University History Institute is a nonprofit Arkansas corporation 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. The History Institute, in conjunction with Ottenheimer Library and other outside organizations, has provided over $100,000 in grants for the purchase of archival and library materials to promote this research. Our current Board of Directors represent a cross section of the Central Arkansas community and include:

Judge Ellen Brantley, President
Delia Prather, Vice President
Lee Johnson, Treasurer
James Metzger, Secretary
Richard Ault  |  Dr. Joe Crow
Dr. Joe Bates  |  Patrick Goss
Craig Berry  |  Terry Rasco
Dr. Renie Bressinck  |  Gene Thompson
Mark Christ  |  Frederick Ursery