Second Annual C.G. Gordon Moss Lecture to highlight Robert Kennedy's Role in Civil Rights
"I’ve been teaching American history for forty years. I’ve been teaching that democracy and social justice are the greatest ideals of the American nation. I’d be a traitor to the thousands of students I’ve taught if I didn’t take a stand for these ideals when the opportunity comes."
Dr. C. G. Gordon Moss
In honor of the 50th anniversary of Robert F. Kennedy’s visit to Prince Edward County in May 1964, Patricia Sullivan will give the Second Annual C.G. Gordon Moss Lecture. This year's lecture is part of her larger book project, tentatively titled "'To Achieve Our Country: Robert F. Kennedy and the Struggle for Racial Justice." Sullivan describes her project: "As the first major historical exploration in more than a decade to address Robert Kennedy's life and political evolution, it will tell the story of how Kennedy was challenged and changed by the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Robert Kennedy's response to the demands of the movement, his exposure to racial discrimination and urban poverty, and his evolving awareness of race as a formative force in America affected his public, private and political life in ways that have to yet be fully explored. Viewing RFK's life and legacy through the lens of the Civil Rights Movement, the book will reveal how one of our nation's most important leaders was shaped by and in turn influenced his country's most enduring struggle."
Sullivan is the author most recently of Lift Every Voice: The NAACP and the Making of the Civil Rights Movement (2009), the first history of the formative decades of the nation's oldest civil rights organization. Henry Louis Gates Jr. described the book as "a major contribution to our understanding of the political and cultural history of African Americans-indeed of America itself." Sullivan’s other books include Days of Hope: Race and Democracy in the New Deal Era; and Freedom Writer: Virginia Foster Durr, Letters from the Civil Rights Years.
A native of New York, Sullivan earned her PhD in History from Emory University and taught at the University of Virginia and Harvard University before coming to the University of South Carolina. She and Waldo E. Martin, Jr. are editors of the John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture, published by the University of North Carolina Press. Since 1997, Sullivan has codirected an NEH Summer Institute at Harvard's W.E.B. Du Bois Institute with Martin on "Teaching the History of the Civil Rights Movement."
The lecture series honors Dr. C. G. Gordon Moss (1899-1982) who served as a Professor of History at Longwood College from 1944 – 1969. He served as department chair from 1947 – 1960, and Dean of the Faculty from 1960 – 1964. During the school closings in Prince Edward County from 1959-1964, Moss became an outspoken advocate of reopening the schools and of equality and justice for all American citizens.
The lecture series is sponsored by the Department of History, Political Science, and Philosophy and the Office of Academic Affairs. It features historians who study democracy, social justice, and social activism in American history.
Alpha-Eta-Delta Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta inducts 19
Elliott Professor of Religion J. Michael Utzinger to deliver inaugural C.G. Gordon Moss Lecture in American History
The C.G. Gordon Moss Lecture in American History will have its inaugural launch this Thursday, 24 October, at 7:30pm in Wygal Hall. Dr. J. Michael Utzinger, the Elliott Professor of Religion at Hampden-Sydney is the invited speaker, and he will be giving a talk titled: "The Transformation of a Reluctant Leader: C.G. Gordon Moss, Faith, and the Crisis of Race in Prince Edward County, Virginia." The lecture is open to all and the public is invited to attend.
Prof. Utzinger holds his doctorate in religious studies from the University of Virginia (2000) and was also a Lilly Fellow in the Arts and Humanities in 1999-2000. Utzinger is especially well situated by his research interests to bring together many of the strands that characterized Dr. Moss' career both inside and outside of the classrooms of Longwood University and in the dramatic events that marked the history of Prince Edward County during the Civil Rights era. In 2006, he published his monograph: Yet Saints Their Watch Are Keeping: Fundamentalists, Modernists, and the Development of Evangelical Ecclesiology, 1887-1937with Mercer University Press. Recently, Utzinger has completed an article on the role of religion in the Prince Edward County school closings, titled "The Tragedy of Prince Edward: The Religious Turn and the Destabilization of One Parish's Resistance to Integration, 1963-1965." He is Secretary of the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church and a contributing editor for the blog "Religion in American History": http://usreligion.blogspot.com/ . He serves on the Board of Directors for the Robert Russa Moton Museum for the Study of Civil Rights in Education and on the vestry of Johns Memorial Episcopal Church. He participated on the Anti-racism Commission and currently sits on the Commission on Ministry for the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia.
In late July 2013, as part of the events in Farmville surrounding the 50th Anniversary of the school closings, Prof. Utzinger shared the fruits of his recent research in the archives of the American Friends Service Committee, where he found material from Prof. Moss detailing his own process of evolving with the Civil Rights Movement unfolding around him.
The lecture and the reception to follow afterwards are sponsored by the Department of History, Political Science, and Philosophy and the Office of Academic Affairs at Longwood University.
Inductees at the 2013 Ceremony for Phi Alpha Theta
Associate Professor Emeritus Marshall Hall, 82, passes away in Farmville
It is with a deep sense of loss that Longwood University’s Dept. of History, Political Science, and Philosophy reports the death of associate professor emeritus, Leslie Marshall Hall, Jr., in the early hours of 27 March 2013, at the age of 82, in Farmville, VA. Hall is survived by Janet, his wife of 56 years, and sons Jeffrey (Flagstaff, AZ) and Jared (Fredericksburg, VA), as well as grandsons Jonathan, Benjamin, and Nicholas.
Hall came to Longwood in 1963 as an assistant professor and "officially" retired in May of 2000. As with so many in the Longwood family, he was still on-campus for years afterward, continuing to teach and serve wherever needed.
During his career at Longwood he served as Department Chair from 1978 – 1988, Faculty Marshal from 1965 – 1983 and advisor to Pi Gamma Mu (the National Honor Society in the Social Sciences). He also served on the Liberal Studies Committee, College Council, OTF (a precursor to the current Faculty Senate), the Special Task Force for Faculty Governance, College Mace Selection Committee, Editorial Board of History of Longwood, and the Institute of Southern Culture Committee.
He received the Maria Bristow Starke Faculty Excellence Award in 1984.
As an engaged scholar and citizen, Hall gave back to the greater community. His service off-campus included being a Cub Scout Master, a Boy Scout Master, Minor and Major League Baseball coach and a delegate to State Republican Convention.
A native of Portsmouth, VA, Hall served in the US Navy for the Korean conflict. After leaving the navy, he earned his BA and MA from Duke University, supplementing those degrees with further graduate work at the University of North Carolina.
A statement from his family speaks of his continuing imprint on those who knew him and on the places he called home since arriving in Farmville in 1963. Besides gifts from his former students, his house is also decorated with maritime watercolors in Hall’s own distinctive style. "A careful thinker and astute observer, he brought quality to all that he did," said Jeffrey Hall.
Hall added, "We are diminished by his loss, but we who have known him—whether as friend, teacher, colleague, husband, or father—are magnified by his presence in our lives," a sentiment which his former colleagues heartily endorse.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made either to the Department of History, Political Science, and Philosophy at Longwood University, or to the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation, Annapolis, MD.
A visitation is scheduled for Friday, 7-9pm, at Puckett Funeral Home, then a graveside service on Saturday at 2pm in Westview Cemetery with a reception to follow.
New Longwood Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha Inducts 9 Inaugural Members
On November 18, 2012, nine Longwood University students joined Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society, in the inaugural induction for the Longwood chapter.
In addition to presiding over the initiation ceremony, Dr. Mary Carver, Assistant Professor of Political Science, was instrumental in founding this chapter at Longwood. In her remarks to the students, she stated that, "You have demonstrated both by your interest in and commitment to this discipline and by your high scholastic achievement, that you have the potential to excel as citizens and scholars and so deserve the honor of membership in Pi Sigma Alpha."
The founding members of the Longwood Chapter of PSA are Robin Brown, Caitlin Smith, Destiney Jones, Kylie Dyer, Jamie Clift, Benjamin Clark, Joshua Fracker, Ashley Gilbert, and Richard Jordan.
Longwood's Alpha Eta Delta Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta inducts twenty-one historians-in-the-making
At a ceremony held on Monday, 30 April, in Ruffner Hall, the Longwood chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society, inducted twenty-one new members of the society. Membership reuqirements for Phi Alpha Theta are among the most rigorous in the nation, and these Longwood students merit high praise for a record of steady success over their collegiate careers.
As undergraduates, the students had to have already completed tweve hours (or four courses) in history while maintaining a GPA of 3.1 in history courses plus a GPA of 3.0 or better in all the rest of their coursework.
Inductees at the ceremony were: Jessica Koelzer, Daniel Bennett, Alexandria Cole, Kristen Finchum, Kendall H Flippin; Nicole Hancock, Richard Jordan, Anthony Larosa, Megan Lintecum, Taylor Mcpeake, Laura P Meadows; Kyle Miller, Carrie Mosby, Charles D Ownby; Elizabeth Pierce, Melissa Rock; Lynsie Russ, Leah Slone, Jenna Sprinkle, Benjamin Tyree, and Cameron Wright.
Phi Alpha Theta was founded in 1921 at the University of Arkansas, and now numbers over 900 chapters nationwide with a membership of c. 350,000. The society sponsors 35 regional meetings per year, at which students present papers or serve as session commentators, giving many their first full taste of the professional historian's career. In addition, the society sponsors over 25 scholarships and prizes for students and chapters.
Professor Deborah Welch's lecture on the RMS Titanic selected for Longwood's 2012 Faculty Colloquium.
As the world marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of RMS Titanic this mid-April, Professor Deborah Welch of Longwood's Department of History, Political Science, and Philosophy will present a lecture on 16 April to commemorate the event by highlighting the historical contexts of that fateful night. In addition, the audience will be brought along to participate in the historical moment by being identified randomly with some of the Titanic's passengers.
The Monday evening talk will be at 7 p.m. in Wygal Auditorium, and is open to students, faculty, and the public. Audience members will receive a passenger identity along with a sealed envelope when they enter; from the packet's contents, the audience will learn the fate of "their" passenger. Sponsored by the Faculty Colloquium Series, a desert reception will follow Welch's presentation.
"In her day," said Welch recently, "Titanic served as a symbol of modernity in a western world where many feared the on-coming twentieth century. Some looked forward to a new age, but other more conservative elements of society opposed what they viewed as a sharp decline in values and civililzed behavior. In the United States, this dichotomy in social views explains, at least in part, why so many (clergy, reformers, newspapers, and politicians) used the disaster to further their agendas. Heroes and villains--the American public wanted to find explanation that would restore their sense of balance in a world where 'unsinkable' ships did, in fact, sink."
Durann Neil, Political Science and Criminal Justice double-major, headed to Rutgers School of Law upon graduation from Longwood
Durann Neil of Pleasantville, NJ, a fifth-year senior at Longwood University courtesy of his redshirt year with the men's basketball team, will be attending the Rutgers School of Law. Neil has been advised by Rutgers that he may commence full-time studies during the Fall 2012 semester following completion of a Contracts Law class scheduled for June.
Neil came to Longwood in 2007. After two years, he took on a double-major in Political Science and Criminal Justice. Neil said that he has always had a passion to be a lawyer, but that he was also intrigued by working on Wall Street. Eventually, though, his classes and the internship experience required by Longwood University tilted the balance.
In the summer of 2011, Neil had an in-depth internship with the office of Jonathan Diego, the Chief Prosecutor of Atlantic City, NJ. Neil credits Diego with inspiring him by including him in the full workings of the prosecutor's office.
"And my classes helped," said Neil. "They built a fire in me. It's the style of teaching at Longwood, the lecture without it being a lecture-the Socratic method which really gets you prepared for law school."
Neil will start the program in June 2012. As a dual program, it will confer both the JD and an MBA upon Neil's successful completion.
Alyssa Foley Makes Presentation at 2011 NCHC Conference in Phoenix, AZ
Alyssa Foley, a senior history major in the Cormier Honors College, made a poster presentation at the 46th National Collegiate Honors Conference in Phoenix, Arizona, on 21 October.
Foley's presentation, "Richmond's Colliding Worlds: Streetcars and Civil Rights," looked at the development of the Richmond streetcar boycott by African-Americans that started in 1904 and continued for another three years. The boycott was promoted by John Mitchell, the owner-editor of The Richmond Planet, a paper serving the African-American community at the turn of the century. Foley's research drew heavily from the paper's archives, which have now been digitized by the Library of Virginia.
"I was surprised at how well developed the techniques of passive resistance already were," said Foley in discussing the process of researching her topic. "It was interesting to understand how John Mitchell's mind worked and to see the fulfillment of his ideas in the boycott." At the same time, said Foley, there was a parallel, almost total silence in the pages of the Richmond Times-Dispatch concerning the boycott. Foley says that she would like to carry the research forward and explore links between Mitchell's tactics and the later, famed boycotts in Montgomery, Alabama.
Foley's research came about as part of the Honors enhancement she worked out with Dr. Larissa Fergeson for Fergeson's Virginia History course.
Having come to Longwood from Virginia Beach, Foley has her eyes already on the next stage of her education and wants to go on to graduate school, mostly likely to obtain an MA in Museum Studies or Public History.
An image of Foley's full poster is available (thanks to her collegiality) as a pdf file here.
Laura Espinalt, 2010 Graduate, Enters UN Program in Geneva
Laura Simon Espinalt, class of 2010, recently accepted a position with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research in Geneva, Switzerland. At the UN, she will join a traineeship program that focuses on peace, security, and diplomacy.
Before obtaining this position, Laura was a graduate student at the London School of Economics and Politics where she studied international relations.
At Longwood, Laura majored in political science and economics, completed a Senior Honors research project, and played on the tennis team.
Longwood Students Keep Up the Good Work during Fall Break
Two Longwood historians-in-the-making have been accepted to present their research at Sweet Briar College's 13th annual MARCUS Conference. Speaking of their inclusion in the conference, Prof. Steven Isaac paid tribute to the initiative of Stephanie Skipp and Kristen Wander: "Besides the quality of their research, what we're seeing here as well is the kind of ambition that makes our best students stand out. Kristen and Stephanie went after this opportunity to present their research; I don't recall any one pushing them into it."
Skipp's paper, "From Local Consumption to Mass Exportation: Change in the Costa Rican Cattle Industry, " is a section from the Senior Honors Thesis which she is finishing this academic year. The greater work, titled "Efforts toward Sustainability in the Costa Rican Cattle Industry," explores the historical trajectory of the beef export boom in Costa Rica, how the industry was affected by environmental policy change, and whether it attempted to adapt to the country's focus on sustainability.Wander gave a paper on "The Parish Guild in England" in April at Longwood's own undergraduate medieval conference. In the paper, Wander looked at the evolution of community organizations as supplements and rivals to traditional authority in the feudal and church hierarchies. The paper had its genesis in her medieval history class at Longwood, but she reworked the paper on her own across the early spring semester. From the feedback she received at the medieval conference, she has continued to edit and refine her argument, and is now looking forward to having a new audience hear the second version of her work.
A Summer of Scholarship for Longwood Historians in 2011
Longwood's historians are continuing their rich tradition of continued scholarship, with the summer of 2011 seeing them at conferences, archives, and research centers around the globe.
Dr. Phil Cantrell, the department's specialist in Africa and Asian History, will be presenting a paper titled "Teaching Issues in World History thru Service-Learning in Africa" at the 20th Annual World History Association at Capital Normal University in Beijing, China, July 7-10, 2011. As a part of the conference, Prof. Cantrell will also be engaging in historical and cultural activities around Beijing, plus visiting historical sites in Shang-hai and the ancient capital of Xi'an.
Harvard University: W.E.B. DuBois Institute
Dr. Larissa Fergeson will be attending a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Institute for College and University Teachers at the W.E.B. DuBois Institute at Harvard for four weeks. The institute focuses on African-American Struggles for Freedom and Civil Rights,1865-1965. According to the NEH, "Under the guidance of distinguished scholars, NEH Summer Institutes provide intensive collaborative study of texts, topics, and ideas central to undergraduate teaching in the humanities. NEH Summer Institutes aim to prepare NEH Summer Scholars to return to their classrooms with a deeper knowledge of current scholarship in key fields of the humanities." Dr. Fergeson, whose research focuses on civil rights history in Virginia, will use the institute to revise her courses on African-American History and on the Civil Rights Movement in the South, as well as to work on her book manuscript, Where the South Begins: Civil Rights Struggles in Virginia, 1930-1960.
Spain & Greece; France & Norway
Dr. William Holliday received a Longwood University Faculty Research Grant for Summer 2011. He will use this award to support a project investigating the complex commodity chains that were created between the producers and consumers of Valencian silk in the early modern era, with a special emphasis on consumers in Spain's American colonies. The research will be carried out in Valencia and the Archivo General de Indias in Seville, Spain. Prof. Holliday will be working in the archives after he also leads another group of Longwood students overseas as part of the General Education Summer Program in Spain and Greece.
Dr. Steven Isaac is returning for the summer to the Centre d'Études Supérieures de Civilisation Médiévale, a research unit of the Université de Poitiers, France. Dr. Isaac spent seven months of 2010 at the CESCM, thanks to a grant from the Fulbright Program and the support of Longwood. He plans to continue his research, which he hopes will begin moving over into the writing phase of his project, The Urban Experience of Siege in the Twelfth Century. In June, he will visit Trondheim, Norway, where he has been invited to give a pair of lectures at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
Brian Pratt successfully defends Honors Research Project on economic development during the Obama presidency
Brian Pratt, a double major in Political Science and Economics, successfully defended his Senior Honors Research project on April 21, 2011. Brian's research highlighted how business groups have worked with President Barack Obama to craft US trade policy.
Contrary to claims that Obama is a "socialist," Brian's research found that the president has followed the neoliberal trade policies of Bill Clinton. The title of his paper is "The Perseverance of Neoliberalism: Why Barrack Obama Has Not Realigned the Economic Philosophy of the Democratic Party in Response to the Great Recession." Dr. Scott Cole directed this project; and the examination committee included Drs. William Harbour, Mary Carver, and Scott Wentland.
Speaking of Pratt's work, Prof. Cole remarked, "During his defense, Brian demonstrated an in-depth understanding of Obama's trade policy and clearly articulated how his thesis helped explain the president's economic approach."
"Secession at 150: Examining Federalism"
The Longwood University Department of History, Political Science and Philosophy will host a mini-symposium "Secession at 150: Examining Federalism" on Wednesday, April 20 and Thursday, April 21.
On Wednesday, April 20, historian William Freehling, senior fellow at the Virginia Foundation for Humanities, will speak on "Virginia's Secession Crisis." His lecture is based on his most recent project, an edited collection of the Virginia secession convention debates titled Showdown in Virginia: The 1861 Convention and the Fate of the Union.
On Thursday, April 21, Steven Engle, professor of history at Florida Atlantic University, will speak on "Abraham Lincoln's Crisis of Federalism." His lecture is based on his current book manuscript, titled All the President's Statesmen, which is currently under consideration with Johns Hopkins University Press.
Both lectures will be at 7:00 p.m. in Blackwell Ballroom. A reception and booksigning will follow. This mini-symposium is open to the public and is supported by the American Democracy Project and the Longwood Department of History, Political Science, and Philosophy.
Freehling is the Emeritus Singletary Chair in the Humanities from the University of Kentucky. In 2007, Oxford University Press published the second and concluding volume of Freehling's Road to Disunion: Secessionists Triumphant, 1854-1861 (winner of numerous awards). The first volume of Road to Disunion likewise earned numerous plaudits and awards. Together with The South versus the South: How Southern Anti-Confederates Shaped the Course of the Civil War, The Road to Disunion reinterprets the causes of the Civil War and of Confederate defeat.
A native of the Shenandoah Valley, Engle has authored numerous articles and essays as well as several books on the American Civil War, including Yankee Dutchman: The Life of Franz Sigel (1993); Don Carlos Buell: Most Promising of All (1999), Struggle for the Heartland (2001); The Civil War in the West (2003); and most recently This Mighty Scourge of War (2005), together with Gary Gallagher, Robert Krick, and Joseph Glattahaar.
Historian to Speak on how Ancient and Medieval Roots of Mercenarism Still Affect the Practice Today
Dr. Steven Isaac, Associate Professor of History, was the featured speaker for the Spring 2011 Faculty Colloquium series at Longwood. His lecture, titled "The Mercenary Phenomenon: Wolves, Whores, Heroes?" explored the ancient and medieval roots of the modern mercenary phenomenon.
Isaac, whose research and publications usually deal with medieval military history, has recently moved afield from his usual focus on the Middle Ages to suggest how that period's developments are a bridge between Antiquity and the modern world. In the case of mercenaries, Isaac argued that the medieval world has more in common with its ancient predecessor, since neither epoch had a clear-cut definition, nor a clearly articulated condemnation, of mercenaries.
The findings presented at the Colloquium were part of his ongoing research and the transformation of his doctoral studies into a published book. The Colloquium series at Longwood is a competitive award among the university's faculty.
Longwood Graduates Have Strong Showing at Virginia Association of Museums Conference
Fifth Annual Longwood University Undergraduate Medieval Conference
The Fifth Annual Longwood University Undergraduate Medieval Conference will take place 1-2 April, 2011.
The conference theme of "Meeting in the Middle" highlights the growing place of Longwood and Farmville as a hub of Medieval Studies. Not only have faculty and library resources been augmented of late, but Farmville itself is central to a growing web of medievalists in Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina. For that reason, we welcome back all of our friends who joined us last year, along with new attendees to a buffet of scholarship and collegial rejuvenation.