History scholar to give 2005 Brose Civil War Era lecture

March 31, 2005

Thomas C. Holt, the James Westfall Thompson professor of American and African-American history at the University of Chicago, will deliver the lectures for the 2005 Steven and Janice Brose Distinguished Lecture Series in the Era of the Civil War, on April 7, 8 and 9 in Pattee Library's Foster Auditorium on Penn State's University Park campus. Held every spring semester, these free lectures, which are open to the public, feature leading writers, historians and intellectuals whose work focuses on the era of the American Civil War.

The Brose Lecture includes three thematically linked lectures. The schedule follows:

-- April 7, 7 p.m.: "Slavery and Freedom in the Pre-Modern State."

-- April 8, 7 p.m.: "The Gender of Freedom: The Role of Women in the Making of Male Citizens."

-- April 9, 3 p.m.: "Citizens of the Nation, Workers of the World: Meaning of Freedom in a Post-Colonial World."

Holt's research interests focus on comparing people who experienced the African diaspora, particularly those in the Caribbean and the United States. In 1995, his study of Jamaica's economy, politics and society after slavery, "The Problem of Freedom: Race, Labor and Politics in Jamaica and Britain, 1832-1938," was awarded the Elsa Goveia Prize by the Association of Caribbean Historians. His most recent book is "The Problem of Race in the 21st Century" (Harvard University Press), highlighting "the contradictions and incoherence of a system that idealizes black celebrities in politics, popular culture and sports even as it diminishes the average African-American citizen." He currently is working on a general history of the African-American people.

A Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Holt also was honored with a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur "genius" fellowship.

Other past honors include board of directors of the American Council of Learned Societies; presidential appointment to the Council of the National Endowment for the Humanities; and presidency of the American Historical Association. A member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Southern History, Slavery & Abolition, and American Historical Review, Holt, who holds a doctorate in American Studies from Yale University, has taught at Howard University, Harvard University, the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Michigan.

The Steven and Janice Brose Distinguished Lecture Series in the Era of The Civil War is supported by an endowment established by the Broses in 1998, originally to support a single lecture by a distinguished visitor. The Broses added to the endowment in 2001, allowing a distinguished lecturer to deliver three related lectures over three days. The Broses' generosity has enabled Penn State and the Richards Center to enter an agreement with the University of Virginia Press, which will publish the lectures as part of a series of scholarly monographs.

For more information on the lectures, the speaker, or the Richards Center, contact the Center at (814) 863-0151 or L-RichardsCWEC@lists.psu.edu.

Last Updated July 28, 2017