Acclaimed historian to deliver 2015 Brose lectures

October 27, 2015

Tiya Miles, distinguished university professor in the departments of Afroamerican & African studies, history, American culture, Native American studies, and women's studies at the University of Michigan, will deliver three lectures on "Tales from the Haunted South," for the 2015 Steven and Janice Brose Distinguished Lecture Series, on Nov. 5, 6 and 7. All lectures are free and open to the public at Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library, Penn State, University Park.

Sponsored by the Richards Civil War Era Center at Penn State, this series of lectures will explore the popular yet troubling phenomenon of southern 'ghost tours,' frequently promoted and experienced at plantations, urban manor homes and cemeteries. As a staple of the tours, guides entertain paying customers by relying on stories of enslaved black specters. Through an examination of popular sites and stories from select ghost tours, the lectures will suggest that haunted tales routinely skew African-American history to produce representations of slavery for commercial gain while erasing hard truths of the Civil War era. 

The schedule is as follows:

- 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5, "The Southern Twist on Dark Tourism"

- 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6, "Ghosts of Slavery in the Urban South"

- 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, "Phantoms of the Plantation South"

Miles is the author of two prize-winning works of history: "Ties That Bind: The Story of an Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom" (2005) and "The House on Diamond Hill: A Cherokee Plantation Story" (2010), as well as fiction and essays. Her debut novel, "The Cherokee Rose" (2015) is set on a haunted plantation in the Cherokee territory of present-day Georgia. She is currently working on a history of the enslavement of Native-Americans and African-Americans in early Detroit.

The Penn State Bookstore will hold a book sale and signing for Miles from 3 to 3:45 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, in Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library.

The Steven and Janice Brose Distinguished Lecture Series is supported by an endowment established by the Broses in 1998.

For more information on the lectures, the speaker, or the Richards Center, contact the center at 814-863-0151 or visit the website at

  • Tiya Miles

    Tiya Miles

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 28, 2015