College News

CAS News  Back to CAS News

Jacquelyn Dowd Hall

National Humanities Medal winner to visit USF

TAMPA, Fla. -- In her long and illustrious career, scholar Jacquelyn Dowd Hall has documented the lives of those whose voices were absent from traditional histories -- from the life stories of laid-off Southern textile workers, to the experiences of white female activists and African American civil rights leaders. Hall will be at USF Feb. 24-28 as the USF Humanities Institute’s first spring Scholar-in-Residence.

While at USF, Hall, a National Humanities Medal recipient, will visit undergraduate and graduate classes in the Departments of Sociology, History, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Communication, and will lead a group of sociology graduate students on a field experience in Ybor City.

Hall’s public lecture is Tuesday, Feb. 25, at 6 p.m. in CWY 206, followed by a reception. Welcoming remarks will be offered by Provost Ralph Wilcox, whose office provides funds for the Scholar-in-Residence program.

Hall is the Julia Cherry Spruill Professor of History at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She is past president of the Organization of American Historians, the Southern Historical Association, and the Labor and Working Class History Association. In addition, Hall is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She served as the founding director of the Southern Oral History Program from 1973-2011.

Early in her career, Hall discovered the records of the Association of Southern Women for the Prevention of Lynching and of its director from 1930-1942, a white Texas woman, resulting in her influential book, “Revolt Against Chivalry: Jessie Daniel Ames and the Women's Campaign Against Lynching.” From there, she went on to write extensively about women, the South and race, and to establish oral history as a unique and vital approach to understanding the recent past. Hall's talk about the legacies of the civil rights movement can be viewed on YouTube.

Hall has long had a deep interest in the lives of early activists, noting their key role in developing a critical voice about their own region, before many were silenced during the anticommunist “witch hunts” of the 1950s. She believes we have a great deal to learn from these “lost" activists.” This provides the framework for her talk, “The Challenge of Writing about Dissident Women in the Shadow of the Long Cold War,” in which she traces the history of dissent from the Popular Front to the Second Red Scare through the lives of expatriate sisters: Grace Lumpkin, a proletarian writer whose 1929 novel, “To Make My Bread,” made her a briefly soaring literary star; and Katharine Du Pre Lumpkin, whose 1946 autobiography, “The Making of a Southerner,” inaugurated a new genre of critical reflections by people of conscience. She addresses the challenges of how to recover the lives of women who destroyed their papers and covered their tracks, and closes with the impact of McCarthyism on dissident lives.

For more information, and parking details, contact Liz Kicak by phone (813) 974-3657, email or visit the Humanities Institute website.


Filed under:Arts and Sciences Events Humanities Institute Sociology Women’s and Gender Studies 
Author: Liz Kicak