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Daniel Usner to present the Walter Lynwood Fleming Lectures

Posted by on Friday, March 25, 2022 in News Story.

Daniel Usner, Holland N. McTyeire Chair in History, will deliver the Walter Lynwood Fleming Lectures in Southern History on April 20 and 21 at Louisiana State University. There is a coincidental connection between this invited lecture series and Vanderbilt University. The lecture series began in 1937 to honor Walter Lynwood Fleming, who taught at Louisiana State University before joining the faculty at Vanderbilt University in 1917. At Vanderbilt, Fleming served as chair of the history department, dean of the College of Arts and Science, and director of the Graduate School.

Distinguished historians of the American South invited to present Fleming Lectures in the past include C. Vann Woodward, John Hope Franklin, Eric Foner, James McPherson, Drew Gilpin Faust, Ira Berlin, and Nancy MacLean. William C. Binkley, who taught in Vanderbilt’s history department for decades, delivered the Fleming Lectures in 1950.

In three lectures titled Native American Women and the Burdens of Southern History, Usner will explore the dynamic role that Indigenous women in the South have played in confronting sequential waves of colonization. European imperial invasion, plantation encroachment, and post-Civil War racialization affected Native American women in particular ways, and their means of adaptation and resistance likewise took distinct forms. By focusing on their responses and initiatives across centuries of time—with special emphasis on deployment of material culture in the Gulf Coastal South—Usner will underscore how central Indigenous women have been in struggles for Native American territory and sovereignty throughout southern history.

The titles of Usner’s individual presentations are:

  • “Enslavement and Exchange in the Colonial South”
  • “Dispossession and Survival in the Plantation South”
  • “Peril and Recovery in the Jim Crow South”

Revised and expanded versions of all three lectures will eventually be published as a book by Louisiana State University Press.

Usner has published five books and scores of articles, most of them concentrating on colonial slavery, colonial-Indian relations, and U.S. Indian policy in the American South. “Grateful for the opportunity afforded by the Fleming Lecture Series to address broad-sweeping themes in historical study of the region,” Usner has chosen “to issue a call for closer consideration of the experiences of Native American women over time and show how it will both complicate and enrich our understanding of southern history and culture.”

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