Events and Activities



Dr. LeeAnna Keith to Speak on "Alabama Fever": Wed. Feb. 25, 7:00 p.m.

The History Department at UAHuntsville is pleased to welcome Dr. LeeAnna Keith to campus. In addition to meeting with undergraduate and graduate students in Dr. John Kvach's course on "Public History," Dr. Keith will give two public lectures:

History Forum: "Alabama Fever: Slavery and Western Expansion in Antebellum Huntsville"
Wednesday, February 25, 7:00 p.m., Roberts Hall 419

Honors Forum: "The Colfax Massacre"
Thursday, February 26, 11:10 a.m., Frank Franz Hall Multipurpose Room

In the first lecture, Dr. Keith will examine the role that “Alabama Fever” had on the development of antebellum Huntsville and Madison County. “Alabama Fever” became a term commonly used to describe the excitement created by the opening of new land after the United States government defeated the Creek Nation at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814. Enticed by fertile land, navigable rivers, and the possibility of spreading slavery to new territory, thousands of settlers from the South Atlantic seaboard moved into present-day Alabama, creating the foundation for an agricultural, slaved-based plantation economy that would exist until the Civil War.

In the second lecture, Dr. Keith will discuss her book, The Colfax Massacre: The Untold Story of Black Power, White Terror, and the Death of Reconstruction . Her website describes the book as follows:
"On Easter Sunday, 1873, in the tiny hamlet of Colfax, Louisiana, more than 150 members of an all-black Republican militia, defending the town's courthouse, were slain by an armed force of rampaging white supremacists. The most deadly incident of racial violence of the Reconstruction era, the Colfax Massacre unleashed a reign of terror that all but extinguished the campaign for racial equality.

LeeAnna Keith's The Colfax Massacre is the first full-length book to tell the history of this decisive event. Drawing on a huge body of documents, including eyewitness accounts of the massacre, as well as newly discovered evidence from the site itself, Keith explores the racial tensions that led to the fateful encounter, during which surrendering blacks were mercilessly slaughtered, and the reverberations this message of terror sent throughout the South. Keith also recounts the heroic attempts by U.S. Attorney J.R. Beckwith to bring the killers to justice and the many legal issues raised by the massacre. In 1875, disregarding the poignant testimony of 300 witnesses, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously in U.S. v. Cruikshank to overturn a lower court conviction of eight conspirators. This decision virtually nullified the Ku Klux Klan Enforcement Acts of 1870 and 1871--which had made federal offenses of a variety of acts to intimidate voters and officeholders--and cleared the way for the Jim Crow era.

If there was a single historical moment that effectively killed Reconstruction and erased the gains blacks had made since the civil war, it was the day of the Colfax Massacre. LeeAnna Keith gives readers both a gripping narrative account of that portentous day and a nuanced historical analysis of its far-reaching repercussions."

Dr. Keith's visit is co-sponsored by the History Department and the Honors Forum at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Please contact 256-824-6310 with questions.


2009 Classics Week: Professor Robert Kaster of Princeton University

The Society for Ancient Languages at UAHuntsville is pleased to announce the 2009 Classics Week, featuring Professor Robert Kaster, Professor of Classics and Kennedy Foundation Professor of Latin at Princeton University. Kaster will give two lectures on Friday, February 27, both in 419 Roberts Hall. At 11:30 a.m., he will discuss "Roman Values and Virtues," and at 7:00 p.m., he will discuss "Cicero in Mourning."

Professor Kaster received a BA degree from Dartmouth College in 1969 and MA and PhD degrees from Harvard University in 1971 and 1975. His specialities are Roman rhetoric, ancient education, and Roman ethics. He has published six books, including Guardians of Language: The Grammarian and Society in Late Antiquity, which won the Goodwin Award of Merit in 2001. His works in progress include an annotated translation of Seneca's De ira and De clementia and an edition of Macrobius's Saturnalia.

Please come to one or both talks and bring a friend! Please contact Dr. Richard Gerberding, Professor of History and Director of Classic Studies at

Film Showing: Sophie Scholl, the Last Days

ed to view the German film "Sophie Scholl: The Last Days" (2005) on Friday February 20 at 1:00 p.m. in Roberts Hall 423 (the seminar room). This film recounts the actions and interrogation of Sophie Scholl, key member of the White Rose student resistance group based at the University of Munich during the Nazi era. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. This is one of several films Dr. Molly Johnson is showing as part of her class on "Nazi Germany and the Holocaust." Please contact her with any questions at


AIA Talks: Aspects of Africa, Feb. 17-19

Dr. Paula Girshick comes to Huntsville as a Humanities Center Visiting Eminent Professor. She is a Professor of Anthropology and African Studies at Indiana University, where she is also affiliated with the Center for Archaeology in the Public Interest.

Dr. Girshick has had a distinguished career doing significant field research on the Benin Kingdom in Nigeria, and analyzing the cultural, political, and historical significance of the highly ritualized royal art of the Benin. She is an expert on the priestesses devoted to the powerful deity Olokun. She has published significantly on Benin art and her book, The Art of the Benin, published by the British Museum Press and the Smithsonian Institution, remains the most important survey of Benin visual culture.

More recently, Dr. Girshick has turned her attention to the use of art and museums in establishing national identity in post-Apartheid South Africa. She also investigates the dynamics of the South African market for so-called “traditional” African art.

At Indiana University Dr. Girshick teaches a wide range of fascinating courses that relate to her research areas: “Art and Commodity,” “Exhibiting Cultures: Museums, Exhibitions, and Worlds’ Fairs,” “Theories of Material Culture,” “The Anthropology of Tourism,” and “Public Art: Monuments and Memorials.”

February 17
Paula Girshick, Indiana University
Humanities Center Visiting Eminent Scholar Program
"Molders of the Gods: the Priestess as Artist in the Benin Kingdom, Nigeria"
Roberts Hall 419, 12:45 PM

February 17
Dr. Paula Girshick, Indiana University
Humanities Center Visiting Eminent Scholar Program
"There Are Three Things in the Palace That Are Threatening": Royal Ritual Symbolism in the Benin Kingdom, Nigeria"
Chan Auditorium
7:30 PM

February 18
Dr. Paula Girshick, Indiana University
Humanities Center Visiting Eminent Scholar Program
viewing and discussion of film "In and Out of Africa"
Union Grove Gallery 12:30

February 19
Dr. Paula Girshick, Indiana University
Humanities Center Visiting Eminent Scholar Program
"National Monuments and the Re-figuration of the Past in Post-Apartheid South Africa"
Chan Auditorium
7:30 PM

Research Talk by Dr. Christine Sears

On Monday February 16 at 5:30 p.m. in Roberts Hall 423 (the seminar room), Dr. Christine Sears, Assistant Professor of History, will give a talk on her research entitled "'American Livestock:' Masculinity, Slavery and Barbary Pirates."

This event is co-sponsored by the History Club and the Phi Alpha Theta history honorary.

Please come and bring a friend!


Film Showing: Schindler's List, 1:00 p.m. Friday February 13

You are invited to watch Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List , winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1993, on Friday February 13 at 1:00 p.m. in Roberts Hall 423. This film tells the true story of how German industrialist Oskar Schindler saved the lives of over 1000 Jews from Poland during the Holocaust.

This is the first of four films to be shown in conjunction with Dr. Molly Johnson's course on Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. Please contact her with any questions at

Please come and bring a friend!