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Sammy O. Cranford Memorial History Lecture Archives - News and Events

Berry to provide 21st annual Sammy O. Cranford Memorial History Lecture

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Delta State University will host the 21st annual Sammy O. Cranford Memorial History Lecture on April 5 at 7 p.m. in Jobe Hall Auditorium.

The 2018 lecturer is Dr. Stephen Berry, Gregory Professor of the Civil War Era at the University of Georgia. Berry’s talk is entitled, “Dead Reckoning: What Coroners’ Records Reveal about Life and Death in the Old South.”

The Cranford Lecture is sponsored by the Delta State Division of Social Sciences and History and is supported by a generous grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council. The DSU Quality Enhancement Plan is also providing support for the lecture, which honors the life of Dr. Sammy Orren Cranford, longtime history professor and archivist at Delta State. The event is free and open to the public.

Berry earned his doctorate in history from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and is a leading scholar of the American Civil War and the nineteenth-century South. He has two books, “House of Abraham: Lincoln and the Todds” (2007) and “All That Makes a Man: Love and Ambition in the Civil War South” (2003). He has edited numerous volumes, including “A House Divided: The Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858” (2015) and “Weirding the War: Stories from the Civil War’s Ragged Edges” (2011).

He is currently working on several projects, most notably, a digital history project entitled “CSI: Dixie,” which uses coroners’ records to gain a deeper understanding of life and death in the nineteenth-century American South. As noted on the project website, “Coroners’ inquests are some of the richest records we have of life and death in the nineteenth century South. As mortals, we all die, but we do not die equally. Race, place, gender, profession, behavior, and good and bad luck play large roles in determining how we go out of the world. Collecting extant coroners’ inquests for the state of South Carolina between 1800 and 1900, CSI Dixie provides rare glimpses into Victorian-era suicide, homicide, infanticide, abortion, child abuse, spousal abuse, master-slave murder, and slave on slave violence.” For more information on the project, visit https://csidixie.org.

Dr. Sammy O. Cranford

Berry’s work for “CSI: Dixie” will serve as the foundation for his lecture.

“We are excited to have Stephen Berry deliver this year’s lecture,” said Dr. Chuck Westmoreland, associate professor of history at Delta State. “His work on the American Civil War and the nineteenth-century South is some of the most imaginative and creative you will find from historians today. He explores fascinating topics about daily life and death in the American South that push us to think about this region’s history, as well as the nation’s, in fresh, new ways. Students, faculty, staff and community members will learn a great deal about life and death in the Old South.”

Berry serves as the secretary-treasurer for the Southern Historical Association and has been a fellow for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. In 2010, he received the Parks-Heggoy Award for excellence in graduate student teaching in the University of Georgia’s Department of History.

Westmoreland said Berry’s commitment to excellence in teaching, scholarship and public engagement bears much similarity to the work of Cranford.

“Stephen Berry has done a terrific job of taking history outside the traditional confines of the classroom and academic publications and into the digital world,” he added. “He speaks around the country and engages different types of audiences with his work. Dr. Cranford excelled at teaching and bringing history to a wider audience as well. I think he would appreciate the depth and creativity that Dr. Berry brings to the study of the past.”

As Westmoreland noted, the Cranford Lecture is a tribute to the life and legacy of Dr. Cranford.

“Through his passion as a history professor, and his commitment to developing the DSU Archives, Dr. Cranford made our campus and community a better place,” said Westmoreland. “He touched the lives of students, fellow colleagues, community members and scholars who came to DSU to conduct research in our archives. This year’s lecture presents a great opportunity to learn from Dr. Berry and honor Dr. Cranford, one of Delta State’s most distinguished faculty members.”

Previous lecturers include: 1998, John Marzalek; 1999, John Ray Skates; 2000, James Cobb; 2001, Martha Swain; 2002, Lawrence Nelson; 2003, Nan Woodruff; 2004, David Sansing; 2005, Charles Reagan Wilson; 2006, James Hollandsworth; 2007, Elbert Hilliard; 2008, Larry Griffin; 2009, William LaForge; 2010, Chris Myers Asch; 2011, Charles Eagles; 2012, George Rable; 2013, Jeannie Whayne; 2014, Tim Huebner; 2015, Alecia Long; 2016, Aram Goudsouzian; 2017, Calvin White, Jr.

Following the lecture, a reception will be held in the Jobe Hall lobby.

For more information on the Sammy O. Cranford Memorial History Lecture, contact Westmoreland at cwestmoreland@deltastate.edu.

Goudsouzian to be featured speaker at Cranford Lecture

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Delta State University is gearing up for the 19th annual Sammy O. Cranford Memorial History Lecture on April 7 at 7 p.m. in Jobe Hall Auditorium.

This year’s lecturer is Dr. Aram Goudsouzian, professor of history and department chair at the University of Memphis. In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the 1966 James Meredith March Against Fear, Goudsouzian’s lecture is entitled, “Down to the Crossroads: Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Meredith March Against Fear.”

The Cranford Lecture is sponsored by the Delta State Division of Social Sciences and History and is supported by a grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council. This event honors the life of Dr. Sammy Orren Cranford, longtime history professor and archivist at Delta State. This event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Goudsouzian is one of the leading scholars in post-World War II African American history and civil rights,” said Dr. Chuck Westmoreland, assistant professor of history at Delta State. “He is an extremely versatile scholar who has written biographies of Sidney Poitier and Bill Russell, in addition to his latest work on the 1966 James Meredith March Against Fear. The march, which is an often misunderstood and oversimplified moment in the modern civil rights struggle, gains new life and clarity in Dr. Goudsouzian’s award-winning book ‘Down to the Crossroads: Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Meredith March Against Fear.’ 

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Goudsouzian give this year’s Cranford Lecture. It will be a great time for learning and for honoring one of Delta State’s most distinguished faculty members, Dr. Sammy O. Cranford, and the Cranford family.”

For more information on the Sammy O. Cranford Memorial History Lecture, contact Westmoreland at cwestmoreland@deltastate.edu.

Previous lecturers include: 1998, John Marzalek; 1999, John Ray Skates; 2000, James Cobb; 2001, Martha Swain; 2002, Lawrence Nelson; 2003, Nan Woodruff; 2004, David Sansing; 2005, Charles Reagan Wilson; 2006, James Hollandsworth; 2007, Elbert Hilliard; 2008, Larry Griffin; 2009, William LaForge; 2010, Chris Myers Asch; 2011, Charles Eagles; 2012, George Rable; 2013, Jeannie Whayne; 2014, Tim Huebner; and 2015, Alecia Long.

Long featured speaker at Cranford Lecture

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Delta State University is gearing up for the 18th annual Sammy O. Cranford Memorial History Lecture on April 27 at 7 p.m. in Jobe Hall Auditorium.

This year’s lecturer is Dr. Alecia Long from Louisiana State University. Her talk is entitled “The Trouble with Tight Pants: New Orleans, Homosexuality and the Search for Conspiracy in the Assassination of JFK.” A reception will follow her lecture.

The Cranford Lecture is sponsored by the Delta State Division of Social Sciences and History and is supported by a grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council. This event honors the life of Dr. Sammy Orren Cranford, longtime history professor and archivist at Delta State. This event is free and open to the public.

“The Cranford Lecture is always a great opportunity to host scholars and experts in various historical topics,” said Chuck Westmoreland, assistant professor of history at Delta State. “Students, faculty, staff and the community at large will be treated to an outstanding talk by Dr. Alecia Long from LSU.”

“Dr. Long will be discussing a topic of great interest that has received much ink and remains so important to our national historical memory,” he added. “Her work, though, looks at the JFK assassination from new and exciting angles. This project contributes not only to our understanding of this national tragedy, but also to a growing historical scholarship on the politics of gender and sexuality.”

For more information on the Sammy O. Cranford Memorial History Lecture, contact Westmoreland at cwestmoreland@deltastate.edu. There is also a Facebook page for the lecture: https://www.facebook.com/cranfordlecture.

Previous lecturers include: 1998, John Marzalek; 1999, John Ray Skates; 2000, James Cobb; 2001, Martha Swain; 2002, Lawrence Nelson; 2003, Nan Woodruff; 2004, David Sansing; 2005, Charles Reagan Wilson; 2006, James Hollandsworth; 2007, Elbert Hilliard; 2008, Larry Griffin; 2009, William LaForge; 2010, Chris Myers Asch; 2011, Charles Eagles; 2012, George Rable; 2013, Jeannie Whayne; and 2014, Tim Huebner.

Those interested in following news related to the History Department at Delta State are encouraged to like the program’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-History-Program-at-Delta-State/114699821965257.

The 17th Annual Sammy O. Cranford Memorial History Lecture: The Unjust Judge: Roger B. Taney, the Slave Power, and the Meaning of Emancipation

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As emancipation unfolded in the wartime Union, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney’s decision in the Dred Scott case of 1857 always lurked in the background.  But soon Taney himself became the issue.  More than anyone else, the Chief Justice personified the Slave Power and the hold that it had once had over the national government.  Taney’s death in 1864 prompted the publication of articles and pamphlets that vilified the Chief Justice, thus offering a glimpse of how northerners at the time thought about the meaning of emancipation and the Civil War.

Huebner to highlight Sammy O. Cranford Memorial History Lecture

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Delta State’s Division of Social Sciences and History is gearing up for the 17th annual Sammy O. Cranford Memorial History Lecture on April 3 at 7 p.m. in Jobe Hall Auditorium.

Tim Huebner of Rhodes College is this year’s special guest speaker and will be discussing Chief Justice Roger Taney’s impact on the Civil War and emancipation.  His talk is titled “The Unjust Judge: Roger B. Taney, the Slave Power and the Meaning of Emancipation.”

“As emancipation unfolded in the wartime Union, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney’s decision in the Dred Scott case of 1857 always lurked in the background. But soon Taney himself became the issue,” said Huebner, while describing his lecture. “More than anyone else, the Chief Justice personified the Slave Power and the hold that it had once had over the national government. Taney’s death in 1864 prompted the publication of articles and pamphlets that vilified the Chief Justice, thus offering a glimpse of how northerners at the time thought about the meaning of emancipation and the Civil War.”

Chuck Westmoreland, assistant professor of history at Delta State, is thrilled to bring Huebner’s expertise to campus. The lecture series, established to commemorate the life and work of Delta State history professor Sammy O. Cranford, is free and open to the general public, as is the reception following.

“The Cranford Lecture gives our division and university the opportunity to remember one of the truly influential faculty members in Delta State’s long history,” said Westmoreland. “Dr. Sammy O. Cranford was an outstanding classroom teacher and scholar who shaped many students’ lives. Furthermore, he developed the Delta State Archives as a critical site for research on the university and this region.

“Bringing in top-notch speakers like Dr. Timothy Huebner has been, for 17 years, the university’s way of honoring Cranford’s legacy. His lecture on Roger Taney will bring valuable insights into the debates over race, slavery and freedom in the American republic, which is especially timely for Delta State.

“With our campus being just a couple of weeks removed from the Winning the Race conference, the Cranford Lecture presents another important chance to learn about our nation’s complicated racial history and continue our ongoing dialogue on race and diversity. We look forward to welcoming Dr. Huebner to campus for another great Cranford Lecture.”

Huebner, history chair at Rhodes, has taught a variety of courses dealing with the American South and the United States Constitution. Additionally, he specializes in law and justice in the South, Abraham Lincoln and the Supreme Court in United States history.

Currently, he is writing an interpretative synthesis of the American Civil War and reconstruction that focuses on the constitutional and political history of the period, under contract with the University Press of Kansas.

For more information on the Sammy O. Cranford Memorial History Lecture, contact Westmoreland at cwestmoreland@deltastate.edu. Previous lecturers include: 1998, John Marzalek; 1999, John Ray Skates; 2000, James Cobb; 2001, Martha Swain; 2002, Lawrence Nelson; 2003, Nan Woodruff; 2004, David Sansing; 2005, Charles Reagan Wilson; 2006, James Hollandsworth; 2007, Elbert Hilliard; 2008, Larry Griffin; 2009,William LaForge; 2010, Chris Myers Asch; 2011, Charles Eagles; 2012, George Rable; and 2013, Jeannie Whayne.

Those interested in following news related to the History Department at Delta State are encouraged to like the program’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-History-Program-at-Delta-State/114699821965257.