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Delta State to present annual Cranford Memorial Lecture

By July 23, 2010General

Dr. James G. Hollandsworth

Dr. James G. Hollandsworth, Jr. will present the ninth annual Sammy O. Cranford Memorial Lecture in History at Delta State University, Tuesday, April 18 at 7 p.m. in the Jobe Hall Auditorium on campus.

 A yearly event on the Delta State campus, the lecture series honors the memory of Dr. Sammy Cranford, a member of the history department for 25 years and University Archivist for 19 years before his untimely death in 1994. 

The Cranford Lecture first debuted in 1998, as then chair of the history department, Allen Dennis noted, “because our department wanted to honor Sammy’s memory in a significant way.  He valued good teaching and good writing, and it is a fitting tribute to him that we bring a historian to our campus each year who excels in both.”

Hollandsworth’s resume fits the twin bill, as his presentation, “Alfred Holt Stone:  Delta Native and Racial Theorist” will prove. The lecture topic relates to his voluntary labors compiling a carefully annotated index for the Mississippi Department of Archives and History’s Stone Collection. 

In 1942, Greenville native Alfred Holt Stone donated to the MDAH a large collection of materials on “The Negro and Cognate Subjects,” a treasure trove of over 3,000 documents dating from 1690 to 1909.  Hollandsworth’s 600-page index was formally opened to the public at a ceremony in Jackson earlier this month.

Hollandsworth brought to his task the fruits of a remarkably varied academic career.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Davidson College in 1966, but after service as an officer in the United States Army (1966-68), his scholarly interest shifted to psychology.  He earned a master’s (1972) and doctorate (1975) degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and in 1976 joined the Department of Counseling Psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi. 

He has won awards for both teaching and scholarship in the field of psychology.  Published in 1990, his second book, “The Physiology of Psychological Disorders:  Schizophrenia, Depression, Anxiety, and Substance Abuse” appeared on the Outstanding Academic Book List of the Association of College and Research Libraries, and he won both USM’s Innovation in Teaching Award (1982) and the Mississippi Psychological Association’s Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award (1990).

In the 1990s, Hollandsworth returned to his original field of academic interest, publishing three books on Civil War and Reconstruction history.  The first, “The Louisiana Native Guards:  The Black Military Experience during the Civil War” earned a Certificate of Commendation from the American Association of State and Local History.  His most recent volume, published in 2001, is entitled “An Absolute Massacre:  The New Orleans Race Riot of July 30, 1866.”

In addition to his teaching and scholarship, he has also served as Associate Vice-president for Academic Affairs, Associate Provost, and Dean of the Graduate School at USM.  He retired in 2004.

The Cranford Lecture is sponsored by the Delta State history department, in cooperation with the Delta Center for Culture and Learning.  The lecture is free and open to the public.  For more information, please call the Delta State history department at (662) 846-4170.