Lamar Lectures

The Lamar Lecture series, made possible by the bequest of the late Dorothy Blount Lamar, began in 1957. The series promotes the permanent preservation of southern culture, history and literature, and it is recognized as the most important lecture series on southern history and literature in the United States. The University of Georgia Press publishes The Lamar Lecture Series.

2017 Lamar Lectures

Jon Wells
Professor of History at the University of Michigan

Blind No More: Southern Slavery, Free Soil, and the Coming of the Civil War

Monday, October 30, 10:00 am: The Long Civil War: Slavery, African Americans, and Jon WellsKidnapping

Monday, October 30, 6:00 pm: The Fugitive Slave Law and the Sectional Crisis

Tuesday, October 31, 6:00 pm: The End of Compromise: Free Soil Americans and Disunion

Jonathan Daniel Wells, Ph.D., is Professor of History in the Departments of Afroamerican and African Studies and History, and Director of the Residential College, at the University of Michigan. He is the author or editor of ten books, including The Origins of the Southern Middle Class: 1820-1861 (University of North Carolina Press, 2004); Women Writers and Journalists in the Nineteenth-Century South (Cambridge University Press, 2011); The Southern Middle Class in the Long Nineteenth Century (LSU Press, 2011); The Routledge History of Nineteenth-Century America (2017) and A House Divided: The Civil War and Nineteenth-Century America (second ed., Routledge, 2016) in addition to articles in academic journals and chapters in books. He is currently working on two book projects related to the Fugitive Slave Crisis in the antebellum North.

All lectures will be held in the President’s Dining Room, University Center, and are free and open to the public.

Previous Lamar Lectures

  • 1957 - Donald Davidson (Vanderbilt) – Southern Writers in the Modern World
  • 1959 - Bernard May (Virginia) – Myths and Men: Patrick Henry, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson
  • 1960 - Jay B. Hubbell (Duke) – Southern Life in Fiction
  • 1961 - T. Henry Williams (Louisiana State) – Romance and Realism in Southern Politics
  • 1962 - Arthur Palmer Hudson (North Carolina) – Folklore Keeps the Past Alive
  • 1963 - Dewey W. Grantham, Jr., (Vanderbilt) – The Democratic South
  • 1964 - Edd Winfield Parks (Georgia) – Edgar Allan Poe as Literary Critic
  • 1965 - Thomas D. Clark (Kentucky) – Three Paths to the Modern South: Education, Agriculture, and Conservatism
  • 1966 - C. Hugh Holman (North Carolina) – Three Modes of Modern Southern Fiction: Ellen Glasgow, William Faulkner, Thomas Wolfe
  • 1967 - Clement Eaton (Kentucky) – The Waning of the Old South Civilisation, 1860s-1880s
  • 1968 - No Lecture
  • 1969 - Fletcher M. Green (North Carolina) – The Role of the Yankee in the Old South and Hodding Carter (Greenville, Mississippi) – Their Words Were Bullets: The Southern Press in War, Reconstruction, and Peace
  • 1970 - Floyd C. Watkins (Emory) – The Death of Art: Black and White in the Recent Southern Novel
  • 1971 - George B. Tindall (North Carolina) – The Disruption of the Solid South
  • 1972 - Louis D. Rubin, Jr., (North Carolina) – The Writer in the South
  • 1973 - Lewis P. Simpson (Louisiana State) – The Dispossessed Garden: Pastoral and History in Southern Literature
  • 1974 - Clarence L. Ver Steeg (Northwestern) – Origins of a Southern Mosaic: Studies of Early Carolina and Georgia
  • 1975 - Walter Sullivan (Vanderbilt) – A Requiem for the Renascence: The State of Fiction in the Modern South
  • 1976 - Merrill D. Peterson (Virginia) – Adams and Jefferson: A Revolutionary Dialogue
  • 1977 - Jack P. Greene (Johns Hopkins) – Paradise Defined: Studies in the Relationship between Historical Consciousness and the Emergence of Corporate Identities in Plantation America, 1650-1800 (unpublished)
  • 1978 - Richard Beale Davis (Tennessee) – A Colonial Southern Bookshelf: Reading the Eighteenth Century
  • 1979 - Marcus Cunliffe (Sussex) – Chattel Slavery and Wage Slavery: The Anglo-American Context, 1830-1860
  • 1980 - Samuel S. Hill (Florida) – South and North in American Religion: A Comparative Analysis by Selected Epochs
  • 1981 - Thomas Daniel Young (Vanderbilt) – Waking Their Neighbors Up: The Nashville Agrarians Rediscovered
  • 1982 - Paul M. Gaston (Virginia) – Women of Fair Hope
  • 1983 - Richard N. Current (North Carolina, Greensboro) – Northernizing the South
  • 1984 - R. Don Higginbotham (North Carolina) – George Washington and the American Military Tradition
  • 1985 - Cleanth Brooks (Yale) – The Language of the American South
  • 1986 - John Shelton Reed (North Carolina) – Southern Folk, Plain and Fancy
  • 1987 - Marion Montgomery (Georgia) – Possum, and Other Receipts for the Recovering of “Southern Being”
  • 1988 - Don E. Fehrenbacher (Stanford) – Constitutions and Constitutionalism in the Slaveholding South
  • 1989 - Lucinda H. MacKethan (North Carolina State) – Daughters of Time: Creating Woman’s Voice in Southern Story
  • 1990 - Fred Hobson (North Carolina) – The Southern Writer in the Postmodern South
  • 1991 - Bill Malone (Tulane) – Romance, Realism, and the Musical Culture of the Southern Plain Folk
  • 1992 - Eric J. Sundquist (UCLA) – The Hammers of Creation: Folk Culture in Modern Black Fiction
  • 1993 - John Blassingame (Yale) – Planter Testimony (unpublished)
  • 1994 - Bertram Wyatt-Brown (Florida) – The Literary Percys
  • 1995 - Jack Temple Kirby (Miami University [OH]) – The Countercultural South
  • 1996 - Trudier Harris (Emory) – The Power of the Porch: Narrative Strategies in Zora Neale Hurston, Gloria Gaynor, and Randall Kenan
  • 1997 - Drew Gilpin Faust (Penn) – Women on Women in the War: The Civil War in Southern Fiction (unpublished)
  • 1998 - Eugene D. Genovese (Emory) – A Consuming Fire: The Fall of the Confederacy in the Mind of the White Christian South
  • 1999 - Robert H. Brinkmeyer, Jr. (Mississippi) – Remapping Southern Literature: Contemporary Southern Writers and the West
  • 2000 - Adam Fairclough (University of East Anglia) – Teaching Equality: Black Schools in the Age of Jim Crow
  • 2001 - Edward Ayers (Virginia), Thadious M. Davis (Vanderbilt), Linda Wagner-Martin (North Carolina), Joel Williamson (North Carolina) – South To the Future: An American Region in the Twenty-First Century
  • 2002 - Theda Purdue (North Carolina) – “Mixed Blood” Indians: Racial Construction in the Early South
  • 2003 - Peter H. Wood (Duke) – Weathering the Storm: Inside Winslow Homer’s Gulf Stream
  • 2004 - Michael O’Brien (Cambridge) – Henry Adams and the Southern Question
  • 2005 - James C. Cobb (UGA) – Before and After Brown: Jim Crow, the Brown Decision, and the Changing Face of Southern Identity
  • 2006 - Barbara J. Fields (Columbia) – Teach About the South (unpublished)
  • 2007 - Richard Gray (Essex) – A Web of Words: The Great Dialogue of Southern Literature
  • 2008 - Anne Goodwyn Jones (Mississippi) — Before and After the War: Formations of Southern Manliness (unpublished)
  • 2008 - Paul Harvey (University of Colorado at Colorado Springs) — Moses, Jesus, and the Trickster in the Evangelical South
  • 2009 - Mark Smith (South Carolina) — Histories of a Hurricane: Camille, 1969
  • 2010 - Minrose Gwin (North Carolina) — Remembering Medgar Evers: Aesthetics, Justice, and the Long Civil Rights Movement
  • 2011 - Gary Gallagher (Virginia) — Becoming Confederates: Three Paths to a New National Loyalty
  • 2012 - Michael Kreyling (Vanderbilt) — A Late Encounter with the Civil War
  • 2013 - Daniel Usner (Vanderbilt) -- Weaving Alliances with Other Women: American Indian Work in the New South
  • 2014 - William L. Andrews (North Carolina) -- Class and African American Slave Narrative, 1865-1901
  • 2015 - Patricia Sullivan (South Carolina) - What Happened to the Civil Rights Movement?
  • 2016 - John T. Matthews (Boston University) - Hidden in Plain Sight: The Problem of the South in the American Literary Imagination