The free weekly Lyceum Series is serves as a platform for ongoing curricular and co-curricular learning opportunities that relate directly to current issues.
Weekly Lyceum lectures are presented 1-1:50 p.m. Wednesdays in Washington Hall room 103. All presentations are free and open to the public.
Lyceum may be taken as a one-credit Humanities course.
Fall 2019 Schedule
According to convention, Christmas was magical for slaves—a glorious hiatus from the day-to-day burdens of forced labor. During this season, well-meaning masters supposedly discharged their laborers from all work, gave them generous gifts, threw them feasts, visited the "quarters" where they benignly observed their slaves' frenetic holiday dances, and allowed enslaved people permissions denied at other times to get married, drink to their hearts’ content, and travel to visit friends and family. This is the impression conveyed by pre-Civil War southern white propaganda, post-Civil War southern adult and children's fiction and memoirs, modern southern historic sites, and even many modern history books.
Robert E. May's talk, based on his new book with University of Virginia Press, Yuletide in Dixie, will show that though such stereotypes are horrific distortions, they have been incorporated into defenses of segregation and white supremacy. His talk will reveal a surprising story with links to debates over Confederate flags and Confederate monuments.
Dr. May has just moved to Olympia with his wife Jill from Indiana. A retired Purdue University Professor of History, he taught courses in the Civil War, southern history, US expansionism, Lincoln, and other subjects for over 40 years. He is the author of five books, including Slavery, Race, and Conquest in the Tropics, which was a finalist for the Lincoln book prize, and won many teaching recognitions while on Purdue's faculty. A native New Yorker, he earned his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.
Professor Gregory Gilbertson will offer a wide ranging and informative presentation on the role and value of Expert Witnesses and Private Investigators in federal civil rights litigation and criminal defense cases. Professor Gilbertson has consulted as an expert witness and private investigator on nearly 90 civil and criminal cases in 18 states over the past five years. He has testified in both state and federal courts as an expert witness in police practices, use of force, and self-defense.
On Aug. 16, 2019, author Clyde W. Ford was named a Literary Lion, by the Seattle-area King County Library System (KCLS) for 2019/2020. Each year, KCLS chooses Northwest authors of merit, as Literary Lions. This year, 20 authors were selected. Ford was named for Think Black, a memoir about his father, John Stanley Ford, the first Black software engineer in America, to be published this September by Amistad Press, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers.
In 1947, Ford's father was hired by the legendary Thomas J. Watson as IBM's first black software engineer. Despite the racism he faced, the elder Ford comported himself with dignity and professionalism, not knowing his hiring may have been meant to distract from IBM's dubious involvement in eugenics, the Holocaust, and apartheid. Passed over for promotions he deserved, Ford ultimately began blaming his fate on a notion that darker-skinned people like him were less intelligent and less capable - beliefs that painfully divided him and his son, Clyde, who followed him to IBM two decades later.