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.
Racism thrives in silence. It’s when we stop talking to one another about our beliefs that prejudices go unchallenged, and the gap between us widens. Yet race is one of the most difficult topics to discuss in American society. If we are to heal many of our country’s social, economic, and political divides, we can’t afford to avoid the conversation. With warmth and openness, renowned author and professor Clyde Ford leads a discussion on race in modern-day America with a heavy emphasis on audience participation. Meant for people of all races, participants will come away with tools for engaging in conversations about race in an honest, transparent, and meaningful way. Though ambitious, this talk aims to make a difference in bridging and healing the racial divide.
Ford was an instructor at Western Washington University where he taught “The Introduction to the African American Experience.” His books include We CAN All Get Along: 50 Steps You Can Take To Help End Racism and The Long Mile, for which he received the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Award. Ford was a featured guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show, where he discussed practical steps people can take to help end racism.