SPECIAL to #ADPhD: Rael on “Lincoln’s Unfinished Work”

Lincoln, Official Poster
Lincoln, Official Poster

Lincoln’s Unfinished Work
Patrick Rael (Bowdoin College)
Special to African Diaspora, Ph.D.

Amidst the widespread discussions of Steven Spielberg’s recent film Lincoln, few have sought to place the film within its own tradition of Civil War films. There’s nothing new, of course, about focusing a film on the character of Abraham Lincoln, though it has been well over thirty years since a major television or film production took him seriously (Hal Holbrook in Sandburg’s Lincoln [1974]).

In the early days it was different. The American film industry grew around his figure. In The Birth of a Nation, D.W. Griffith’s ground-breaking, racist masterpiece of 1915, Lincoln appeared as a wizened and tolerant executive at war with the maniacal Radical Republicans, whose racial tolerance merely masked their desire for vengeance against the rebels. In Griffith’s film, Lincoln’s premature death unleashed the Radicals, necessitating the bloody turmoil of Reconstruction. In the form of the Ku Klux Klan, only the energized spirit of white supremacy could save white womanhood — and, indeed, Anglo-Saxon civilization — from the rampaging black beast.

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CFP: “Pictures from an Expedition: Aesthetics of 19th-century Cartographic Exploration in the Americas” (Newberry Library)

Call for Papers: Newberry Library Symposium, June 20-21, 2013, Chicago, IL “Pictures from an Expedition: Aesthetics of 19th-century Cartographic Exploration in the Americas” We seek historians, art historians, geographers, and scholars of visual culture for a symposium to be held in Chicago at the Newberry Library on June 20-21, 2013. The symposium will consider the aesthetics and visual culture of 19th-century cartographic exploration in the … Continue reading CFP: “Pictures from an Expedition: Aesthetics of 19th-century Cartographic Exploration in the Americas” (Newberry Library)

FILM/ESSAYS: Chronicle “Conversation” on Spielberg’s Lincoln

The Conversation Blog at the Chronicle of Higher Ed hosted a roundtable on Spielberg’s recent release Lincoln: As viewers flock to see Lincoln, and reviewers rave about Daniel Day-Lewis’s performance, historians are raising different issues: How accurate is the film’s portrayal of emancipation? What does it leave out? The Chronicle Review asked several scholars to weigh in. Posts include: Kate Masur, “A Filmmaker’s Imagination, and … Continue reading FILM/ESSAYS: Chronicle “Conversation” on Spielberg’s Lincoln

CONF: Telling the History of Slavery: Scholarship, Museum Interpretation, and the Public at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

Fri, February 22, 2013, 9:00 am – Sat, February 23, 2013, 4:00 pm Reservations: Required This two-day event will feature panel discussions exploring recent innovations in slavery research and its impact on scholarship and public interpretation.  Bringing together leading experts from across academia, museums, and documentary filmmaking, the conference will include four panels, each with four presenters and a commentator, a plenary address by noted … Continue reading CONF: Telling the History of Slavery: Scholarship, Museum Interpretation, and the Public at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

Congratulations to James H. Sweet, Winner of the 2012 Douglass Prize

From the Gilder Lerhman Center: James Sweet, Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin, has been selected as the winner of the 2012 Frederick Douglass Book Prize for his book, Domingos Álvares, African Healing, and the Intellectual History of the Atlantic World (University of North Carolina Press). The Douglass Prize was jointly created by Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, … Continue reading Congratulations to James H. Sweet, Winner of the 2012 Douglass Prize

BOOK: Curran on the Anatomy of Blackness

Andrew S. Curran, The Anatomy of Blackness: Science and Slavery in an Age of Enlightenment. 1st ed. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011. From Johns Hopkins University Press: This volume examines the Enlightenment-era textualization of the Black African in European thought. Andrew S. Curran rewrites the history of blackness by replicating the practices of eighteenth-century readers. Surveying French and European travelogues, natural histories, … Continue reading BOOK: Curran on the Anatomy of Blackness