2012 Public History Forum at Columbia University
The Public History Forum at Columbia University highlights the relationship between Columbia University and historical memory by bringing speakers and events to engage historical subjects both inside and outside of the traditional channels of scholarship. The Forum also provides examples of how the university acquires, preserves, and provides access to manuscript collections related to history through its Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
Questions? E-mail Eric Wakin.
All sessions take place in 523 Butler Library, 6:30– 8:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
April 10 (Tuesday)
Librarian of the John K. and Ruth Hulston Civil War Research Library
Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield
Mighty Glad to Get Out of the Wilderness: The Civil War Adventures of the Army of the Southwest
In March 1862, Union Brigadier General Samuel Ryan Curtis and his Army of the Southwest scored a decisive victory over Confederate forces at Pea Ridge in northwest Arkansas. Following this triumph, Curtis and his army began an epic march through southern Missouri and northern Arkansas. The objectives of the march changed several times, influenced by the movements of the Confederates, logistical concerns, and the changing strategic situation on both sides of the Mississippi River. Patrick will examine the three-month trek of this Union force. "Mighty Glad to Get out of the Wilderness" will examine the three-month trek of this Union force from various perspectives, highlighting the roles of Curtis, the Union enlisted men, the Confederates in Arkansas, and the civilians who inhabited the region.”
Co-sponsors: RBML; Lehman Center for American History; National Park Service
April 23 (Monday)
Author of A Radical Line: From the Labor Movement to the Weather Underground, One Family’s Century of Conscience
More Powerful than Dynamite: Radicals, Plutocrats, Progressives, and New York's Year of Anarchy
In the year that saw the start of World War I, the United States was itself on the verge of revolution: industrial depression in the east, striking coal miners in Colorado, and increasingly tense relations with Mexico. In New York, the year had opened with bright expectations, but 1914 quickly tumbled into disillusionment and violence. For John Purroy Mitchel, the city’s new “boy mayor,” the trouble started in January, when a crushing winter caused homeless shelters to overflow. By April, anarchist throngs paraded past industrialists’ mansions, and tens of thousands filled Union Square demanding “Bread or Revolution.” Then, on July 4, 1914, a detonation destroyed a seven-story Harlem tenement. It was the largest explosion the city had ever known. Among the dead were three bombmakers; incited by anarchist Alexander Berkman, they had been preparing to dynamite the estate of John D. Rockefeller Jr., son of a plutocratic dynasty and widely vilified for a massacre of his company’s striking workers in Colorado earlier that spring. More Powerful Than Dynamite charts how anarchist anger, progressive idealism, and plutocratic paternalism converged in that July explosion.
Co-sponsors: RBML; Lehman Center for American History