Paul Ortiz: The Making of an African American and Latinx History of the United States

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Contact person: Christy Waldkirch

An African American and Latinx History of the United States is a new interpretation of US history that builds on earlier generations of ethnic studies scholarship. An intersectional history of the shared struggle for human rights from 1776 to present, the book is an accessible narrative history arguing that Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa were integral to the development of democracy in the United States. From this grassroots perspective, ordinary people sought to build bridges of solidarity between the nations—not walls. Ortiz will discuss how the book is being integrated into college and high school social studies curricula seeking inclusiveness and historical accuracy.

Restless Youth and the Global 1968: Legacies of Rebellion 50 Years Later

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Contact person: Carol Kelley

Dr. Richard Ivan Jobs is a Professor of History at Pacific University Oregon. He will discuss two of the most fascinating aspects of 1968: the prominent role played by the young and the scale of simultaneous protests around the world. What explains these two historically distinctive elements of 1968? What legacies remain?

"How Did Americans Learn to Trust Processed Food?"

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How did we learn to trust food in opaque packages? In her new book, Canned: The Rise and Fall of Consumer Confidence in the American Food Industry, Dr. Anna Zeide reveals the answers through the story of the canning industry, taking us on a journey to understand how food industry leaders leveraged the powers of science, marketing, and politics to win over a reluctant public, even as consumers resisted at every turn.

Why the Reformation Still Matters: Batey Lecture Series

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Brad S. Gregory (Ph.D., Princeton University) is Professor of History and Dorothy G. Griffin Collegiate Chair at the University of Notre Dame, where he is also the Director of the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study. Before arriving at Notre Dame, he taught at Stanford University and was a Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows. He specializes in the history of Christianity in Europe during the Reformation and on the long-term influence of this era on the modern world. His books include Salvation at Stake: Christian Martyrdom in Early Modern Europe (Harvard, 1999), The Forgotten Writings of the Mennonite Martyrs (Brill, 2002), The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society (Belknap, 2012), and Rebel in the Ranks: Martin Luther, the Reformation, and the Conflicts that Continue to Shape Our World (Harper, 2017).

This lecture is free and open to the public.

Religious Studies

From Boss Crump to King Willie: How Race Changed Memphis Politics

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A Conversation with Otis Sanford

The city of Memphis underwent significant
changes in the 20th century, none more so
than the political transformations caused by
the Civil Rights Movement and the broader push
for political power among African Americans.
In this engaging event, celebrated Memphis
journalist and University of Memphis professor
Otis Sanford – the author of an acclaimed new
book on the subject – will discuss this crucial
aspect of the city’s history and its contemporary
repercussions. He will be joined in conversation
by Rhodes professors Charles McKinney (History,
Africana Studies) and Michael Nelson (Political
Science) for an engaging and provocative

A book signing will follow the event.

This event is free and open to the public.
No reservations are required.

Memphis Center

The Finality of Prophecy

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In Arabia a man named Muhammad, who was born c.
    570 CE, is said to have received a series of communications from
    God  between 610 and 632 CE.
    These communications subsequently were recorded in writing,
    collected, and redacted in the text known as the Quran. On one
    occasion, the Quran refers to Muhammad as “the seal of
    Prophets,” a phrase that is understood by all Muslims as
    signifying that prophecy came to an end upon Muhammad’s death
    in 632 CE. In this lecture, Dr. David Powers will attempt to situate this claim
    in the context of the understanding of prophecy in the Near East
    in Antiquity and Late Antiquity.

 David S. Powers is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, and a
    long-suffering Cleveland Indians fan. He received his Ph.D. from
    Princeton in 1979 and began teaching at Cornell in the same year.
    He currently holds positions as Professor in the Department of
    Near Eastern Studies, Adjunct Professor at the Cornell Law School, and
    director of the Medieval Studies Program. His courses deal with
    Islamic civilization, Islamic history and law, and classical
    Arabic texts, and his research focuses on the emergence of Islam
    and Islamic legal history. He is founding editor of the journal
    Islamic Law and Society.

CANCELLED: Prof. Sharon Kinoshita: Marco Polo and the Global Middle Ages

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*Prof. Kinoshita has had to cancel her visit to Rhodes due to severe flooding and mudslides in Santa Cruz, CA.*

Sharon Kinoshita, Professor and Chair of Literature at UC-Santa Cruz, will speak on "Marco Polo and the Global Middle Ages."

Prof. Kinoshita's current work is primarily focused in Medieval Mediterranean Studies. With Brian Catlos (Religious Studies, Colorado-Boulder and History, UCSC), she co-directs the UCSC Center for Mediterranean Studies as well as the University of California Multicampus Research Project Initiative in Mediterranean Studies ( Her work in this area includes two book manuscripts in progress. Paying Tribute: Old French Literature and the Medieval Culture of Empire studies vernacular French representations of and interactions with an imperial culture, distinct from that of post-Carolingian Europe, shared by Latin Christian, Byzantine, and Muslim courts. Medieval Mediterranean Literature explores new approaches to canonical and non-canonical medieval texts in the historical context of the high and late medieval Mediterranean, c. 1100-1400. In the field of Old French Literature, Prof. Kinoshita has recently co-authored books on Chretien de Troyes and Marie de France. She is currently working on a translation of and monograph on Marco Polo.


Tanisha C. Ford

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Professor Tanisha Ford, author of Liberated Threads: Black Women, Style and the Global Politics of Soul, will be giving a public lecture and signing copies of her new book on Tuesday, March 22 at 6pm in Blount Auditorium.


Co-sponsor : Office of External Programs

Choro das 3: Brazilian Music Concert

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Choro das 3, a Brazilian instrumental group, returns to Memphis for two days.  They will be visiting Rhodes College for the very first time!

Concert will be held Tuesday, April 12th, at 7:00pm, and a hands-on strings and percussion workshop will be held Wednesday, April 13th at 7:30pm.

Both events are free and open to the public.

To sign up for the workshop please call: 888-408-4181

Peter Soppelsa: Nature & Technology in Paris' Waterscape, 1870-1914

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How do nature and technology shape where water flows?  How do they affect who has access to it? Using Paris as a case-study, Soppelsa examines the city's "waterscape" to investigate the place of water in society during a period where how Parisians used their water changed dramatically and became highly politicized.  He raises fundamental questions about how humans and non-humans make ecological change.  Soppelsa's talk resonates with today's debates on "water wars," water infrastructure, and water pollution.