Fall Speaker Series Welcomes Dr. Lisa Lindsay

Monday, September 14, 3:30 pm, in the Department of History, 255 Old Hort

Lisa Lindsay, Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Associate Professor, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Will deliver a lecture based on her forthcoming book, Atlantic Bonds: A 19th Century Odyssey from America to Africa

 A decade before the American Civil War, James Churchwill Vaughan (1828-93) set out to fulfill his formerly enslaved father’s dying wish: that he should leave his home in South Carolina for a new life in Africa. With help from the American Colonization Society, he went first to Liberia, before accepting an offer of employment with southern American missionaries. Over the next four decades in today’s southwestern Nigeria, Vaughan became a war captive, served as a military sharpshooter, built and re-built a livelihood, led a revolt against white racism, and founded a family of activists. He witnessed wars that fed the Atlantic slave trade, the effects of foreign antislavery initiatives, the beginnings of missionary Christianity, the expansion of Lagos as a commercial metropolis, and the imposition of British colonialism. And he kept in touch with relatives in America. The Vaughan saga offers insights into the bonds of slavery and family in the African diaspora and highlights the differing prospects for people of African descent on two sides of the 19th century Atlantic world.

 Lindsay will also offer a special graduate student workshop, open to all, Monday September 14, from 10:30-12.

 Students are asked to read and be prepared to discuss and offer comments on a draft chapter of the book manuscript, entitled ‘Reconstructions.’ The Chapter examines the lives, struggles and interconnections of two segments of the Vaughan family, one in Lagos, Nigeria and the other in Camden, South Carolina, in the 1870s—two areas of the globe pulsing with dramatic change, not least the abolition of slavery. In both places, former masters worked to narrow the scope of change, while ex-slaves sought to assert their freedom through mobility, new economic opportunities, and redefined social relations.

Participants are asked to pre-register for this special seminar by contacting Elyse Hansen, hanse119@msu.edu who will then forward the reading.

Lisa Lindsay- History Department Fall Speaker Series