During a white nationalists protest rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA on August 12, 2017, a 20-year-old man allegedly accelerated his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing a woman, Heather Heyer, and wounding many others. This particular conflict over the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert Lee from Charlottesville had been brewing for months, but since the founding of the nation, racial tensions have been present.
It can be argued that the confrontation by the white nationalists in Charlottesville, where Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia in 1819, was not a fluke as this is the tension the city was founded on and it has long been an ideological battleground. Judging by the response of both protestors and national leaders to the violence on August 12, the history of racial conflict continues to be at the epicentre of the nation’s future.
But is the violence in Charlottesville part of a larger movement? Has KKK, white nationalists/supremacists and Nazi sympathizers been emboldened by mixed messages from President Trump in condemning the violence? Is the violence likely to escalate? The speaker will examine the evolving history of racism in the southern USA and give perspective to how the current violence fits into that narrative.
Speaker: Dr. Lynn Kennedy
Dr. Kennedy received her BA (Hons) from the University of Western Ontario in 1993. In 1994 she completed her Master’s Degree in history at Queen’s University in Kingston, and then earned a Masters of Library and Information Science at UWO in 1995. In 1999 she once again returned to the University of Western Ontario to begin her PhD. Her doctoral dissertation, “Partus Sequitur Ventrem: Meanings of Childbirth and Motherhood in the Antebellum South,” was completed in 2004 and received the 2005 Lerner-Scott Prize for the best dissertation in US Women’s history from the Organization of American Historians.
Dr. Kennedy’s research interests focus on the Southern United States before the Civil War, particularly on the link between domestic relationships and broader social and political structures. Her book Born Southern: Childbirth, Motherhood & Social Networks in the Old South was published in 2010. Her current book project examines the use of gossip in forming social communities among elite whites in the antebellum South. Her class offerings include courses on Slavery & Abolition, the American South, and the history of the Civil Rights movement in the United States.
Moderator: Bev Muendel-Atherstone
Date: Thursday, Sep 7, 2017 Time: Noon - 1:30 PM (30 minutes each for presentation, lunch and Q & A) Location: Country Kitchen Catering (Lower level of The Keg) 1715 Mayor Magrath Dr. S Cost: $12.00 (includes lunch) or $2.00 (includes coffee/tea) RSVP is not necessary