Hattiesburg, Miss. -- Two University of Southern Mississippi history faculty members will present the final two lectures of the second annual War and Society Lecture series, sponsored by the Southern Miss Center for the Study of War and Society and Department of History.
Dr. Douglas Chambers will present “Warfare in Atlantic Africa 1500-1800” April 3 and Dr. Greg O’Brien will present “The Choctaw Indian Defense of Pensacola during the American Revolution” April 11. Both lectures will be held at 6:30 p.m. in room 102 of the Liberal Arts Building. Admission is free and open to the university community and general public.
“The Center for the Study of War and Society has as one of its major goals a greater bond between the university and the community,” said Dr. Andrew Weist, associate professor of history and co-director of the center. “We have tremendous scholars here who are producing groundbreaking work in this area of study, and through this speakers series we hope to help create a true dialogue between the Center, the history department and the wider community.”
The theme for this year’s lecture series is “On the Edge of Empires: War and Society in the Early Atlantic World.” Renowned European military historian Dr. Jeremy Black, a professor at England’s University of Exeter, gave this year’s first lecture earlier this month.
“This year’s theme is a ‘hot topic’ in historical circles at the moment,” said Dr. Kyle Zelner, associate professor of history at Southern Miss. “The merging of many different races and cultures in the Atlantic world, starting in the 16th century, and the conflicts that incurred are simply fascinating. We were immensely proud that we could bring Jeremy Black to campus to start off the series and look forward to equally strong talks from two historians from our own department.“
The Center for the Study of War and Society is also extremely thankful for the support of the community in making the annual series possible, said Zelner.
Chambers’ lecture will focus on the important role played by Africa and Africans in the Atlantic regions’ wars, while O’Brien’s presentation will offer a case study of the interaction of American Indians during the pivotal battle at Pensacola, Fla., during the ‘war stage’ of the American Revolution, Zelner said.
“I believe these last two lectures will demonstrate just how diverse the early modern Atlantic world was, and how much of an effect warfare had on the region and period. If you look at the entire colonial period in the English Atlantic world alone, of the 176 years of the period (1607-1783), wars accounted for 99 of those years, or 56 percent of the time. That’s an amazing statistic on its own.”
Zelner said that in modern times, Americans have come to see war as a ‘distant event,’ contrary to life during Colonial America when armed conflict was immediate and frequent.
“Drs. O’Brien and Chambers will point out that war in the colonial Atlantic had an immediate effect on everyone, no matter their race, ethnicity, gender, or class, and it was of immense importance to their lives,” Zelner said.
For more information on these presentations, contact the Southern Miss Department of History at 601.266.4333.
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu .