Contact: Robert Marczynski
April 8, 2014 - Dr. Andrew Zimmerman, award-winning professor at George Washington
University, will explore the international impact of the Civil War at the next Marcus
W. Orr Center for the Humanities Lecture at the University of Memphis. He will speak
April 17 in the University Center Theatre at 6 p.m., preceded by a reception at 5:30
p.m. in the theatre lobby.
The lecture is free and open to the public with parking in the Zach Curlin garage
adjacent to the University Center.
While it is often considered an event limited to the United States, Zimmerman will
suggest the Civil War actually had far reaching international implications. His lecture,
"Radical Life on the Mississippi: A Global History of the American Civil War," highlights
the international currents at work when war came to the region in 1861.
The struggle between secession and union was joined by revolutionary socialist émigrés
from Europe, African-American rebels against slavery, and evangelical anti-slavery
fighters from "Bleeding Kansas." These diverse international groups brought with them
their own experiences of armed struggle against slavery, fights against aristocracy
and distaste for capitalism. They also brought, and advanced, a wide range of secular
and religious ideas about the nature of a just society. At the same time, slaveholders
sought to build an international defense of slavery by engaging the conservative socialisms
of Napoleon III in France and Robert Owen in Britain. In an attempt to modernize the
ideology and institutions, which supported slavery, these slaveholders looked to their
counterparts in the Caribbean and Latin America. This internal American conflict came
to be influenced by and to influence European, Caribbean, Latin American and African
Zimmerman graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California at Los Angeles
before earning his PhD in history from the University of California, San Diego. He
was a Mellon Fellow in History at Columbia University and went on to join the faculty
at George Washington University, where he has been recognized for his research and
teaching. He is the author of Anthropology and Antihumanism in Imperial Germany and
Alabama in Africa: Booker T. Washington, The German Empire, and the Globalization
of the New South.
Zimmerman's Lecture is co-sponsored by the interdisciplinary student group Transcending
Boundaries, the Department of History, the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures
and University Public Service Funds.
More Information on this event or the Marcus W. Orr Center for the Humanities is available