McPherson-Mitchell Lecture Series

2019 McPherson-Mitchell Lecture

Dr. Sylviane Diouf

January 28, 2019

Dr. Sylviane Diouf, in her lecture "The Clotilda, African Town, and Beyond," discusses the 1859 smuggling of enslaved persons from the west coast of Africa to Mobile, Alabama.  This was fifty-one years after the African slave trade had been made illegal in the United States, and was the last known slave ship arriving in the United States from Africa.  Dr. Diouf tells the story of the voyage, the enslaved people, and their lives after emancipation.  This topic became very timely in 2018 when a newspaper reporter thought he had discovered the sunken hull of the Clotilda in the Mobile River.

Dr. Diouf is an independent historian of the African diaspora and author or editor of four non-fiction books, multiple book chapters and articles, and three children's books.  The book upon which she based her lecture, Dreams of Africa in Alabama: The Slave Ship Clotilda and the Story of the Last Africans Brought to America (Oxford University Press, 2007) won the 2007 Wesley-Logan Prize of the American Historical Association and the 2009 James F. Sulzby Award of the Alabama Historical Association.

Previous Lectures

2018

Dr. Hardy Jackson

Eminent Professor of History Emeritus at Jacksonville State University

"The Rise and Decline of the Redneck Riviera" 

2017

Dr. Deidra Suwanee Dees

Director and Tribal Archivist of the Office of Archives and Records Management, Poarch Band of Creek Indians

"Discovering Lost Treasures: The Muscogee Education Movement's Influence on Archival Acquisitions at the Poarch Band of Creek Indians"

2016

Dr. Arlene W. Keeling

PhD, RN, FAAN, University of Virginia,  Centennial Distinguished Professor of Nursing and Assistant Director of the Eleanor Crowder Bjoring Center for Historical Nursing Inquiry

“Providing Care in the ‘Hoot Owl Hollers’: The Frontier Nursing Service, 1925-1950”

2015

Dr. James C. Cobb

B. Phinizy Spalding Professor History, University of Georgia

"The South is Where You Find It: Contours of Southern Identity, Old and New"

2014

Dr. Kenneth Noe

Draughon Professor of Southern History, Auburn University

"The Yellowhammer War: Revisiting Alabama's Civil War at the Sesquicentennial"

2013

Dr. Jennifer Garlan

Independent Scholar

"When Hollywood Whistles Dixie: A Celluloid History of the South"

2012

Dr. Raymond O. Arsenault

John Hope Franklin Professor of Southern History, University of South Florida

"Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice"

Congressman John Lewis

U.S. Representative

"A Personal Experience The Freedom Rides"

 2011

Dr. Paul Sutter

Professor, University of Colorado at Boulder

"Let Us Now Praise Famous Gullies: Making Sense of Georgia's Little Grand Canyon"

2010

Dr. James L. Roark

Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of American History, Emory University

"Why the Confederacy Lost"

2009

Dr. Margaret Humphreys

Josiah Charles Trent Professor of the History of Medicine and Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine,  Duke University

"The South's Secret Weapons: Disease, Environment, and the Civil War"

2008

Dr. Stephanie Yuhl

Associate Professor of History, College of the Holy Cross

"Memory Matters: Personal and Public Heritage in Charleston"

2007

Dr. Fred Bailey

Professor, Abilene Christian University

"After Populism: Redeemer History and Social Control in New South Alabama, 1890-1920" 

 2004

Dr. Wayne Flynt

Professor, Auburn University