Dr. Edwin C. Bridges, who recently retired as director of the Alabama Department of Archives and History after more than thirty years at its helm, will speak in room 205, Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library at 6 pm, Monday, February 27. Bridges’s topic – “Alabama History: It’s Worth Another Look” – explores the important role that state histories play in telling our national story.
“State history is often regarded as lite – parochial, shallow, and the province of buffs and amateurs,” Bridges says, “but in our federal system, many programs and services that affect peoples’ daily lives are state responsibilities.” He believes that a firm understanding of each state’s history is crucial for both for good citizenship and for effective leadership.
“Alabama history is definitely not lite,” according to Bridges, who notes that the study of Alabama’s past continues to attract the attention of major scholars. “Many of the great issues of American and even world history can be seen unfolding in Alabama” as part of the state’s remarkably interesting and diverse story.
Dr. Bridges will hold a colloquium on public history and the humanities for all interested students, graduate and undergraduate, early that afternoon, at 3:30 pm, in the Summersell Room.
Dr. Bridges is the author of the recently released Alabama: The Making of an American State, which traces the Yellowhammer State’s history from the earliest fossil records to the most recent events. He served as director of the Alabama Department of Archives and History from 1986 to 2016, and he now volunteers his time with the Alabama Bicentennial Commission, chairing the steering committee that helps coordinate Commission initiatives.
This event is sponsored by The University of Alabama, the College of Arts & Sciences, the Department of History, the Friends of History, the Summersell Center for the Study of the South, and the Bankhead Fund.