Dr. Carrie Gibson, an historian and author of Empires Crossroads, a History of the Caribbean from Columbus to the Present Day, came to the History Department on Friday, February 12, to deliver a talk titled “The Deep South and its ‘Forgotten’ Hispanic Heritage.” The talk was drawn from her upcoming book, a history of the Hispanic past in the US and the historical memory of this legacy. Using the Deep South as an example, Dr. Gibson highlighted some important examples of the importance of this Hispanic heritage of Florida, the Carolinas, and Louisiana, and pointed out at the ways in which the Hispanic colonial origins of these areas have been downplayed. Her talk was followed by a Q and A with students and faculty.
On Thursday, February 11th Dr. Mary Louise Roberts, WARF Distinguished Lucie Aubrac Professor and Plaenert Bascom Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin, delivered a lecture entitled, “Five Ways to Look at a Corpse.” Roberts examined how human interactions (both soldier and civilian) with dead bodies in Normandy during WWII shaped the entire war experience. Looking at the corpse as both an embodied and disembodied symbol of the war itself, Roberts challenged us to rethink the corpse’s role in history, particularly its ability to tell stories we may not otherwise learn.