Wednesday, January 16, 2013 – Kathryn Braund
“Creek Indian Women in Time of War”
Historians of the Creek War traditionally focus on battles and commanders and rarely, if ever, consider the impact of war on women and children. And yet the Creek civil war resulted in an invasion of a populous region which destroyed not only the lives of male
Dr. Kathryn H. Braund—a professor at Auburn University—received an M.A. from Auburn and a Ph.D. from Florida State University. Dr. Braund’s research and writing
Wednesday, January 23, 2013 – Adam Jortner
“The Gods of Prophetstown: The Battle of Tippecanoe and the Holy War for the American Frontier.”
Adam Jortner proposes that the death struggle for America’s heartland was more than just a war between whites like William Henry Harrison who wanted to expel the Indians and Tecumseh and his brother—The Prophet—who wanted to preserve the traditional Indian way and keep the whites at a distance. The Prophet who claimed the miracle of making the sun go dark at midday declared himself to be in
for all Native Americans.
Harrison who was the governor of the Indiana Territory and future American President was relentless in
evicting Indians from the Midwest. Jortner places the religious dimension of the struggle at the forefront
declaring the climatic battle at Tippecanoe in 1811 as much a clash of gods as men.
Dr. Adam Jortner has spent the last several years studying the ways in which claims of supernatural power transformed American politics and Christianity. He has B.A. from the College of William and Mary, an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia where he won the Zora Neale Hurston Prize for the best paper on gender studies for his work on Ann Lee, founder of American Shakerism. He currently teaches American History at Auburn
Wednesday, January 30, 2013– John Hall
“Longleaf, Far as the Eye Can See”
Longleaf forests—those grand old pines which were the “alpha tree” of the largest ecosystem in North
America—once covered 92 million acres from Texas to Maryland to Florida. The longleaf defined the
southern forest, but logging, suppression of fire and a complex web of other factors reduced this tree to
only 3 million acres. There is a resurgence of interest in the stately tree, and longleaf forests are once again spreading across the South. John Hall who helped write the narrative on the recently published book on the longleaf pine will explore the development of longleaf forests prior to human contact and the influence that the longleaf has had on southern culture.
Dr. Hall, educated at the University of Alabama, has taught science and served as the Director of
Wednesday, February 6, 2013 – Edwin Bridges
“Reflections on Great Events in Alabama History”
Dr. Edwin Bridges, former Director of the Alabama Department of Archives and History, will focus on three events which he declares important not just for Alabama but for American history. He said, “In 2013, we are observing
As the director of ADAH, Dr. Bridges guided the study and preservation of Alabama history for thirty years. During his last years, he masterminded the “Becoming Alabama” statewide partnership to promote a better understanding of Alabama history and the significance of these three periods in the shaping of our state and nation. Bridges graduated from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, received his M.A. and Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013 – Doyle Johnson and Johnson Grass
“Bluegrass Music: Tugging the Heart Strings”
Bluegrass music—a form of “American Roots” music—has origins in Scottish, Irish and English music with immigrants bringing their music to Appalachia. The earliest accompaniment to Bluegrass was the fiddle with the bass, banjo, guitar
The Johnson Grass Band, of more that 60 years duration, will play the music and sing the songs. The band consists of
Wednesday, February 20, 2013 – Buddy Simpkins and Friends
“Let the Good Times Roll”
Once again, retired Sylacauga High School Band Director, Buddy Simpkins, has gathered a “who’s who” of musicians to join him in playing for the enjoyment of the Comer Library brown bag audience. Drawing on songs from musical history, the group will play their favorite repertoire of tunes—jazz, rhythm and blues, pop and swing, or whatever strikes their fancy—for those who wish to take the journey back to the good times.
Buddy, on drums, will be joined by the renowned jazz double bassist, Cleve Eaton, from Fairfield, Alabama. During his years as
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 – Chris Phillips and Friends
“Places in the Heart: The Immortal Power of Song”
Chris Phillips, a favorite with Comer Library’s brown bag audience, will explore the power of song. He is excited about this venture saying, “There is room for humor, poignancy
Chris is the Minister of Worship and Arts at First Methodist Church. He attended Samford
University where he pursued church music in undergraduate studies and music education as a
graduate student. His wife, Julie, is a dancer and the couple has one son, Ben.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 – Dolores Hydock
“Behind the Covers: Norman Rockwell as Storyteller”
Born in New York City in 1894, Norman Rockwell always wanted to be an artist and he began his art classes early in life. His first commission came before his sixteenth birthday and in 1916, the 22-year old Rockwell painted his first cover for the Saturday Evening Post—a magazine that Rockwell called “the greatest show window in America.” The 1930s and 1940s were perhaps Rockwell’s most fruitful decades with his work beginning to reflect small-town American life. But Rockwell didn’t just paint pictures—every picture told a story. In this presentation, storyteller Dolores Hydock shares surprising stories from Rockwell’s life and career, and describes the creative process that Rockwell used to carefully craft his one-image stories.
Hydock, originally from Pennsylvania, is an actress and story performer whose work has been featured in a variety of concerts, festivals, and special events throughout the United States. She is a touring artist for the Alabama State Council on the Arts, a speaker with the Alabama Humanities Foundation, and a member of the Southern Order of Storytellers. Dolores lives in Birmingham, Alabama and in her spare time, teaches Cajun and zydeco dancing. She is a great favorite with the brown bag lecture audience and her entertaining and thought-provoking stories always leave them wanting more of the same!