Defining and Redefining Equal Educational Opportunity in America's Urban School Districts
Professor David A. Gamson
Pennsylvania State University
Paino Lecture Hall (107 Beneski)
Despite the bleak view that many Americans have of our nation’s urban school districts, the Progressive Era city school system was once considered to be among the great democratic creations of the twentieth century. From the 1890s until the Second World War, most prominent educational leaders and policy makers depicted urban schools as laboratories of progressive educational innovation, much in the same way that municipal reformers of the era portrayed cities as experimental stations for novel forms of governance. The enduringly dour view of the American school district—whether accurate or not—masks a fascinating story about the role that school districts have played in the nation’s educational history. Because it offered public education to children from a spectrum of social backgrounds and economic classes, reformers believed that the urban school district held the potential to deliver on the promise of equal educational opportunity by quelling class differences and fostering a tranquil industrial democracy. This talk, adapted from The Importance of Being Urban, looks anew at this Progressive Era institution, exploring why civic leaders, academics, muckraking journalists, educators, and administrators all agreed on the urgency of urban educational reform and why they believed that the newly designed progressive school district was singularly qualified to carry out comprehensive educational improvement.
Read more about Professor Gamson's work here.
Saigon at War
Professor Heather Stur
University of Southern Mississippi
February 19, 2020
Professor Heather Stur will offer a lecture based on her forthcoming book Saigon at War: South Vietnam and the Global 1960s. Stur investigates South Vietnamese political activism during the Vietnam War and focuses on a wide range of actors including South Vietnamese students, Catholics, anticommunists, peace activists, journalists, and diplomats. Her groundbreaking work aims to incorporate South Vietnamese voices, so often overlooked by US historians, more fully into the Vietnam War narrative.
Read more about Professor Stur's work here.
The Ghosts of Sheridan Circle: How a Washington Assassination Brought Pinochet’s Terror State to Justice
Professor Alan McPherson
March 23, 2020
Professor McPherson's lecture is based on his new book about the 1976 car bombing of Chilean exile Orlando Letelier and his US colleague, Ronni Moffitt, in the heart of the US capital. The crime sparked an international investigation, a diplomatic impasse, and several courtroom dramas, all shaping one of the most consequential political thrillers of our time. The Letelier assassination changed the history of human rights, democracy and counterterrorism, and helped end Chile’s murderous dictatorship.
Archive of History Lectures & Events
16 Sept 2019 LM