Lecture Series

The Department of History hosts two endowed lecture series featuring leading scholars each year. Both the George W. Knepper Endowed Lecture and the Sally A. Miller Humanities Lecture are free events and open to the public. Our lecture series are opportunities to bring together the University of Akron and the larger community to listen to engaging presentations of new research in history and the humanities and to ask questions of visiting scholars.

The Sally A. Miller Humanities Lecture

The Sally A. Miller Lecture features a distinguished scholar of the humanities each year. Visiting scholars speak on European or Global topics in history and related disciplines. Joseph G. and Sally A. Miller endowed the lecture series in 1998 as part of the Sally A. Miller Humanities Center within the Department of History.

Upcoming Lectures

"Singing like Germans: Black Musicians in the Land of Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms" by Prof. Kira Thurman, University of Michigan, April 10, 2024. 5:30 p.m. Simmons Hall Auditorium

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Past Lectures

  • “Scandal in the Reformation: How to Shock your Neighbor in 16th-century Geneva” by Prof. Karen Spierling, Denison University (2023)
  • “Empire of Rubber: Scenes from Firestone’s Scramble for Land and Power in Liberia” by Prof. Gregg Mitman, University of Wisconsin (2022)
  • "How to Be Childless: A History and Philosophy of Life Without Children" by Prof. Rachel Chrastil, Xavier University (2020)
  • "Empire Beneath the Waves: Pearls and the Violence and Beauty of the Early America” by Prof. Molly Warsh, University of Pittsburgh (2019)
  • "Empathy, Coexistence, and Identity Politics in Trump's America: What Can We Learn from the Shared History of Jews and Muslims in France?" by Prof. Ethan Katz, University of Cincinnati (2018)
  • “Fascism Then and Now” by Prof. Geoff Eley, University of Michigan (2017)
  • ”Black-and-White Pas de Deux: Performances of Racial Democracy and Spectacles of Interracial Eros in the National Ballet of Cuba” by Prof. Lester Tomé, Smith College (2016)
  • “Girl Saving Projects and the Conditions of Universalism in Colonial Nigeria and the Present” by Prof. Abosede George, Barnard College (2015)
  • “French Colonial Racism and the Display of ‘Primitive’ Artifacts in Interwar Paris” by Prof. Alice Conklin, Ohio State University (2014)
  • “Rethinking Sovereignty at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919” by Prof. Leonard Smith, Oberlin College (2013)
  • ”Libya from Dictatorship to Revolution: A Historical and Comparative View” by Prof. Ali Ahmida, University of New England (2012)
  • “The Governance Bargain between Women and States in the Middle East” by Prof. Frances Hasso, Duke University (2011)
  • “Confucian China in a Changing World Order” by Prof. Roger T. Ames, University of Hawai'i (2010)
  • “Language and Globalization: Toward a Geolinguistic Imagination” by Mary Louise Pratt, New York University (2009)
  • “Climate and Catastrophe: The World Crisis of the 17th Century” by Prof. Geoffrey Parker, Ohio State University (2008)

The George W. Knepper Endowed Lecture

The George W. Knepper Lecture was created in 1994 to honor the University of Akron's Dr. George W. Knepper, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History. Knepper was a specialist in Ohio history, and lectures in the series focus on topics in American history. The endowed lecture series was established with a gift by Arnold and Jill Bellowe in honor of Dr. Knepper.

Past Lectures

  • "A Destiny Deferred: Exploring the Life, Impact, and Memorialization of Charles Young," Prof. Le’Trice Donaldson, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, October 11, 2023, 5:30 pm, Simmons Hall Auditorium
  • "Visual Appetites: Art, Food and the Expanding U.S. Empire" by Prof. Shana Klein, Kent State University (2022)
  • “The Silent Majority at Fifty: Richard Nixon, the Vietnam War, and the Rise of the New Right” by Prof. Scott Laderman, University of Minnesota, Duluth (2019)
  • "The Problem of Prisoners of War in the American Revolution” by Prof. Cole Jones, Purdue University (2018)
  • “Studying African Americans and Homeownership in the Long Twentieth Century: Lessons from Cleveland and Atlanta” by Prof. Todd Michney, Georgia Tech (2017)
  • “‘Ready for the Revolution?’ History and the Black Panther Party” by Prof. Waldo Martin, University of California, Berkeley (2016)
  • ”A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico” by Prof. Amy Greenberg, Penn State University (2015)
  • “Why Did the Ku-Klux Klan Wear Bizarre Uniforms?” by Prof. Elaine Parsons, Duquesne University (2014)
  • “Revisiting Vietnam: Political Journeys of the U.S. Anti-War Movement” by Prof. Judy Tzu-Chun Wu, Ohio State University (2013)
  • “Libya from Dictatorship to Revolution: A Historical and Comparative View” by Prof. Ali Ahmida, University of New England (2012)
  • ”West of Sex: Mexicans and the American Legal System” by Prof. Pablo Mitchell, Oberlin College (2011)
  • “John F. Seiberling and the Future of American Conservation” by Professor Emeritus Daniel Nelson, University of Akron (2010)
  • “The History of Failure and the Failure of History” by Prof. Scott A. Sandage, Carnegie Mellon University (2009)
  • “Faith and American Politics” by Prof. Angela D. Dillard, University of Michigan (2008)

Contact Us

T: (330) 972-7006
F: (330) 972-5840

The University of Akron
Department of History
Arts and Sciences 216
Akron, Ohio 44325-1902

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