Colloquium Series

Faculty, guests and students support a lively process of research and exchange of ideas that makes history a vibrant discipline. This series features several such speakers each semester.

Fall 2016 Schedule

"The most laughable things I had ever seen”: Currier & Ives’ “Darktown Comics” and Yankee Nostalgia for the Old South

Wednesday, September 21
4 p.m.
Fried-Hemenway Auditorium (Martha Miller Center)
Dr. Marcy Sachs, Albion College

This talk explores the historical and cultural significance of physical portrayals of black people in late-nineteenth-century popular culture. Focusing on a specific set of popular lithographs from the 1880s and 1890s, Currier & Ives’ “Darktown Comics,” Dr. Sachs argues that northern whites lampooned black people in order to discredit the urban migration of southern blacks. Through grotesque representations of blacks’ physical attributes and behavior, Yankees justified both their retreat from Reconstruction and their tacit acceptance of oppression and outright violence against southern blacks.

The Roots of Economic Inequality: Race, Class and the Denial of the Past

Wednesday, September 28
2:15 p.m.
Fried-Hemenway Auditorium (Martha Miller Center)
Dr. Anna-Lisa Cox, Western Michigan University

Anna-Lisa Cox's research explores the ways 19th-century people of African descent had taken part in a pioneering movement, coming to the nation’s first free frontier — the Northwest Territory. There they founded schools, churches and human rights campaigns that forever changed the face of America, resulting in a backlash so intense that their history has been denied until today. Her talk will explore how economic inequality became racialized, tracing the tangled roots of class and color in this nation through the extraordinary lives of these pioneers who believed in the words, “all men are created equal.” They fought not just for freedom but for equality.

Writing Global History through Family History: A Conversation with Don Luidens, author of "Seeds of Hope, Seeds of Hate: A Love Story Begins"

Monday, October 24
7 p.m.
Maas Conference Room (Maas Center)
Dr. Donald Luidens, Hope College

Don Luidens’ recently published monograph tells both a global story and a personal one. In relating the adventures of his missionary parents, the Rev. Edwin and Ruth (Stegenga) Luidens, he also illuminates the ways World War II and the collapse of the British Empire shaped the Middle East. Dr. Janis Gibbs will lead a discussion with Luidens about how he sees the relationship between his family’s story and global history.

History and Law: History Honors Projects

Thursday, November 17
4:30 p.m.
Granberg Room (VanWylen Library)
Matthew Myerhuber ’17 and Alexandra Piper ’17

Hope students Alexandra Piper and Matthew Meyerhuber will present their honors projects, both of which engage the theme of history and law. Piper’s research examines the life of Armistead Lawless, an early 19th-Century African-American man who made innovative use of the court system to protect his property rights. Matthew Meyerhuber explores the recent history of refugee policy in Germany. Both projects show the ways historical analysis provide deeper insights into law and public policy.