University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations


March 3, 2003

"The Significance of the Gulf Coast in Early American History"

Highlights USA's Howard F. Mahan Symposium

"The Significance of the Gulf Coast in Early American History" will be the topic of the University of South Alabama's third Howard F. Mahan Lecture, to be presented at 7:30 p.m., March 13, in the Laidlaw Performing Arts Center Recital Hall at USA.

The guest lecturer will be award-winning professor Dr. Daniel Usner Jr. of Vanderbilt University. There is no admission charge, and a book signing and reception with food and live music will follow.

A native of New Orleans, Usner has published several books and numerous articles on the Gulf region. His book "Indians, Settlers, and Slaves in a Frontier Exchange Economy" was recognized with awards from the American Historical Association and the Omohundro Institute of

Dr. Daniel H. Usner, Jr.

Early American History and Culture.

Usner taught at Cornell University for 22 years, serving as director of Cornell's Institute for Native American Studies, prior to his Vanderbilt appointment in September. He is currently completing a book on frontier Mississippi and will be the Los Angeles Times Distinguished Fellow at the Huntington Library in 2003-04.

Usner's talk will serve as the keynote address of The Howard F. Mahan Symposium: The Colonial Gulf South, which will feature paper presentations and scholarly roundtables March 14-15 at the Museum of Mobile.

"The symposium features some of the best and most distinguished historians working on the region," said Dr. Richmond Brown, associate professor of history at USA. "In part the purpose of the symposium is to start or continue a scholarly conversation about the colonial Gulf South, to assess current and ongoing research, and to chart the course for future research and writing about the region." Brown said the department plans to host a symposium on some aspect of Gulf Coast history every third year.

For more information or to pre-register for the symposium, call (251) 460-6158 or e-mail For a complete listing of speakers and events, visit

Sponsored by the University of South Alabama history department with support from the USA Foundation, the symposium is named after Professor Howard F. Mahan, the founding chair of the USA history department, who retired in 1993 after 30 years of service to the University.


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