Pulitzer Prize-Winning Historian to Speak on Campus

Posted on October 19, 2023
Joy Washington

Dr. Jefferson Cowie data-lightbox='featured'
Dr. Jefferson Cowie, professor of history at Vanderbilt University, will be the guest speaker for the 2023 N. Jack Stallworth Lecture. The event is Wednesday, Oct. 25, at 7:00 p.m. in the Laidlaw Performing Arts Center Recital Hall. Cowie won the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for history. The annual event is free and open to the public.

University of South Alabama’s 2023 N. Jack Stallworth Lecture speaker will be the James G. Stahlman Professor of History at Vanderbilt University, Dr. Jefferson Cowie. He will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25, at the Laidlaw Performing Arts Center Recital Hall. The annual event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Cowie, a renowned historian and expert in American social and political history, concentrates on the ways race, class and labor shape capitalism, politics and culture. His lecture is ‘Freedom’s Dominion: A Saga of White Resistance to Federal Power.”

“In this talk, I will explore a key dimension of this American belief system that we rarely address: the freedom to dominate the land, labor, and political power of others,” Cowie said. “Focused on the rich history of one place, from the days of Indian removal to the modern civil rights movement, this story opens up to the history of the entire nation.”

Cowie has won many awards for his publications. Most recently, his book “Freedom’s Dominion: A Saga of White Resistance to Federal Power,” won the 2023 Pulitzer Prize in History. The Pulitzer Prize in History is one of the highest honors a historian in the United States can receive.

“It is very significant that we can bring Jefferson Cowie to the University of South Alabama for the Department of History's annual Stallworth Lecture,” said Dr. Timothy Lombardo, associate professor of history at South Alabama. “His books have not only won multiple awards, but also influenced and shaped the fields of American labor, cultural, and political history in profound ways.”

Cowie’s first book, “Capital Moves: RCA’s Seventy-Year Quest for Cheap Labor,” won the Philip Taft Prize for the Best Book in Labor History from the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the Labor and Working-Class History Association. Notably, his book “Stayin’ Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class” won several awards including the Francis Parkman Prize for the Best Book in American History from the Society of American Historians, the Merle Curti Prize for the Best Book in American Social and Intellectual History from the Organizations of American Historians, and the United Association for Labor Education’s Best Book Award, and the Best Book Prize from Labor History.

The Stallworth Lecture is an annual event named after N. Jack Stallworth. He was a Mobile native who operated several business ventures in the area and helped found Distinguished Young Women, the Mobile Chapter of the English-Speaking Union and the Camellia Ball. He was also known as Mr. Mardi Gras.

Stallworth funded two scholarships for South Alabama students majoring in history with a focus on Southern history. The Stallworth family home and its contents were left to the USA Foundation to be used in teaching Southern history and to support USA programs. The USA Foundation supports this annual event.                    

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