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Discover the Stories Behind the Books Through 2014-2015
“Personally Speaking” Published Author Lecture Series

The middle class meltdown, the transformative effect of the Apostle Paul upon Christianity, President Lincoln’s relationship with the U.S. Colored Troops, and portrayals of slavery in children’s literature offer provocative topics for the 2014-2015 UNC Charlotte Personally Speaking series.

Four UNC Charlotte College of Liberal Arts & Sciences researchers will reveal the stories behind their books on these subjects during the community lecture series, co-sponsored by the college and J. Murrey Atkins Library. The 2014-2015 season marks the fifth year of the series. This year’s talks are:

  • Scott Fitzgerald, Middle Class Meltdown in America: Causes, Consequences and Remedies, Thursday, September 18, 2014, UNC Charlotte Center City
  • James Tabor, Paul and Jesus: How the Apostle Transformed Christianity, Tuesday, November 11, 2014, UNC Charlotte Center City
  • John David Smith, Lincoln and the U.S. Colored Troops, Tuesday, February 10, 2015, UNC Charlotte Center City
  • Paula Connolly, Slavery in American Children’s Literature, 1790-2010, Tuesday, March 24, 2015, J. Murrey Atkins Library

“We offer this series as a way to engage the community in conversations about relevant topics considered in books written by our faculty,” said Nancy A. Gutierrez, dean of the college. “Not only is this a way for us to connect with the community, but it also is a way to share knowledge and spark discussion.”

2014-2015 Series

Fitzgerald bookThe first author in the series, Scott Fitzgerald, is associate professor, associate chair and director of graduate studies in the Department of Sociology. His areas of interest include economic inequality, social movements, religion and the nation state. His work contributes to society’s understanding and knowledge of contemporary social, political and economic phenomena. His book, co-authored with Kevin Leicht, Professor, Departmental Chair, and Director of the Iowa Social Science Research Center at The University of Iowa, traces the crumbling of the middle class in America, and explores solutions to restoring middle-class prosperity.

James Tabor is chair and professor in the Department of Religious Studies. He has combined his work on ancient texts with extensive field work in archaeology in Israel and Jordan, including work at Qumran, Sepphoris, Masada, and Wadi el-Yabis in Jordan. His book is an examination of the earliest years of Christianity revealing competing ideas about the significance of Jesus and his teachings and shows how the man we call St. Paul shaped Christianity as we know it today.

John David Smith is the Charles H. Stone Distinguished Professor of American History in the Department of History. His teaching interests include southern history (especially the Civil War and Reconstruction, Abraham Lincoln, and slavery and emancipation), racial thought, and Imperial Germany. His book assesses the hardships under which the men of the U.S. Colored Troops served, including the multiple forms of discrimination from so-called friends and foes alike, and examines the broad meaning of Lincoln’s military emancipation project and its place in African American historical memory.

Paula Connolly is associate professor in the Department of English. Her areas of interest include images of slavery in American literature, multiculturalism in children’s literature, visual semiotics and children’s literature, and film and popular culture. Her book is the first comprehensive study of slavery in children’s literature, and shows how antebellum racial images have been re-created or revised for new generations. This study ultimately offers a record of the racial mythmaking of the United States from the nation’s beginning to the present day.

Each Personally Speaking event begins at 6:30 p.m. with the lecture. A reception follows. Reservations are requested.

Parking is complimentary for each event. For events at Atkins Library, parking is available in campus decks, including the nearby Cone Deck. Parking vouchers will be provided. Parking at UNC Charlotte Center City is in lots just off 9th Street. Attendants will direct guests to the parking

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