Screening of PBS Documentary Highlights Southern History Conference at UA
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Screenings of the upcoming PBS documentary “Freedom Riders” and the satiric film “CSA” will highlight the 23rd Annual Southern Intellectual History Circle Conference from Thursday, Feb. 24, through Saturday, Feb. 26, at The University of Alabama.
UA’s Summersell Center for the Study of the South will host the event. The conference is free and open to the public.
The screening of “Freedom Riders” is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, at the Bama Theatre in Tuscaloosa with a reception starting at 7 p.m. From filmmaker Stanley Nelson, “Freedom Riders,” part of PBS’s “American Experience” series, features interviews with the Riders themselves, state and federal government officials and journalists who witnessed the Rides firsthand, according to the film’s website.
The two-hour documentary is based on Dr. Raymond Arsenault’s book “Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice.” Paul Taylor, senior editor of the “American Experience” series, and Arsenault will introduce the film at the screening.
Another discussion of the film featuring Catherine Burks Brooks, a former Freedom Rider from Birmingham, Arsenault and Taylor will be at 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, in UA’s AIME Building.
The “CSA” screening will be at 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24 in Room 140 of Bidgood Hall. A discussion of the film will be at 12:45 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, in UA’s AIME Building. The screening will feature two University of Kansas faculty members: Kevin Willmott, associate professor of film and media studies and creator of the film; and Dr. Randal Jelks, associate professor of African-American studies.
“CSA” is a mockumentary-style alternative history that suggests what would have happened had the South won the Civil War.
Dr. Laura Edwards, professor of history at Duke University, will deliver the keynote address, titled “How Legal History Can Help Us Redefine the Contours of Southern History.” The keynote address will be at 7:15 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, in room 205 of Gorgas Library. An opening reception for the conference will be at 6:15 p.m. in room 205.
The event will feature additional discussions of the films and the keynote address; a full schedule can be found at http://www.as.ua.edu/scss/category/events/. For details on the event, go to the Summersell Center’s website at http://www.as.ua.edu/scss/or phone Dr. Joshua Rothman, associate professor of history and director of the Summersell Center, at 205/348-3818.
Founded in 2006 and generously funded by a gift from the late Charles G. and Frances S. Summersell, the Summersell Center for the Study of the South has a mission to investigate and promote understanding of the history and culture of the American South through research and public programming. While focusing its attention on the Deep South, the center supports wide-ranging examination of the region as a whole through sponsorship of conferences, lectures, films, publications and the use of scholarly resources available at UA and elsewhere in Alabama and nearby states.
The department of history is part of UA’s College of Arts and Sciences, the University’s largest division and the largest liberal arts college in the state. Students from the College have won numerous national awards including Rhodes Scholarships, Goldwater Scholarships and memberships on the USA Today Academic All American Team.
The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.