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Lecture-Concert Series opens with scholar, author
Martha A. Sandweiss, Sept. 14
August 31, 2009 --
professor Martha A. Sandweiss of Princeton University is the featured
speaker in the first event of Arkansas
State University’s Lecture-Concert Series. Sandweiss will present
“Passing Strange: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the
Color Line,” a lecture adapted from her book of the same title, on
Monday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m. in ASU’s Fowler Center Drama Theatre, 201
Olympic Drive, Jonesboro. Sandweiss’s presentation is this year’s
Corinne Sternheimer Greenfield Lecture, funded by Drs. Rosalee and
Raymond Weiss of Teaneck, New Jersey, in memory of her mother, Corinne
Sternheimer Greenfield, through an endowment supporting an annual
lecture in the ASU College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
This event, like all events in the Lecture-Concert Series, is free and
open to the public.
Martha A. Sandweiss began her career as a curator of photographs, later
became the director of a college art museum, and now, as professor of
American studies and history at Princeton, teaches a broad array of
classes in American studies, visual culture, public history, and the
history of the American West. Her latest book, “Passing Strange: A
Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line,” is the
story of a brilliant man who lived a double life, one as celebrated
white explorer, geologist, and writer Clarence King, and the other as
black Pullman porter and steel worker James Todd. It was a secret he
only revealed on his deathbed, never having informed his African
American wife or their children of his true identity up until his final
days. Sandweiss explores the story and complexities of this man and his
family. Her book has been optioned for development as a film by HBO.
Other books by Sandweiss include “Print the Legend: Photography and the
American West” (2002), winner of the
Ray Allen Billington Award from the Organization of American Historians
in 2003; the William P. Clements Award from the Clements Center,
Southern Methodist University in 2003; and the Barbara Sudler Award from
the Colorado Historical Society in 2004. Sandweiss’s “Laura Gilpin: An Enduring Grace” (1987) won the
George Wittenborn Award from Art Libraries Society of North America,
and was the Outstanding Art Book of 1987.
“The Oxford History of the American West” (1994),
co-edited by Sandweiss, Clyde A. Milner II, and Carol A. O’Connor, won
the National Cowboy Hall of Fame’s Western Heritage Award in 1994; the
New York Public Library’s Outstanding Reference Book award in 1994; and
the Western History Association’s Caughey Award in 1995.
Sandweiss earned both an M.A. (in 1977) and a Ph.D. from Yale University
(1985). She earned a B.A. at Harvard University in 1975, and was awarded
an honorary A. M. from Amherst College, where she taught American
Studies and history for twenty years, in 2000.
Sandweiss is an active member of the Organization of American Historians
and the Western History Association; she has held a wide range of
administrative positions in both organizations. She also serves on
various advisory boards for the American Antiquarian Society, the School
of American Research, the Center for American Places, Yale University
Press, and the Lieven Gevaert Research Center for Photography and Visual
Culture in Leuven, Belgium. She works with various museums on projects
dealing with Western American art and history, including the Denver Art
Museum and the Autry Museum in Los Angeles. She is a frequent lecturer
on issues relating to American photography.
Dr. Gil Fowler, associate
dean for the Honors College, at (870) 972-2308, or via e-mail at
Lecture-Concert Series presents diverse programs to enrich the cultural
life of the campus, community, and region.