Mercer lecture to focus on Native Americans

jmink@macon.comOctober 6, 2013 

Mercer University has held one lecture series each year for decades, but it’s been about 10 years since anyone spoke about Native Americans.

On Monday, the Lamar Lecture series will host American Indian historian Daniel Usner, who will concentrate on women and the Native American culture in the South. The lecture is titled “Weaving Alliances with Other Women: American Indian Work in the New South.”

“We haven’t had someone speak on Native American history for a little more than a decade. So, we were excited to bring Daniel Usner to do that,” said Sarah Gardner, a Mercer professor of history and chairwoman of the lecture committee.

The event, which runs Monday and Tuesday in the medical school auditorium, is free and open to the public.

Usner, a professor of history at Vanderbilt University, will profile a different woman in each of his three lectures.

The series begins at 10 a.m. Monday, when Usner will discuss Mary McIlhenny Bradford, a philanthropic merchant. At 7:30 p.m. Monday, Usner will talk about Christine Navarro Paul, a Chitimacha basket maker. And at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, the lecture will revolve around Caroline Coroneos Dormon, a celebrated naturalist from Louisiana.

And the discussion does not stop there. A symposium this spring will bring in scholars to continue with the topic of the native South, Gardner said.

The lecture series began in 1957, bringing in scholars, such as Cleanth Brooks, James C. Cobb and Trudier Harris, according to a news release.

“It is probably the most prominent lecture series of Southern history in the country,” Gardner said.

To contact writer Jenna Mink, call 256-9751.

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