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SAU lecture to discuss lynching, politics

SAU lecture to discuss lynching, politics

September 14th, 2018 by Gazette Staff in Texarkana News

Dr. Guy Lancaster will deliver the annual Robert B. Walz Lecture in Arkansas and Regional History at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, in the Grand Hall of the Reynolds Center at Southern Arkansas University.

The presentation, "Lynching as Political Authority in Arkansas," is free and open to the public. The audience is also welcomed to attend a reception for Lancaster in the Reynolds Center following the lecture.

Lancaster is the editor of the "Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture," which is supported by the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies at the Central Library System in Little Rock. Since its inception in 2006, the online encyclopedia has expanded from 700 entries to over 5,000 and now offers more than 6,700 media clips. The project has earned numerous awards and is recognized as an authoritative source on the state's history. He has been a member of the encyclopedia staff since its earliest stages and became editor in 2008.

His first book, "Racial Cleansing in Arkansas, 1883-1924: Politics, Land, Labor, and Criminality" was published in 2014 and recognized by the Arkansas Historical Association with the J. G. Ragsdale Book Award for best book on Arkansas history, as well as the John W. Graves Book Award for the best book on race relations in the state. The volume also earned the Booker Worthen Prize for best book by a central Arkansas author.

"Bullets and Fire: Lynching and Authority in Arkansas, 1840-1950," a collection of essays edited by Lancaster, won the 2018 John W. Graves Book Award. Rex Nelson, noted columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, described the volume as "one of the most important books ever published by the University of Arkansas Press" because it brought to light incidents "swept under the rug for decades."

Lancaster has also edited the recently published volume of essays on the 1919 Elaine, Ark. racial massacre. He earned his doctorate degree in heritage studies from Arkansas State University.

Dr. Robert Walz taught history at SAU from 1958 to 1987 and promoted the study of Arkansas history through his scholarship, preservation of historic photographs and leadership in state organizations.

The Walz Lectureship was established in 1995 with a bequest from the estate of Mrs. Curtistine A. Walz, in honor of her husband's long service to the university.

The lecture is sponsored by SAU's College of Liberal and Performing Arts. For more information, contact Dr. Ben Johnson at bfjohnson@saumag.edu.

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