Tomorrow, February 4th, the Lehman Center for American History begins its spring programming with “Chronic Complication: Diabetes, Amputations, and Race in America,” a lecture by Dr. Richard M. Mizelle, Jr., which is part of a continuing lecture series on the nexus of “Race, Inequality, and Health.”
A collaboration between the Rare Book & Manuscript Library and the Department of History, the Lehman Center is dedicated to supporting and enhancing the study and teaching of history at Columbia University. Since its relaunch last fall, the center has committed itself to connecting cutting-edge historical work with crucial conversations and current events. Past talks have focused on histories of American policing, studies of American politics and identity, and the legacies of Reconstruction on today’s events.
This semester, the Lehman Center will present a full program of events further exploring important contemporary questions, and examining exciting new historical works. As part of its commitment to engaging with a broad audience, the center has also launched a Public History Project, which will bring together a cohort of students each year to create digital history sites designed specifically for public audiences. The theme for this work in the spring of 2021 is “Public Space, Contestation, and Commemoration.” Participants projects include creating websites relating to the misuses of medieval history by white nationalist groups, the unknown history of the U.S. military’s role in slave ownership, and a project that counters the historical misconception that public outdoor recreation spaces have been almost exclusively white spaces. The students in this initiative will host their work on the new Lehman Center website and present their findings at the end of the semester in a public forum.
In December, the Lehman Center celebrated the publication of Hubert Harrison: A Harlem Radical’s Struggle for Equality, 1918-1927, the final volume of Jeffrey B. Perry’s magisterial study of the once-forgotten figure known as the Father of Harlem Radicalism. A recording of the event can be found here.
Recent programs also included book talks by Ira Katznelson (Columbia University): Southern Nation: Congress and White Supremacy after Reconstruction; Martha Jones (Johns Hopkins University) Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, & Insisted on Equality for All, Marcia Chatelain (Georgetown University): Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America. Recordings of these, and other, past events can be found on the Lehman Center’s website.