Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area

Legacy of Civil War topic of seminar at Old State House today

cw-seminarThe Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission and the Old State House Museum are sponsoring a seminar on the legacy of the Civil War on Saturday, October 10.

ACWSC Chairman Tom Dupree described it thus: “As we near the end of the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, we wanted to address the lingering influences of the war,” Dupree said. “Each of our speakers will look at different aspects of the war and how they continue to affect us today.”

Speakers at the “Legacy of Arkansas’s Civil War” will be:

•Dr. Elliott West – University of Arkansas at Fayetteville on “Arkansas: Where One War’s Edge Was Another War’s Center”

•Dr. Carl Moneyhon – University of Arkansas at Little Rock on “Conflicting Civil War Memories and Cultural Divides in Arkansas”

•Dr. Jeannie Whayne – University of Arkansas at Fayetteville on “The Civil War and the Burden of Arkansas History”

•Dr. Cherisse Jones-Branch – Arkansas State University on “’How Free is Free?’: African Americans in Post-Civil War Arkansas”

•Dr. Kelly Houston Jones – Austin Peay University on “Women After the War: Profiles of Change and Continuity”

•Dr. Tom DeBlack – Arkansas Tech University on “’What Is to Become of Us?’: The Postwar Lives of Major Figures in Civil War Arkansas”

For more information on this and other sesquicentennial events, visit

Emancipation & Reconstruction focus of Civil War 150 Seminar today at Old State House Museum

oldstatehouseAs part of its celebration of the passage of the 13th Amendment in Arkansas, the Old State House Museum and the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission will hold a mini-seminar this afternoon from 1pm to 5pm.  The seminar’s topic will be “Emancipation and Reconstruction.”

1:00 pm Introduction
1:15 pm Speaker – Tom DeBlack, End of the war
2:00 pm Speaker – Angela Walton-Raji, Emancipation
2:4 5pm Break
3:00 pm Speaker – Carl Moneyhon, Reconstruction
3:45 pm Q & A/Wrap-up
4:15 pm Program Ends

The Old State House Museum and the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission are programs of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.

Bio Information:

Tom DeBlack: End of the war
Thomas DeBlack is a professor of history at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, Arkansas. He is a 1969 graduate of Nashville (Arkansas) High School and holds a B. A. from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas (1973), an M.S.E. from Ouachita Baptist University (1979), and a PhD from the University of Arkansas (1995). Tom taught in the public schools in Arkansas for twelve years. He is a past president of the Arkansas Historical Association and the Arkansas Association of College History Teachers and currently serves on the board of the Arkansas Humanities Council.He is co-author Arkansas: A Narrative History (University of Arkansas Press, 2002; 2nd edition, 2013 ), and author of With Fire and Sword: Arkansas 1861-1874 (University of Arkansas Press, 2003). In 2003 Arkansas: A Narrative History was named the winner of the Arkansas Library Association’s Arkansiana Prize, and With Fire and Sword was named the first winner of the Butler-Remmel Arkansas History Literary Prize. Tom is currently working on a book on Lakeport Plantation in Chicot County and on a centennial history of Arkansas Tech University. He lives in Conway with his wife Susan, an optometrist, and their eleven-year-old daughter, Susannah.

Angela Walton-Raji: Emancipation
Angela Walton-Raji is a genealogist and researcher specializing in the Freedmen of Indian Territory. She is the author of Black Indian Genealogy Research, African Ancestors Among the Five Civilized Tribes and the co-publisher of VOICES of Indian Territory a scholarly journal with focus on the historical documents pertaining to the Freedmen of the Five Tribes. She has spoken at a number of national conferences and institutes throughout the nation. A native of western Arkansas, Ms. Walton-Raji earned a bachelor’s degree in Romance Languages from St. Louis University and a master’s degree from Antioch University. She works at the University of Maryland Baltimore County as Director of Graduate Recruitment, and continues to study, research and lecture on the history of Indian Territory Freedmen.

Carl Moneyhon: Reconstruction
Dr. Moneyhon joined University of Arkansas-Little Rock faculty in 1973 and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He is faculty liaison with the University History Institute, an organization that develops closer ties between the department and the community. He also serves on the editorial boards of the Arkansas Historical Quarterly and the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture. He was won the UALR Faculty Excellent Award for Research and the UALR Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching. Dr. Moneyhon is a specialist in the history of the American Civil War and the South and is widely published in the field. His work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and he recently received one of the first College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Summer Fellowships for Research. He is a Fellow of the Texas Historical Association.

Arkansas Political History at Old State House

OSH logoThe Arkansas General Assembly convenes today, while tomorrow is the inauguration day for the Governor and other Constitutional officers.

To learn more about Arkansas’ political past, visit the Old State House Museum.  Two of their permanent exhibits are especially of note this week.

First Families of Arkansas

The “First Families” of Arkansas varied in their background and experience. James Miller, the First Territorial Governor, spent little time in Arkansas, and his wife Ruth remained in Massachusetts. James Conway, the first governor of the state of Arkansas, came to Arkansas as a surveyor in 1820 and served in the Territorial Legislature. Conway was a founding member of an Arkansas dynasty known as “the Family,” a political alliance that dominated Arkansas until the Civil War. Conway’s wife, the former Mary Jane Bradley, came from a prominent Arkansas frontier family and was actively involved in furthering her husband’s political career.

Beginning in the 20th century, Anna Roark Brough served as her husband’s campaign manager. First Lady Brough, an active suffragette, posed on the steps of the capitol during a 1919 rally advocating voting rights for women.


On The Stump: Arkansas Politics, 1819 – 1919

In 1819 when the Arkansas Territory was created, the elimination of property requirements for voting combined with the raucous spirit of the frontier produced a new style of mass participation in American politics. The results were crude and often vulgar, but thoroughly democratic. This manifested itself in Arkansas politics less centered on political parties of Arkansas and the ideology of citizens than on the personalities of those involved. So personal were the politics of the times that political campaigns often culminated in duels. Carl Moneyhon, Professor of History at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, served as author and guest curator for On the Stump. Additional materials were provided by the museum’s staff.


In addition, the Old State House Museum website has features on the men who have served as Governor of Arkansas.

Busy Saturday at the Arkansas Literary Festival

AR Lit Fest 2014Today is the busiest day of the 11th annual Arkansas Literary Festival. Unless otherwise specified the events are free.

Highlights for today are:

10:00 am

  • Ron Robinson Theater: “Other People’s Secrets” – Mona Simpson (Casebook) and Curtis Sittenfeld (Sisterland) with moderator Eliza Borné.
  • Darragh Center of CALS Main Library: “Love or Hate a Cowboy” – Joe Nick Patoski (The Dallas Cowboys) with moderator Tim Jackson
  • Lee Room of CALS Main Library: Workshop – “Get the Reference”
  • Room 124 of Arkansas Studies Institute: “Ecotone” – Kevin Brockmeier (A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip), Cary Holladay (Horse People) and Rebecca Makkai (Astoria to Zion) with moderator Kyran Pittman.
  • Cox Creative Center: “Fantasy & Fangs” – Colleen Doran (Vampire Diaries series, A Distant Soil) with moderator Randy Duncan
  • Historic Arkansas Museum: “Eat, Prey, Love” – Cindy Grisham (A Savory History of Arkansas Delta Food) and Kat Robinson (Classic Eateries of the Ozarks and Arkansas River Valley) with moderator Rex Nelson
  • MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History: “Peace” – Lisa Leitz (Fighting for Peace) with moderator Alex Vernon
  • Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center: “A Piece of the Extraordinary” – Alan Lightman (The Accidental Universe) with moderator Lance Turner

11:30 am

  • Ron Robinson Theater: “Canal Voyage” – Mary Roach (Gulp) with moderator T. Glenn Pait.
  • Darragh Center of CALS Main Library: “Modern Parenthood” – Jennifer Senior (All Joy and No Fun) with moderator Amy Bradley-Hole
  • Lee Room of CALS Main Library: Workshop – “Literacy Action”
  • Room 110 of Arkansas Studies Institute: Workshop – “Wonder-Filled Work” with Jeff VanderMeer (Wonderbook)
  • Room 124 of Arkansas Studies Institute: “Fever & Fatherhood” – Mary Beth Keane (Fever) and Wiley Cash (The Dark Road to Mercy) with moderator Susan Moneyhon.
  •  Cox Creative Center: “Dream Navigators” – Dylan Tuccillo (A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming) with moderator Michael Hibblen
  •  Historic Arkansas Museum: “Hattie!” – Nancy Hendricks (Senator Hattie Caraway) with moderator Tricia Spione
  •  MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History: “Veterans Write Their Lives” – with moderator Sherry F. Clements
  •  Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center: “Dino-Might” – Brian Switek (My Beloved Brontosaurus) with moderator Kevin Delaney


1:00 pm

  • Ron Robinson Theater: “The Fine Art of Suspense” – Catherine Coulter (The Final Cut) with moderator Susan Fleming.
  • Darragh Center of CALS Main Library: “Class and Character” – Doug Wilson (Brooks: The Biography of Brooks Robinson) with moderator Rod Lorenzen.
  • Lee Room of CALS Main Library: “Tongues & Virginia” – Cary Holladay (Horse People) and David Jauss (Glossolalia) with moderator Karen Martin
  • Room 110 of Arkansas Studies Institute: “Poetry I” – Megan Volpert (Only Ride) and Tess Taylor (The Forage House) with moderator Bryan Borland-Pennington
  • Room 124 of Arkansas Studies Institute: “Stellar Debuts” – Kelly Luce (Three Scenarios in which Hana Sasaki Grows a Tail), Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower) and Mario Alberto Zambrano (Loteria) with moderator Angelle Gremillion
  • Cox Creative Center: “Evangelical Adoption Movement” – Kathryn Joyce (The Child Catchers) with moderator Judith Faust
  • Historic Arkansas Museum: “Southern Journeys” – Mark Nichols (From Azaleas to Zydeco) and Akasha Hull (Neicy) with moderator Paula Morrell
  • MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History: “Western Mythmaking” – Glenn Frankel (The Searchers) with moderator Alex Vernon
  • Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center: “Area X” – Jeff VanderMeer (Annihilation) with moderator Ben Fry


2:30 pm

  • Ron Robinson Theater: “Vanguard” – Doug Dorst (S.) and Victor LaVelle (The Devil in Silver) with moderator Phillip Huddleston
  • Darragh Center of CALS Main Library: “Real Girlz” – ReShonda Tate Billingsly (Fortune and Fame; Real As It Gets) with moderator Angela Thomas
  • Room 110 of Arkansas Studies Institute: “Poetry II” – John Bensko (Visitations), Sandy Longhorn (Girlhood Book of Prairie Myths) and Ash Bowen (The Even Years of Marriage) with moderator Hope Coulter.
  • Room 124 of Arkansas Studies Institute: “Great TV” – Brett Martin (Difficult Men)with moderator Philip Martin
  • Cox Creative Center: “Measuring the World” – Ethan Hauser (The Measures Between Us) and Michael Parker (All I Have in This World) with moderator Jay Jennings
  • Historic Arkansas Museum: “Storytellers” – Suzanne Hudson (All the Way to Memphis, The Shoe Burnin’) and Joe Formichella (Waffle House Rules, The Shoe Burnin’) with moderator Shari Smith
  • MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History: “Preludes and Memorials” – David Sesser (The Little Rock Arsenal Crisis) and W. Stuart Towns (Arkansas Civil War Heritage) with moderator Mark Christ
  • Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center: “Puma Tale” – Darcy Pattison (Abayomi: The Brazilian Puma) with moderator Mary Ruth Marotte
  • Mosaic Templars Cultural Center: “Mysterious Duo” – Attica Locke (The Cutting Season) and Qiu Xiaolong (Enigma of China) with moderator Sharon Lee


4:00 pm

  • Ron Robinson Theater: “Wonka Times 2” – Rick & Michael Mast (Mast Brothers Chocolate) with moderator Kevin Shalin
  • Darragh Center of CALS Main Library: “7th Grade in Little Rock” – Kevin Brockmeier (A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip) with moderator Nickole Brown
  • Lee Room of CALS Main Library: Poetry Competition
  • Room 110 of Arkansas Studies Institute: “Make or Break” – Carla Killough McClafferty (Fourth Down and Inches) with moderator Rhonda Thornton.
  • Room 124 of Arkansas Studies Institute: “Terrifically Tiny” – Dee Williams (The Big Tiny)with moderator Lyndsey Lewis-Pardue
  • Cox Creative Center: “Badass Presidents” – Daniel O’Brien (How to Fight Presidents) with moderator Joel DiPippa
  • Historic Arkansas Museum: “Spa City Gangsters” – Orval Albritton (The Mob at the Spa) and Robert K. Raines (Hot Springs: From Capone to Costello) with moderator Liz Robbins
  • MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History: “Photographic History” – Carl Moneyhon (Portraits of Conflict series) with moderator Bobby Roberts
  • Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center: “Go Indie!” – with Darcy Pattison
  • Mosaic Templars Cultural Center: “Illustration” – Kadir Nelson (Baby Bear), Colleen Doran (Vampire Diaries series) and Nate Powell (March: Book One) with moderator Paul A. Crutcher


5:00 pm

  • Christ Episcopal Church: “Nourishment” – Fred Bahnson (Soil and Sacrement)


7:00 pm

  • Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack: “Pub or Perish”


The Cox Creative Center will be having a used book sale on Saturday from 9am to 5pm. In addition there will be a used book sale in the CALS basement from 10am to 4pm.

Arts & Humanities Month: UALR History Department’s Evenings with History

This year marks the 21st year for the History Institutes’ Evenings with History.  This nationally recognized series has featured a variety of subject.  This year, the first three evenings comprise a mini-series focused on African-Americans in Arkansas.  The other evenings will take listeners around the world in geography and chronology. The sessions take place at the Ottenheimer Auditorium of Historic Arkansas Museum. Refreshments are served at 7 with the program beginning at 7:30 pm. The cost is $50 for admission to all six programs.

Tonight’s program features Carl Moneyhon speaking on “Freedom: Black Arkansans and the End of Slavery”

On November 1, Story Matkin-Rawn of the UCA History Department will present a program entitled “From Land Ownership to Legal Defense: The World War I Watershed in Black Arkansan Organizing”

John Kirk presents December’s program on the 6th: “A Movement is more than a Moment: Arkansas and the African American Civil Rights struggle since 1940”

The Evenings in History return on February 7 with Jeff Kyong-McClain’s “The Heavenly History of the Han, or How a Liberal Baptist from Green Forest, Arkansas Taught Racial and Ethnic Nationalism to the Chinese”

On March 6, Charles Romney will address “A Brief History of Human Rights”

The 2011-2012 sessions will conclude on April 3 with Edward Anson’s “Counter-Insurgency: The Lessons of Alexander the Great”

The corporate sponsors for the 2011-2012 season are Delta Trust, Union Pacific Railroad, the Little Rock School District—Teaching American History Program; the law firms of  Friday, Eldredge & Clark and Wright, Lindsey & Jennings. Support and gifts in kind have been provided by the UALR Ottenheimer Library; Historic Arkansas Museum, a museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage; UALR Public Radio–KLRE-KUAR; and Grapevine Spirits.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,594 other followers