Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area


“A Land Inferior to None” – an evening celebrating “Arkansas: A Narrative History”

The Old State House Museum will present “A Land Inferior to None,” a talk and book signing with Jeannie Whayne, George Sabo and Tom DeBlack, authors of “Arkansas: A Narrative History,” Second Edition, on Tuesday, September 24, from 6 to 8 p.m. Admission to the talk is free. Those who wish to attend are encouraged to RSVP by calling (501) 324-8641 or visiting www.oldstatehouse.com/RSVP.

Deblack, Gatewood, Whayne, and Sabo

Deblack, Gatewood, Whayne, and Sabo

The book is a comprehensive state history that has been invaluable to students and the general public since its original publication over 10 years ago. The original edition won the Arkansiana Award when it was published in 2002, and the book is widely used in colleges throughout the state. The new edition has been updated and expanded with three additional chapters, including a new chapter on Arkansas geography. It also covers fresh material on the civil rights movement in the state and the struggle over integration, a new analysis of Arkansas’s school-funding issues and an examination of the Natural State’s transition from colonialism to its entry into the global political economy. The University of Arkansas Press published both editions of the award-winning textbook.

Jeannie Whayne is professor of history at the University of Arkansas. She is the author of “A New Plantation South: Land, Labor, and Federal Favor in Twentieth-Century Arkansas” and “Delta Empire: Lee Wilson and the Transformation of Agriculture in the New South.”

Tom DeBlack is professor of history at Arkansas Tech University. He is the author of “With Fire and Sword: Arkansas, 1861-1874.”

George Sabo is professor of anthropology at the University of Arkansas and director of the Arkansas Archeological Survey. His publications include “Rock Art in Arkansas” and “Paths of Our Children: Historic Indians of Arkansas.”

The Old State House Museum is a program of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.  Bill Gatewood is the Director of the Museum.  Martha Miller is the Director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.


Tailgate Party to celebrate VOICES OF THE RAZORBACKS book on Sept 5

bc-purvisFans aren’t the only ones who call the Hogs. Voices of the Razorbacks, which has just been released by Butler Center Books, traces the history of the Razorback broadcasters who many fans grew up hearing. Celebrate the launch of this book at a free book signing and tailgate party in the Main Library’s garden and Darragh Center, 100 Rock Street, at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 5. Author Hoyt Purvis will speak and sign books, which will be available for purchase at the event. This event is free and open to the public. RSVP to kchagnon@cals.org or 918-3033.

Established more than sixty years ago, the Razorback broadcasting network was a pioneering effort in collegiate sports. With announcers such as Bud Campbell and Paul Eells at the microphone, it has become an enduring feature of life in Arkansas. The Razorback network, from its modest beginning to its growth into a major force in sports broadcasting, is the basis of Voices of the Razorbacks.

The Razorback broadcasting network helped build interest in the Razorbacks and a loyal following for them as well as forged strong links among Razorback fans and the broadcasters who became “voices” of the Razorbacks. A sense of kinship developed within the audience, and the broadcasts of Razorback sports became an essential part of the state’s culture.

Although an announcer today may say, This is the Razorback Sports Network from IMG College,” the Arkansas broadcast network is a direct descendant of the Razorback network Bob Cheyne assembled in the early 1950s at the direction of Athletic Director John Barnhill. There had been earlier broadcasts of Razorback sports, including games announced by Bob Fulton in the 1940s, but the Razorback network Cheyne developed help turn broadcasters into cultural icons.

Voices of the Razorbacks traces the history of the broadcasters and the memorable events and highlights over the decades, and it features interviews with many of the key figures in that history. It is hard to find anyone in Arkansas, or Razorback fans anywhere, without special memories of listening to or watching broadcasts of Razorback games. Voices of the Razorbacks brings all those memories back.

Co-author Hoyt Purvis has taught journalism, international relations, and political science at the University of Arkansas (UA) since 1982. He established the first sports journalism course at UA and taught it for twenty-five years. Co-author Stanley Sharp of Booneville, Arkansas, has followed Razorback sports all his life and has a master’s degree in journalism from UA.

Voices of the Razorbacks is available from River Market Books & Gifts, 120 River Market Ave., and from the University of Arkansas Press, Butler Center Books’ distributor. Butler Center Books is a division of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, a department of the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS). The Butler Center’s research collections, art galleries, and offices are located in the Arkansas Studies Institute building at 401 President Clinton Ave. on the campus of the CALS Main Library. For more information, contact Rod Lorenzen at (501) 320-5716 or rlorenzen@cals.org.


NATURAL STATE NOTABLES book launched on Monday

natural_state_notablesSchool-aged children can learn about famous Arkansans in Natural State Notables: 21 Famous People from Arkansas by Steven Teske, a new book from Butler Center Books. Teske will read from the book and sign books, which will be available for purchase, on Monday, March 4, at 4:00 p.m. in the Central Arkansas Library System’s (CALS) Children’s Library and Learning Center at 4800 W. 10th Street.

Biographies on Arkansans including Maya Angelou, Johnny Cash, Bill Clinton, John Grisham, Scottie Pippen, Winthrop Rockefeller, Mary Steenburgen, and Sam Walton highlight the accomplishments and backgrounds of some of Arkansas’s most celebrated sons and daughters. The book features pictures, timelines, and information on each Arkansan.

Natural State Notables author Steven Teske works as an archival assistant for the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies. He has also written Unvarnished Arkansas about famous people in Arkansas in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and he co-wrote Homefront Arkansas about life in Arkansas during wartime from the war with Mexico in 1848 to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the twenty-first century. He has worked for the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture, the Butler Center’s online resource about the state of Arkansas, and he teaches college classes in history and comparative religions for the Arkansas State University-Beebe’s campus on the Little Rock Air Force Base.

Butler Center Books is a project of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, a department of the Central Arkansas Library System. This publishing program was made possible by a gift from John G. and Dora “DeDe” Ragsdale. Butler Center Books publishes volumes that increase knowledge about and appreciation of the history and culture of Arkansas. The University of Arkansas Press in Fayetteville is the distribution agent for Butler Center Books.

The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies was founded in 1997 to promote the study and appreciation of Arkansas history and culture. The Butler Center’s research collections, art galleries, and offices are located in the Arkansas Studies Institute building at 401 President Clinton Ave. on the campus of the CALS Main Library.

The event, which will include a reception and a preview tour of the new facility, is free and open to the public. RSVP to marey@cals.org or 918-3033. The Children’s Library will open on Saturday, March 16.


Legacies and Lunch tomorrow (7/11)

The Butler Center’s monthly Legacies and Lunch program (normally the first Wednesday of the month) is the second Wednesday this month.  The July program features Ruth Hawkins discussing her latest book, Unbelievable Happiness and Final Sorrow: The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Marriage.

The program will take place at 12 noon on Wednesday, July 11 in the Darragh Center on the main campus of the Central Arkansas Library System.

It was the glittering intellectual world of 1920s Paris expatriates in which Pauline Pfeiffer, a writer for Vogue, met Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley among a circle of friends that included Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Dos Passos, and Dorothy Parker. Pauline grew close to Hadley but eventually forged a stronger bond with Hemingway himself; with her stylish looks and dedication to Hemingway’s writing, Pauline became the source of “unbelievable happiness” for Hemingway and, by 1927, his second wife.

Pauline was her husband’s best editor and critic, and her wealthy family provided moral and financial support, including the conversion of an old barn to a dedicated writing studio at the family home in Piggott, Arkansas. The marriage lasted thirteen years, some of Hemingway’s most productive, and the couple had two children. But the “unbelievable happiness” met with “final sorrow,” as Hemingway wrote, and Pauline would be the second of Hemingway’s four wives.

Hawkins’ book was published in June by the University of Arkansas Press.   She has been an administrator at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro for more than 30 years and established its Arkansas Heritage Sites program, which includes the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center in Piggott. She has been recognized at the state, regional and national level for her work in historic preservation and heritage tourism.

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