Tonight – Clinton School and UA Little Rock present program on The Struggle in the South mural

Today (January 16) at noon, UA Little Rock officially cuts the ribbon on the new UA Little Rock Downtown campus in the River Market district.

Tonight at 6pm, the Clinton School Speaker Series in conjunction with UA Little Rock presents a panel discussion on the Joe Jones mural, “The Struggle in the South” which is featured in that new space.  It will take place in the UA Little Rock Downtown location.

In 1935, famed American artist Joe Jones created “The Struggle in the South,” a provocative depiction of Southern sharecroppers, coal miners and a black family in fear of a lynching.

Originally painted in the dining hall at Commonwealth College near Mena, Arkansas, this 44-by-9-foot work was recently restored with a $500,000 grant from Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Center.

During this program, moderator Senator Joyce Elliott will join Brad Cushman, UA Little Rock Department of Art and Design Gallery director and curator; author Guy Lancaster; Dr. Brian Mitchell, UA Little Rock professor of history; Dr. Bobby L. Robert, former UA Little Rock archivist and Central Arkansas Library System executive director; and Taemora Williams, UA Little Rock student, to discuss the artwork’s historical significance and importance of its new home in UA Little Rock Downtown’s reflection room.

All Clinton School Speaker Series events are free and open to the public. Reserve your seats by emailing or by calling (501) 683-5239.


Legacies & Lunch today at noon – When Arkansas was part of Missouri

Survey marker erected in 1926 at what is now Louisiana Purchase Historic State Park, photo by Brandon Rush

Today (January 2) at 12 noon, the Central Arkansas Library System Butler Center for Arkansas Studies kicks off its programming for 2019. First up is the monthly Legacies & Lunch program. Today’s focus is on the creation of the Arkansas Territory. The year 2019 marks 200 years since Arkansas was separated from Missouri.

Author and professor S. Charles Bolton, who taught history at University of Arkansas Little Rock for over three decades, will discuss the early history of the geographical region that became the state of Arkansas.

The state was formed on land that was part of the Louisiana Territory for a time before becoming the Missouri Territory. The federal government eventually sent the Hunter-Dunbar Expedition up the Ouachita River, and designated a spot in eastern Arkansas as the starting point for land surveys west of the Mississippi River. The U.S. government also built a military installation on the future site of Fort Smith. These actions  led to the eventual creation of Arkansas Territory in 1819, followed by statehood in 1836.

About Legacies & Lunch

Legacies & Lunch is a free monthly program of the CALS Butler Center for Arkansas Studies that highlights Arkansas-related topics. Programs are held from noon to 1 pm on the first Wednesday of the month. Attendees are invited to bring a sack lunch; drinks and dessert are provided. A library parking discount is available upon request. For more information, contact 501-918-3030.


LR Culture Vulture turns 7

The Little Rock Culture Vulture debuted on Saturday, October 1, 2011, to kick off Arts & Humanities Month.

The first feature was on the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, which was kicking off its 2011-2012 season that evening.  The program consisted of Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 in A, Op. 90, Rossini’s, Overture to The Italian Girl in Algiers, Puccini’s Chrysanthemums and Respighi’s Pines of Rome.  In addition to the orchestra musicians, there was an organ on stage for this concert.

Since then, there have been 10,107 persons/places/things “tagged” in the blog.  This is the 3,773rd entry. (The symmetry to the number is purely coincidental–or is it?)  It has been viewed over 288,600 times, and over 400 readers have made comments.  It is apparently also a reference on Wikipedia.

The most popular pieces have been about Little Rock history and about people in Little Rock.

UALR Historian Dr. Deborah Baldwin to serve as interim provost

baldwin-cropped-700x709Dr. Deborah Baldwin, associate provost of collections and archives and director of the Center for Arkansas History and Culture, has been named the interim provost and vice chancellor of academic affairs for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Baldwin will serve as the interim provost for the spring 2017 semester, following the departure of UALR Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs and Provost Dr. Zulma Toro, who will begin her tenure as president of Central Connecticut State University on Jan. 3. The university will conduct a search for a permanent provost with an anticipated start date of July 1, 2017.

Baldwin has served the university in a number of positions, including six years as the chair of the Department of History and nearly 20 years as the dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

Throughout her years of administrative service, Baldwin has continued to teach in the public history program and has overseen graduate student work with community organizations. Baldwin holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago.

Through her public history teaching, Baldwin and her students have helped to document the history of various Little Rock businesses and institutions. Among those are the Arkansas Arts Center, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Museum of Discovery and Little Rock Zoo.

Final day to see OUR AMERICA exhibit at the Arkansas Arts Center

Today is the final day to enjoy the Arkansas Arts Center exhibition Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art.  This major collection of modern and contemporary Latino art from the Smithsonian American Art Museum has been here since October.

The exhibition Our America includes 93 works in all media by 72 artists who participated in various artistic styles and movements, including abstract expressionism; activist, conceptual and performance art and classic American genres such as landscape, portraiture and scenes of everyday life.

Our America presents the rich and varied contributions of Latino artists in the United States since the mid-20th century, when the concept of a collective Latino identity began to emerge. The exhibition is drawn entirely from the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s pioneering collection of Latino art.


Our America features bilingual labels for each work and a Spanish-language website created by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Select works also feature podcasts with the artist’s commentary. Museum goers can simply call a number, scan a QR code or visit a website for more background on the artist and background on each piece—in English and Spanish.

Artists featured in the exhibition reflect the rich diversity of Latino communities in the United States. Our Americashowcases artists of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban and Dominican descent, as well as other Latin American groups with deep roots in the United States. By presenting works by artists of different generations and regions, the exhibition reveals recurring themes among artists working across the country.

The 72 artists featured in the exhibition are ADÁL, Manuel Acevedo, Elia Alba, Olga Albizu, Carlos Almaraz, Jesse Amado, Asco (Harry Gamboa Jr., Gronk, Willie Herrón and Patssi Valdez), Luis Cruz Azaceta, Myrna Báez, Guillermo Bejarano, Charles “Chaz” Bojórquez, María Brito, Margarita Cabrera, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Melesio “Mel” Casas, Leonard Castellanos, Oscar R. Castillo, José Cervantes, Enrique Chagoya, Roberto Chavez, Carlos A. Cortéz, Marcos Dimas, Ricardo Favela, Christina Fernandez, Teresita Fernández, iliana emilia garcía, Rupert García, Scherezade García, Carmen Lomas Garza, Ignacio Gomez, Ken Gonzales-Day, Hector González, Luis C. “Louie the Foot” González, Muriel Hasbun, Ester Hernandez, Judithe Hernández, Carmen Herrera, Carlos Irizarry, Luis Jiménez, Miguel Luciano, Emanuel Martinez, María Martínez-Cañas, Antonio Martorell, Ana Mendieta, Amalia Mesa-Bains, Franco Mondini-Ruiz, Delilah Montoya, Malaquias Montoya, Abelardo Morell, Jesús Moroles, Raphael Montañez Ortiz, Pepón Osorio, Amado M. Peña Jr., Chuck Ramirez, Paul Henry Ramirez, Sophie Rivera, Arturo Rodríguez, Freddy Rodríguez, Joseph Rodríguez, Frank Romero, Emilio Sánchez, Juan Sánchez, Jorge Soto Sánchez, Rafael Soriano, Ruben Trejo, Jesse Treviño, John M. Valadez, Alberto Valdés and Xavier Viramontes.

The exhibition is organized by E. Carmen Ramos, curator of Latino art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Generous support for the exhibition has been provided by Altria Group, the Honorable Aida M. Alvarez, Judah Best, The James F. Dicke Family Endowment, Sheila Duignan and Mike Wilkins, Tania and Tom Evans, Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino, The Michael A. and the Honorable Marilyn Logsdon Mennello Endowment, Henry R. Muñoz III, Wells Fargo and Zions Bank. Additional significant support was provided by The Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center. Support for “Treasures to Go,” the museum’s traveling exhibition program, comes from The C.F. Foundation, Atlanta.

Our America is sponsored in Arkansas by Donna and Mack McLarty, The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston, Consulate of Mexico in Little Rock and Alan DuBois Contemporary Craft Fund. Media sponsors include ¡Hola! Arkansas and Telemundo Arkansas.

Dr. Susanah Shaw Romney, UALR History Professor, receives NEH fellowship

Susanah Shaw Romney, assistant professor of history at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, received a $50,400 fellowship award from the National Endowment for the Humanities to conduct research on the Dutch empire.

Dr. Susanah Shaw Romney, UALR

Dr. Susanah Shaw Romney, UALR professor and author, lands National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship.

Romney was awarded the maximum amount under the Fellowships for University Teachers category to pursue her project titled “Personal Interactions and Imperial Geographies in Early Modern Dutch Colonies.”

In addition to Romney, the NEH awarded 294 other projects, for a total of $21.8 million in grants. Only two projects from Arkansas received NEH funding.

“NEH provides support for projects across America that preserve our heritage, promote scholarly discoveries, and make the best of America’s humanities ideas available to all Americans,” said NEH Chairman William D. Adams.

Romney, who plans to write a book based on her research, will conduct a comparative study of the early modern Dutch empire in North and South America, southern Africa, and southeast Asia.

“This fellowship lets me do new research on people and places that I haven’t encountered before. It gives me a chance to read records about Munsee Indians in the Hudson Valley, Khoekhoe people of southern Africa, Dutch traders in Guyana, and South Asian slaves on Java,” said Romney.

“I’ll be able to bring that new perspective to students in my classes at UALR and to the scholarly community through the book that I will write,” she added.                                                  

Romney’s previous book on the Dutch empire, “New Netherland Connections: Intimate Networks and Atlantic Ties in Seventeenth-Century America” garnered several awards, including the 2014 Berkshire Conference of Women Historians Book Prize.

Susanah Shaw Romney is originally from California, and did her undergraduate work in history at UC Santa Cruz. She received her Ph.D. from Cornell University, where she worked with Prof. Mary Beth Norton on women in Colonial America. Her research focuses on gender, race, and the fur trade in the seventeenth-century Dutch colony that later became New York. Her book is the winner of the 2014 Berkshire Conference of Women Historians First Book Prize, 2013 Jamestown Prize (given every two years by the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture), and the 2013 Hendricks Prize from the New Netherland Institute. She is now at work on a new project looking at gender, settlement, and land claims in the seventeenth-century Dutch empire in North America, Guyana, South Africa, and Java. Her research has taken her from the Huntington Library in California, to the Stadsarchief in Amsterdam, to the Western Cape Archives in South Africa. She offers classes at UALR on the colonial period, slavery, the frontier, pirates, gender, and other topics.

For more information about recently awarded NEH grants, go to

About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanitiessupports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at

Dr. Clea Hupp of UALR Dept. of History discusses ‘Tribalism, Sectarianism, and Political Islam’ tonight as part of Evenings with History

Clea 2015Dr. Clea Hupp, Chair in the UALR Department of History will give a lecture on “‘Tribalism, Sectarianism, and Political Islam” at the 2015-16 Evenings with History Series at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3, in the Ottenheimer Auditorium in the at the Historic Arkansas Museum in downtown Little Rock.

Current events in the Middle East are rooted in the politics of the 20th century. Communism, nationalism and imperialism left a footprint on the region and shaped the recent conflicts of the area. To what extent do cultural factors like tribalism and sectarianism influence the people of the Middle East, and how do they intersect with politics?

Dr. Hupp will look at the struggle between secularism and political Islam, and how the philosophical trends of the
region have influenced political movements.

The Evenings with History series is sponsored by the University History Institute and features presentations by UALR faculty members who share their current research.

Unknown-6An individual subscription to the series, at $50 annually, includes these benefits: Admission to all six lectures.

joint subscription to the series, at $90 annually, offers couples and friends a savings of $10.

Fellow of the Institute, at $250 annually, receives admission to the six lectures plus an invitation to special presentations for Fellows only. This often includes a private evening with a noted author.

The Institute also offers a Life Membership at $1,000.

Subscribers to the series help support historical research.  The presenters donate their time, and the University History Institute uses all proceeds from the series to encourage research at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.  In recent years annual Institute grants, made possible by the Evenings with History series, have made major purchases of historical research materials for UALR.  Subscriptions and donations to the Institute are tax deductible as allowed by law.

For more information about the University History Institute and the full list of lectures and presenters for the 2015-16 series, go to Evenings with History.