Monday, March 6, 2017

Wilton Historical Society -Finding Our Place: Evolving American Identity.

Once again this year the Wilton Historical Society and the Wilton Library have teamed up to present a history lecture series in March and April. Each year a theme is developed, and respected scholars are engaged to provide a lively, thought-provoking talk on their specialty subject. The lecture is followed by a question and answer period and reception. All lectures take place at the Wilton Library located on 137 Old Ridgefield Road in Wilton.

This year the lecture series will focus on the global perspective and the United States' place in the world, specifically WWI and its aftermath. Topics of discussion will examine art as an expression and maker of place, place determined by work, finding one's place when a technology defines a newer sense of identity, and the United States' identity today and in the future.
On Sunday, March 12 from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Emery Roth will focus on place in society defined by our work, specifically the Connecticut brass industry and its collapse. Connecticut's Naugatuck River valley was where the brass industry thrived until the last factory closed in 2013. The talk is derived from Roth's book, Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry (Schiffer Books, 2015). The book tells the story of the last working brass mill, how Brass Valley came to be, the men and communities that made Brass Valley and the culture we call the American Dream. The talk is accompanied by vivid photographs of Brass Valley from the book and others taken more recently; the author shares experiences and discoveries made while capturing images and talks about what it means to try to find Brass Valley, a place in time that has not quite vanished. Q&A and book signing after.
Emery Roth, Southwest CT Arts Council, has been shooting photographs since childhood. He studied both design and language arts at Carnegie-Mellon University, simultaneously earning degrees in architecture and literature. After forty years living and teaching in Connecticut's Northwest Hills, he became fascinated with the old mill towns of Connecticut and their history, and he began following tracks through old ruins until he was led to the last working brass mill in Brass Valley. His book documents his journey into time and culture; it seeks to revive in words and pictures, a place in time, perhaps a place in the American Dream.
The lecture on March 26, from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.  will focus on navigating the new digital landscape. Professor Julia Adams will highlight the role of women in 'tech culture' within our emergent digital environment. Drawing on her research on Wikipedia and academic knowledge, and on the uses of journalism and fake news in the recent presidential election, Professor Adams will discuss the promise and peril in the emergent digital landscape of knowledge.
Julia Adams is Professor of Sociology and International and Area Studies and Head of Calhoun College at Yale University. She was previously the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Michigan. At Yale she has chaired the department of Sociology, directed the Division of the Social Sciences and the International Affairs Council. She currently codirects YaleCHESS (Center for Historical Enquiry & the Social Sciences). Her book, The Familial State: Ruling Families and Merchant Capitalism in Early Modern Europe (Cornell University Press) won the Gaddis Smith Book Prize.
The final lecture in this series will take place on April 2 and will focus on 9/11 and America's World View. Professor Matthew Warshauer will summarize the series, focusing specifically on two themes: who are we now and who can we expect to be? In his lecture, Dr. Warshauer will reflect on America's response to the 9/11 attacks. He will also examine our memory of the tragedy as well as where the nation is today more than 15 years later.
Dr. Warshauer received his B.A. in history from Central Connecticut State University in 1990. He completed his M.A. (1993) and Ph.D. (1997) in American Studies at Saint Louis University. He joined the faculty at CCSU in the fall of 1997 and has served as editor of Connecticut History from 2003 to 2011. In 2007, Dr.Warshauer won the Connecticut State University Trustees Research Award and in 2012 he was awarded the Kidger Award for Inspiring Scholarship and Teaching by the New England History Teachers Association. Dr. Warshauer's book publications include: Andrew Jackson and the Politics of Martial Law; Andrew Jackson in Context; Connecticut in the American Civil War; and Inside Connecticut and the Civil War: Essays on One State's Struggles.
To register for these lectures please visit the website .

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