The Lancaster Cultural Arts Center is offering a new monthly, lunchtime lecture series featuring presentations and discussions on a wide range of topics. The free hour-long lectures will be at noon on the first Wednesday of each month, beginning on June 1, 2022. This programming was supported with funding from a Growth Grant from South Carolina Humanities. Funding for the Growth Grants has been provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
The lecture series is titled “Dialogues with Authors, Researchers, Civic Leaders & Entrepreneurs” and will present thought-provoking speakers and authors addressing contemporary and historical topics and events. The events will take place at the Lancaster Cultural Arts Center, 309 W Gay St, Lancaster, SC 29720.
The first lecture will be Wednesday, June 1, featuring Dr. Amanda Ewington, Davidson College Professor of Russian Studies and history department chair. Her talk is entitled “The War in Ukraine: Origins and Consequences.” Dr. Ewington has devoted her life to studying and visiting Russia to learn their language and culture. For 34 years, she made annual trips to Russia to study, teach and explore the country’s customs. Those trips stopped in 2019 because of the pandemic. Dr. Ewington will address historical narratives and myths that Putin uses to inspire Russians to rally around the flag.
John Craig, lecture organizer and chairman of the Lancaster County Society for Historical Preservation, said these lectures will complement the long-standing Lunch and Learn Lectures at the Native American Studies Center (NASC). During development of the Cultural Arts Center lecture series, Craig consulted with Chris Judge, NASC Assistant Director.
Judge said the NASC’s W. Brent Burgin Lunch and Learn Lecture Series is their most popular public program. “I trust this new lecture series will be just as popular and make downtown Lancaster a center of continuing education and intellectual pursuit for all,” Judge said.
Craig said the Cultural Arts Center lectures will be quite eclectic in makeup, including professors talking about wars, book signings and readings, and local history topics.
The lectures are free and no reservations are required. Lunch is not provided, nor is food allowed in the lecture hall. A calendar of topics and speakers will be on the Lancaster County Society for Historical Preservation website: http://www.lcshp.org.
July 6, 2022 – Robert Folks, “Leroy Springs and the Development of the City of Lancaster, SC”
August 3, 2022 – Ernest Jenkins, “History of African American Churches in Lancaster County, SC”
September 7, 2022 – Mary Ann Medford Claud, “Life & Times of a Southern Writer”
October 5, 2022 – Chris Bundrick, “Elliott White Springs and Old South Humor”
November 2, 2022 – Charles Williams, chairman of the André Michaux International Society, “Andre Michaux in North America: Botanist & Colonial Explorer”
December 7, 2022 Donald Sweeper, “Scrooge According to Gullah: Dickens’ Christmas Carol Reincarnated”
January 4, 2023 – Susan Beckham Zurenda, “Cousin Culture: Exploration of the history of “Cousin Culture,” especially in the Southern United States, in connection to first cousins”
February 1, 2023 – John Cribb, Acclaimed author of the historical novels The Rail Splitter and Old Abe and Abraham Lincoln scholar.
March 1, 2023 – John Craig, “War and Remembrance: the Vietnam War”
April 5, 2023 – Ernest Jenkins, Robert Folks, & Gavin Witherspoon, “Gone But Not Forgotten: Who’s Who in the Historic Old Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Lancaster, SC”
May 3, 2023 – Jimmy Wilhide, “Historical Preservation as an Instrument for Downtown Revitalization: the W/ Gay St., Lancaster, SC Example”
June 7, 2023 – Dr. Martha Benn Macdonald, “My Brother Edgar: Rosalie Poe as she interprets her beloved brother, Edgar Allen Poe.”
The mission of Lancaster County Society for Historical Preservation is to preserve and protect buildings and sites of historic interest in Lancaster County, SC; to advance historic preservation as an instrument of economic and social revitalization of neighborhoods in Lancaster County; to acquire historic spots and places in Lancaster County; to mark places of historic interest with suitable monuments and markers; to collect and preserve records, relics, and other things of historic interest; to promote and encourage research on the history of Lancaster County; and to foster and promote public knowledge of and interest in local and regional history.
The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 21-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state. It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.