Princeton professor to lecture on 'Red State Religion'

Fri, 10/18/2013

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas Department of Sociology will welcome Princeton University Professor Robert Wuthnow as this year's Carroll D. Clark lecturer.

Wuthnow will present "Red State Religion: Conservative Resurgence in Kansas and Texas” at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, in the Kansas Union's Woodruff Auditorium. A book-signing and a reception will follow in the Big 12 Room at the Kansas Union.

“Professor Wuthnow was selected as this year's Clark lecturer because of his outstanding contributions to scholarship in the areas of religion and politics, cultural change and social movements," said Ebenezer Obadare, KU associate professor of sociology.

Wuthnow will examine the underlying issues of religiously motivated political activism in Kansas and the Midwest, Obadare added.

In his book "Red State Religion: Faith and Politics in America's Heartland," Wuthnow tells the story of religiously motivated political activism in Kansas from territorial days to the present. He examines how faith mixed with politics as both ordinary Kansans and leaders such as John Brown, Carrie Nation, William Allen White and Dwight Eisenhower struggled over the pivotal issues of their times, from slavery and Prohibition to populism and anti-communism.

Wuthnow's book also provides new insights to why Kansas became a conservative stronghold and emphasizes the role of religion in red states across the Midwest and the United States. 

Wuthnow received a bachelor's degree from KU in 1968.



David Roediger’s award-winning research and writing has already transformed how historians view the growth of social freedoms in America though the intersection of race, class, ethnicity, and labor. Now Roediger, as KU’s first Foundation Distinguished Professor of History (http://bit.ly/1AbAqYw), will continue to break new ground in those fields as he works with KU’s departments of American Studies and History. Roediger likes to study historical flash points — where one particular change brings a cascade of wider cultural changes. His latest book, “Seizing Freedom, Slave Emancipation and Liberty for All,” makes the point that as slaves began freeing themselves across the South during the Civil War, their emancipation inspired and ignited other cultural movements for freedom — such as the women’s movement for suffrage and the labor movement for better working conditions and an eight-hour day. Understanding the individual stories of average people who wanted to make their lives better, including slaves or factory workers, are important to understanding the wider political movements and elections, Roediger said. “It's tempting to think that all the important political questions have been decided,” he said, “but actually people are constantly thinking about what freedom would mean for them.” Tags: #KUcommunities #CivilRights #History American Studies at KU
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Lauded race and class historian becomes KU Foundation Professor David Roediger’s award-winning research and writing has already transformed how historians view the growth of social freedoms in America though the intersection of race, class, ethnicity, and labor. Now Roediger, as KU’s first Foundation Distinguished Professor of History (http://bit.ly/1AbAqYw), will continue to break new ground in those fields as he leads KU’s departments of American Studies and History. Roediger likes to study historical flash points — where one particular change brings a cascade of wider cultural changes. His latest book, “Seizing Freedom, Slave Emancipation and Liberty for All,” makes the point that as slaves began freeing themselves across the South during the Civil War, their emancipation inspired and ignited other cultural movements for freedom — such as the women’s movement for suffrage and the labor movement for better working conditions and an eight-hour day. Understanding the individual stories of average people who wanted to make their lives better, including slaves or factory workers, is important to understanding the wider political movements and elections, Roediger said. “It's tempting to think that all the important political questions have been decided,” he said, “but actually people are constantly thinking about what freedom would mean for them.”


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