Great Books program at Quincy University to feature history professor

Matthew Ward

Matthew Ward | Photo courtesy of Quincy University

QUINCY — J. Matthew Ward, visiting assistant professor of history, will be the featured speaker for Quincy University’s Great Books program from 2 to 3:15 p.m. Feb. 23 in MacHugh Theatre (basement of Francis Hall), 1800 College.

Ward’s talk, titled “The 1619 Project – Who Controls History?”, will examine the power of history and the politics surrounding historical dialogue. The publication of the 1619 Project in August 2019 has inspired renewed public interest in black history, challenged traditional perspectives of America’s idealistic self-image and attracted numerous critics who claim that the project is divisive and dishonest. Ward will discuss questions such as: What does the 1619 Project say about race and America? How do we determine historical truth? How can historical analysis guide our everyday lives? Who has the authority to control what we learn and understand as a society?

Ward specializes in Southern history and has worked at the Whitney Plantation Historic Site. He received his doctorate in U.S. 19th century history from Louisiana State University. His research focuses on the Civil War, American political development, military occupation and gender studies. He is working on a manuscript titled “Garden of Ruins: Military Occupation and State Power in Civil War Louisiana.”

Ward’s presentation is part of the Great Conversations Speakers Series, offered in conjunction with Quincy University’s Great Books program, which brings in leading scholars to investigate the fundamental dilemmas of life and challenge us to reexamine our most dearly held beliefs.

This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. Masks are required.

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