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It may be no surprise that author Jefferson Cowie's 2022 book Freedom's Dominion was featured on the front page of December's New York Times Review of Books. It is surprising, however, that the entire 512-page book focuses on the socio-political history of Barbour County, Alabama! By zooming in on one particular county on the eastern edge of Alabama's Black Belt region, Cowie is able present an epic history spanning from before the removal of indigenous Creek tribes through the rhetoric and presidential campaigns of George Wallace (from Clio, Alabama). To begin the event, Cowie will present a brief "book talk" to introduce his project and how it came to be. To follow, five subject matter experts will be invited to offer short "responses" to the book, highlighting elements related to their own scholarship, raising questions for future study, and underscoring the importance of research focused on Alabama's people and places. The event will conclude with a moderated Q&A period to include the audience and all participating scholars.


Dr. Jefferson Cowie is the James G. Stahlman Professor of History at Vanderbilt University. Additional information about Professor Cowie and his scholarship can be found here.


Responding scholars include:


  • Dr. Mairin Odle, Dept. of American Studies, UA
  • Dr. Joshua Rothman, Dept. of History, UA
  • Dr. April Caddell, Dept. of Social Sciences, Stillman College
  • Dr. Jessy Ohl, Dept. of Communication Studies, UA
  • Dr. Kari Frederickson, Dept. of History, UA

This event is made possible by the funding and support of the following UA organizations:

  • The Department of Communication Studies
  • The Department of History
  • The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee of the College of Communication and Information Sciences
  • Crossroads Civic Engagement Center

Please note that space is limited to 100 attendees in the Gorgas Library Yellowhammer Room.

Event Details

  • Ava Morthland
  • William Morrison

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