Civil War lecture, film screening planned for January

January 13, 2012
Contact: Chloe Kennedy, News and New Media Writer

The Maryville College Civil War Sesquicentennial Series continues this month with a film screening and a lecture.

The series, which was created last semester, includes programming that explores how the Civil War affected multiple populations in East Tennessee, addresses traditional narratives and myths of the war, and examines the war’s lasting legacy in the region.

Recognizing both the anniversary of the Civil War and upcoming Black History Month observances, the 1989 film “Glory” will be shown on Thurs., Jan 26 at 7 p.m. in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre.

The film, which is rated R for battlefield violence, tells the story of the Civil War’s first all-black volunteer infantry. “Glory” was directed by Edward Zwick and stars Matthew Broderick, Cary Elwes, Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington, who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Trip.

Co-sponsored by the Maryville College Academic Affairs Department and the Clayton Center for the Arts, the screening is free and open to the public.

Dr. Aaron Astor, assistant professor of history at Maryville College, will give a brief presentation prior to the film screening to discuss the significance of the movie.

Astor will present a lecture titled “Divided Communities, Divided Households: Civil War Loyalties in Blount County” on Mon., Jan. 30.

During his lecture, which will begin at 7 p.m. in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Harold and Jean Lambert Recital Hall, Astor will discuss the nature and patterns of loyalty during the Civil War in Blount County. By placing the county’s social and economic relationships within regional and national contexts, Astor will examine how and why Blount Countians chose different sides during the Civil War. The presentation will also discuss divisions within households and the reasons why fathers, sons and brothers may have fought against one another during the war.

“In Blount County, the ‘Brothers’ War’ was more than a metaphor for national conflict,” Astor said. “The Civil War was often a literal battle within households and resulted in years of tragic guerrilla warfare throughout the county and region.”

The event, which is free and open to the public, is part of the Blount County Public Library’s and Maryville College’s observance of the Civil War sesquicentennial.

The next event in the series will be held on Mon., Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. in the Sharon Lawson Room at the Blount County Public Library. Glenn Slater will give a presentation titled “Black Leaders of Blount County during Civil War Reconstruction.” Slater, the administrator of Maryville Christian School, is also a doctoral candidate at the University of Tennessee and did his research on "A Distinctive Minority: The Black Leaders of Blount County, Tennessee During Reconstruction” as part of that program.

Freeman Owle, Cherokee storyteller and historian, will speak on Tues., March 13. During his presentation, which will begin at 7 p.m. in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Harold and Jean Lambert Recital Hall, Owle will discuss the Cherokee Thomas Legion.

Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2016 semester is 1,198.