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The Confederate Flag: Contextualizing White Supremacy

Are you paying attention to the uses, misuses, and criticisms of the Confederate flag in the United States today, but curious about the history that could help you contextualize current controversies? Join history Professor Sarah J. Purcell to learn about the origins of the flag we recognize today as "the Confederate flag," its long use as a symbol of white supremacy, and its adoption as a symbol to fight against Black rights. The lecture will also discuss commodification of the Confederate flag, its use in popular culture, and its adoption by violent white supremacists in recent decades. Learn the historical context to help you make sense of today's flag debates.

Faculty Member: Sarah Purcell ’92
Discussion Date: Sept. 28 at 3 p.m. CT

Meet Professor Purcell

Sarah Purcell, L.F. Parker Professor of History, graduated from Grinnell with a B.A. in history in 1992. She went on to earn an A.M. (1993) and a Ph.D. (1997) from Brown University. She joined the faculty of Grinnell in 2000 after teaching at Central Michigan University. Ms. Purcell's research interests include: the Early National, Antebellum, and Civil War periods; popular culture and political culture; gender history; and military history. She is author of Sealed with Blood: War, Sacrifice, and Memory in Revolutionary America, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press, and Eyewitness History: The Early American Republic. She is co-author of The Encyclopedia of Battles in North America, 1517-1915 (which won a 2000 Best of Reference award from the New York Public Library) and Critical Lives: The Life and Work of Eleanor Roosevelt. She is currently working on a new book, Spectacle of Grief: The Politics of Mourning and the U.S. Civil War.

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Wednesday September 28
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Learn the historical context of the confederate flag to help you make sense of today's flag debates. Learn more about Sarah Purcell and see a full description of the lecture on the The Confederate Flag registration page. You are still able to watch the lecture by registering. After you register, you will receive an email with the link to watch the lecture at your leisure.
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