Noted American Indian Historian to Give 56th Annual Lamar Lectures


MACON, Ga. – Mercer University will welcome Dr. Daniel Usner, noted American Indian historian and Holland M. McTyeire Professor of History at Vanderbilt University, for the 56th annual Lamar Lectures, which will be held Oct. 7-8 in the Medical School Auditorium.

The theme of this year's lecture series is “Weaving Alliances with Other Women: American Indian Work in the New South.” Dr. Usner will profile a different woman in each of his three lectures, beginning Monday at 10 a.m., with “'Entirely a Philanthropic Work': Mary McIlhenny Bradford, Benevolent Merchant.” That will be followed by “'We Have No Justice Here': Christine Navarro Paul, Chitimacha Basketmaker” on Monday at 7:30 p.m., and “'Language of the Wild Things': Caroline Coroneos Dormon, New Deal Naturalist” on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

“The Lamar Memorial Lectures Committee is delighted to bring Dr. Usner to campus,” said Dr. Sarah E. Gardner, professor of history and director of the Southern Studies Program. “It has been more than a decade since we have had a speaker on the Native South. His lectures serve as an important reminder that the Native American presence in the South did not 'vanish' in the 19th century.”

Dr. Usner is the author of “Indians, Settlers, and Slaves in a Frontier Exchange Economy: The Lower Mississippi Valley Before 1783” (University of North Carolina Press, 1992), which won the Jamestown Prize from the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and the John H. Dunning Prize from the American Historical Association. He also authored “American Indians in the Lower Mississippi Valley: Social and Economic Histories” (University of Nebraska Press, 1998) and “Indian Work: Language and Livelihood in American History” (Harvard University Press, 2009) and co-edited “Indian SIA: The Social Impact Assessment of Rapid Resource Development on Native Peoples” (University of Michigan School of Natural Resources, 1982).

The Lamar Lecture series is the most prominent lecture series on Southern literature and history in the United States. Over the years, the series has welcomed presentations by renowned historians, sociologists and literary scholars.

About the Lamar Lectures

The Lamar Lecture series, made possible by the bequest of the late Eugenia Dorothy Blount Lamar, began in 1957. The series promotes the permanent preservation of Southern culture, history and literature, and it is recognized as the most important lecture series on Southern history and literature in the United States. Speakers have included nationally and internationally known scholars, such as Cleanth Brooks, James C. Cobb, Trudier Harris, Fred Hobson, Eugene Genovese, and Eric Sundquist. The University of Georgia Press publishes the lectures each year.

About Mercer University

Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,300 students in 12 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing, health professions, and continuing and professional studies – on campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah – and four regional academic centers across the state. The Mercer Health Sciences Center, launched July 1, 2012, includes the University's medical, nursing, health sciences and pharmacy schools. Mercer is affiliated with four teaching hospitals – Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and The Medical Center and St. Francis Hospital in Columbus. The University also has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. It operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program.


Kyle Sears
Kyle is the director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he coordinates hometown and university news releases and serves as editor of the News@Mercer e-newsletter and Reach magazine.​