MACON – Mercer University’s Spencer B. King Jr. Center for Southern Studies will welcome Princeton University history professor Dr. Kevin M. Kruse on Jan. 23 for the fourth annual Laurie Byington Lecture on the Contemporary South.
Dr. Kruse’s lecture, “White Flight: Race and Public Space in Atlanta,” is free and open to the public and will take place at 7 p.m. in the Presidents Dining Room inside the University Center on the Macon campus.
“We are fortunate to have Professor Kruse on campus this semester. His insight into the political shift among white voters to the Republican Party in the American South in the last quarter of the 20th century set the field for political history on the South. Our students and the community will benefit from his lecture,” said Dr. Doug Thompson, professor of history and director of the Spencer B. King Jr. Center.
Dr. Kruse specializes in the political, social, and urban/suburban history of 20th-century America, with a particular interest in conflicts over race, rights and religion and the making of modern conservatism.
His first book, White Flight: Atlanta and the Making of Modern Conservatism (2005), won the Francis B. Simkins Award from the Southern Historical Association and the Best Book Award in Urban Politics from the American Political Science Association. His second book, One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America (2015), examined the rise of American religious nationalism in the mid-20th century and its legacies in American political and religious life.
Dr. Kruse recently published Fault Lines: A History of America Since 1974, a trade/textbook with co-author Julian Zelizer, and has served as co-editor of three collections: The New Suburban History (2006) with Thomas J. Sugrue; Spaces of the Modern City (2008) with Gyan Prakash; and Fog of War: The Second World War and the Civil Rights Movement (2012) with Stephen Tuck. He is under contract with Basic Books for two forthcoming books: The Division: John Doar, the Justice Department, and the Civil Rights Movement, as well as Law and Order: The Politics of Crime and Culture in New York City.
Dr. Kruse was honored as one of America’s top young “Innovators in the Arts and Sciences” by Smithsonian Magazine and selected as one of the top young historians in the country by the History News Network. He was recently named a Distinguished Lecturer by the Organization of American Historians and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow.
He earned both his Ph.D. and M.A. in history from Cornell University and his B.A. in history from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
The Laurie Byington Lecture Series promotes an examination of the contemporary American South. Madge T. Byington established the series to honor her daughter, a 1992 graduate of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and former member of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Alumni Board of Directors, and to assist the University in bringing a distinguished expert, or recognized leader in his/her field or discipline, to the Macon campus to give an annual lecture.
The lectures and other activities of the Center are supported by funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
About the Spencer B. King Jr. Center for Southern Studies
The Spencer B. King Jr. Center for Southern Studies fosters critical discussions about the many meanings of the South. As the only center for southern studies in the United States dedicated to the education and enrichment of undergraduate students, the Center’s primary purpose is to examine the region’s complex history and culture through courses, conversations and events that are open, honest and accessible.