CMU’s CAUSE Partners With Heinz History Center for 2012-13 Speaker Series

PITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Africanamerican Urban Studies and the Economy (CAUSE) has scheduled its 2012-13 Speaker Series in collaboration with the Senator John Heinz History Center. The focus will be on the History Center’s upcoming exhibit, “Slavery to Freedom.”

Accordingly, this year’s CAUSE lectures will highlight the exhibit’s main themes, including the history of abolitionism, the Underground Railroad and the impact of 19th century activism on the 20th century civil and human rights movement. Other topics, such as race, crime and modern urban America and African-American politics in the post-civil war era, also will be explored from the country’s leading experts on the subjects.

“We are especially pleased to collaborate with the John Heinz History Center’s innovative ‘Slavery to Freedom’ exhibit,” said Joe W. Trotter, the Giant Eagle Professor of History and Social Justice, director of CAUSE and vice chair of the History Center’s Board of Trustees. “The year 2013 represents the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Our roster of speakers, all exceedingly accomplished and leading scholars in their fields will enable us to reflect on the meaning of emancipation and freedom in both African-American history and the collective memory of the region and nation. By holding these lectures on the Carnegie Mellon campus, we also aim to help build a broader university audience for an extraordinary portrait of the African-American experience.”

CAUSE will kick off the 2012-13 Speaker Series from 4:30 to 6 p.m., Friday, Sept. 14 in CMU’s Alumni Concert Hall in the College of Fine Arts. In addition to showcasing the upcoming lecture topics and speakers, an update on CAUSE activities will be given and the center’s new postdoctoral fellow, Millington Bergeson-Lockwood, will be introduced.  Bergeson-Lockwoon received his bachelor’s degree from Boston College and his master’s degree and Ph.D. in history from the University of Michigan. His paper, “‘We Do Not Care Particularly About the Skating Rinks’: African-American Challenges to Public Accommodation Discrimination in Post-Reconstruction Boston, Massachusetts,” won the Best Paper Prize at the Sixth Annual New Perspectives Conference, sponsored by the Triangle African-American History Colloquium at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. As the new CAUSE postdoctoral fellow, he will revise his dissertation for publication and interact closely with colleagues in the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences as well as curators for the “Slavery to Freedom” exhibit at the Heinz History Center.

To RSVP for the CAUSE opening reception, contact Ebony Graham at 412.268.8928 or


All lectures, with the exception of the opening reception, will be held in CMU’s Steinberg Auditorium, Baker Hall A53. Refreshments will be provided at 4:30 p.m., and the lecture and discussion will take place from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

  • Sept. 14: Opening Reception
  • Oct. 26: “The Underground Railroad and the Anti-Slavery Movement in Global Perspective,” with Richard Blackett, the Andrew Jackson Professor of History at Vanderbilt UniversityZ
  • Nov. 16: “Colored Cosmopolitanism: The Shared Struggle for Freedom in the United States and India,” with Nico Slate, assistant professor of history at Carnegie Mellon
  • Jan. 25:  “Archsegregation in U.S. Cities – A World Historical Perspective,” with Carl H. Nightingale, associate professor of transnational studies and American studies at the University of Buffalo
  • Feb. 15:  “Reflections on the History of African-American Photography: Beyond the Underground Railroad,” with Deborah Willis, chair of the Department of Photography and Imaging and College of Arts and Sciences University Professor at New York University
  • March 22: “The Condemnation of Blackness: Ideas about Race and Crime in the Making of Modern America,” with Khalil Gibran Muhammad, director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library
  • April 26: “African-American Politics in Post-Civil War Boston,” with Millington Bergeson-Lockwood, postdoctoral fellow, CAUSE, Carnegie Mellon

CAUSE is part of the Department of History within Carnegie Mellon’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences. It develops programs of graduate and postdoctoral training, scholarly research, data collection, publications and education. For more information, visit


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By: Ebony Graham

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