The Alfred E. Golz Memorial Lecture
Alfred E. Golz Lecture Fund was established by Ronald A. Golz '56 in 1970 in memory of his father. This fund is used to support a lecture by an eminent historian or humanitarian to be scheduled close to the November 21 birthday of Alfred E. Golz.
The 2016-2017 Golz Lecture, Forgotten Paths of Empire, will be given by Professor Gregg Mitman.
Forgotten Paths of Empire
Monday, November 7, 2016
Location: Kresge Auditorium, VAC
Gregg Mitman is the Vilas Research and William Coleman Professor of History of Science, Medical History, and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Professor Mitman is a polymath scholar whose work encompasses the history of science, history of medicine, environmental history, US history, and now African and transnational history. You can read more about this work here.
Forgotten Paths of Empire
In 1926, Richard Pearson Strong, head of Harvard's Department of Tropical Medicine, led an eight-member scientific team on a four-month long biological and medical survey of the interior region of Liberia. The expedition was thoroughly entangled in the material relationships- transportation, infrastructure, labor regimes, and commodity production- being erected by the Firestone Plantations Company in Liberia to secure a viable rubber supply for the United States. While Firestone's continuted presence in Liberia is one lasting legacy of the expedition, so too is the motion picture record the expedition left behind.
This talk embarks on a journey that follows the traces of an expedition and a film never made to make visible the forgotten paths of empire that led to widespread economic, environmental, and cultural change in the West African republic of Liberia. In doing so, Prof. Mitman will highlight the circulation of knowledge, commodities, and microbes that brought ecological and evolutionary understandings of disease into being. He will also suggest how we might take the imperial debris of a scientific expedition produced in the service of capital and make something new of its ruins.
Past Alfred E. Golz Memorial Lecturers
- Jacob Dlamini, Princeton University, 2015- webcast
- Laurent Dubois, Duke University, 2014- webcast
- Jeremy Suri, University of Texas at Austin, 2013- webcast
- Amanda Vickery, University of London, 2013
- Naomi Oreskes, University of California, San Diego, 2011
- Gary Y. Okihiro, Columbia University, 2010
- Lou Perez, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2009
- Peter Duus, Stanford, 2009 (lecture for 2008-2009 academic year)
- Adam Hochschild, 2007 (A webcast of the 2007 Alfred E. Golz Lecture is available on iTunes)
- Peter Hayes '68, Northwestern University, 2006 (A webcast of the 2006 Alfred E. Golz Lecture is available through Hawthorne-Longfellow Library's Special Collections Archive)
- Lizabeth Cohen, Harvard University, 2005
- Joseph C. Miller, University of Virginia, 2004
- Friedrich Katz, University of Chicago, 2003
- Barbara Metcalf, University of California, Davis 2002
- Weiming Tu , Harvard University, 2001
- Martin Schaffner, University of Basel, 2000
- Ira Berlin, University of Maryland, 1999
- Michael Blakey, Howard University, spring 1998
- Jonathan Spence, Yale University, fall 1998
- William B. Taylor, University of California, Berkeley, 1997
- David Keightley, University of California, Berkeley, 1996
- Hans Guggisberg, University of Basel, 1995
- Abiola Irele, Harvard University, 1994
- James McPherson, Princeton University 1993
- Nancy Farriss, University of Pennsylvania 1992
- Pierre Sauvage, Los Angeles, 1991
- Frederic Wakeman, University of California, Berkeley, fall 1990
- Natalie Zemon Davis, Princeton University, spring 1990
- David Brion Davis, Yale University, 1989