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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 30, 2006

UI's Schwalm To Speak On African Americans And Civil Rights At UNI Feb. 1

Leslie A. Schwalm, University of Iowa associate professor of history and women's studies and a social historian of 19th century America, will give the University of Northern Iowa Phi Alpha Theta/Department of History Lecture for Black History Month at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1 in UNI's Seerley Hall, Room 115.

Schwalm will speak on "Freedom in the Heartland: African Americans and Civil Rights in the Age of Emancipation." The event is free and open to the public.

Schwalm will discuss how the destruction of slavery became a national phenomenon and how it affected the lives of African-Americans in the Midwest. She challenges preconceived notions about the reach of the Civil War and in particular the national impact of slavery's destruction, on both whites and African Americans.

Schwalm, who received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1991, teaches courses at the UI on American slavery, the Civil War, emancipation and Reconstruction, all with an emphasis on women's history and African-American history.

She is the author of the book, "A Hard Fight for We: Women's Transition from Slavery to Freedom in South Carolina," which was awarded the Willie Lee Rose Prize by the Southern Association of Women's Historians in 1998. She is currently working on a new book tentatively titled, "Emancipation Diaspora." Her current research examines the meaning, impact and public memory of emancipation.

This UNI lecture is presented by Phi Alpha Theta history honorary, UNI History Club and the UNI Department of History. For more information, contact Wallace Hettle, UNI associate professor of history, at 319-273-2942.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Media: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007,