Jess Usher Lecture Series Features Jim McSweeney on October 11 at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College

Staff Report

Thursday, September 29th, 2022

Jim McSweeney from the National Archives in Atlanta will speak on “Our National Experience, The National and Federal Archives” on Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. in the Jess Usher Lecture Series at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. The event is sponsored by the Tom M. Cordell Distinguished Lecture Series

Dr. Jeff Newberry, a professor of English and ABAC’s poet-in-residence, opens the series at 7 p.m. on Sept. 27 when he speaks on “The Right Kind of Tradition: Seamus Heaney, Irish Identity, and the Southern Problem.”

Each event is open to the public at no charge with no ticket required. All events in the series will be held in Howard Auditorium on the ABAC campus. Formerly known as the ABAC Lecture Series, this special collection of presenters has been renamed in memory of Dr. Jess Usher, a former ABAC faculty member and lecturer in the series, who passed away in 2021.

The Tom M. Cordell Distinguished Lecture Series is named for Cordell, a former Dean and Coordinator of Continuing Education at ABAC, who served the college for 39 years.

McSweeney will explain to the audience how archival documents and images of the National and Federal Archives allow us to hear the voices of our past and provide physical evidence of actions taken, considered, or avoided.

McSweeney said the National Archives provide a comprehensive historical narrative, encompassing the stories of presidents and foot soldiers of the Civil Rights Movement, war heroes and pop culture icons, rocket scientists and farmers, engineers and bootleggers, as well as the famous and those not famous at all.

Other speakers in the Jess Usher Lecture Series include Dr. David Nelson on Nov. 17 on “Microbes and Xenophobes: Scotland’s Moral Panic Over Italian Ice Cream, 1880-1920.” Nelson is a professor of history at ABAC.

Abdur Rahman Muhammad, also sponsored by the Cordell Lecture Series, addresses “Journey for Justice in the Malcolm X Assassination Case” in the series on Jan. 24, 2023.

Dr. Thomas Grant, a professor of journalism at ABAC, and Kaci West, a senior lecturer at ABAC, wind up the series on March 13, 2023, with “Literature and the Landscape,” a tantalizing look at how they followed the trail of The Knights of the Round Table in England and Wales.