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The 16th Annual Cranford Lecture will be held on Thursday, April 4, at 7 p.m. in Jobe Auditorium on the campus of Delta State. This year's distinguished speaker will be Dr. Jeannie Whayne, Professor of History at the University of Arkansas and co-director of the University's Teaching and Faculty Support Center. The title of her lecture will be "The Cotton Elite Seize Control: The 1878 Yellow Fever Epidemic Revisited."
The following day, Friday, April 5, at 10 a.m. in the Howorth Room of the Capps Archives, Whayne will deliver a talk as part of the "Year of Service" programming at Delta State. Her talk will be entitled "From Arkansas Traveler to Rural America in the 1930's: Crystal Bridges Museum & the Portrayal of History."
Whayne is a prolific scholar in the field of southern history, having authored and edited ten books. Most recently, she is author of the book, Delta Empire: Lee Wilson and the Transformation of Agriculture in the New South. Her current research explores the historical relationship between Memphis and the Lower Mississippi Valley region. She has also been a model of excellence in the classroom and in service to her field of study.
In 2008, the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas recognized Whayne's outstanding teaching record by naming her a Master Teacher. She is now president of the Teaching Academy, an organization dedicated to recognizing excellent teaching. Since 2008, Professor Whayne has been a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. Among her lecture topics are: "Garrisoned City and King Cotton: The Illegal Trade in Cotton in Memphis during the Civil War," "Building It of Brick and Hollow Tile: Lee Wilson, The Lowery Lynching, and the Limitations of Planter Paternalism," and "The Winds Have Changed: The Flood of 1927 and the Arkansas 'Cracker' Response to Devastation." Recently, the Agricultural History Society named Whayne a "Fellow of the Society" in honor of her scholarly achievements and her service to the study of southern agricultural history. Currently, she serves as vice-president of the society and will assume the presidency in June 2013.
Whayne has been a Smithsonian Institution Fellow, as well as a Carter Woodson Institute Fellow at the University of Virginia. She has served on numerous committees of the Southern Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, and is past president of the Conference of Historical Journals, an affiliate of the American Historical Association. For over a decade, she served as editor of the Arkansas Historical Quarterly. The Cranford Lecture series, established to commemorate the life and work of Delta State history professor and university archivist Sammy O. Cranford, is free and open to the general public, as is the reception following in the Atrium of Jobe Hall. For further information, contact the Delta State History Unit at (662) 846-4170.