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The Tuttle Lecture

The Bill Tuttle Distinguished Lecture in American Studies

2019 Tuttle Lecture: Professor Kevin Willmott
" BlacKkKlansman and the Resurgence of Hate "
Thursday, October 24th, 2019 4:00 PM
Woodruff Auditorium, Kansas Union

Professor Wilmott is a member of the KU faculty where he teaches in the Department of Film and Media Studies. In 2018 he was awarded both the Academy Award and the BAFTA Award for best Adapted Screenplay for his co-writing of Black KKKlansman. The film also took the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival.  Professor Wilmott has written, directed or acted in more than twelve films.  His work includes Jayhawkers, which tells the story of Wilt Chamberlain and the 1956 KU men’s basketball team; C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America; ChiRaq, co-written with Spike Lee and The Only Good Indian, for which he won the Best Director Award at the American Indian Film Festival.  He is at work on two new projects. I, Too, Sing America: Langston Hughes Unfurled, with a group of KU faculty about the life and work of one-time Lawrence resident Langston Hughes and The 24th about the 1917 Houston riot. Originally from Junction City, Kansas, Kevin Wilmott earned his B.A. at Marymount College.  Before pursuing an MFA at NYU, Tisch School of the Arts he worked to desegregate institutions in Kansas and organized two Catholic Worker shelters.

Professor Emeritus Bill Tuttle

October 5th, 2017
University of Kansas

Bill Tuttle image

As a distinguished teacher, mentor, and scholar, Professor Emeritus Bill Tuttle guided generations of KU students. Bill taught in American studies, history, and African and African-American studies, offering the first courses at KU in African American history and post-World War II American history. His teaching awards include the W. T. Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence, the H.O.P.E. Teaching Award from the Class of 2001, and the Chancellor’s Club Career Teaching Award. He taught KU’s first African American History course, and his class on Recent America was legendary for attracting the very best seniors on campus. In 2007, he taught at Radboud University in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, holding the John Adams Distinguished Fulbright Chair. He has also lectured in Cuba and Japan.

Bill Tuttle has written seminal work in African American history, labor history, the history of childhood, and recent American history; his writings have influenced scholars and students around the world. As a pioneer in history from the bottom up, he produced the classic books Race Riot: Chicago in the Red Summer of 1919, “Daddy’s Gone to War”: The Second World War in the Lives of America’s Children, and the co-edited Plain Folk: The Life Stories of Undistinguished Americans. Through seven editions in the co-authored A People and a Nation, Bill reached millions of students. His scholarly articles have been frequently reprinted and widely cited. He is an elected Fellow of the Society of American Historians, and he has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEH, the American Council of Learned Societies, and from Johns Hopkins, Harvard, and Stanford Universities. In 2004 KU honored him with the Balfour S. Jeffrey/Higuchi Award, for Research Achievement in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

In Lawrence, Bill Tuttle co-chaired the Second Century Fund to restore historic St. Luke AME Church.. He is a longtime member of both the NAACP and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. For his community service, Bill was recognized with the Steeples Service to Kansans Award in 2006.

The Department of American Studies and friends and family of Bill Tuttle established the annual Tuttle Lecture in 2008 to honor Bill for his 40 years of academic excellence in research and teaching, as well as his services to the university, the Lawrence community, and the nation. The Tuttle Lecture focuses on Bill’s primary teaching, research and civic concerns: African American history and culture and recent American society and politics.

Previous Lectures

2018 Tuttle Lecture: Professor Roderick Ferguson
University of Illinois at Chicago
Thursday, October 25th, 2018 4:00 PM
Woodruff Auditorium, Kansas Union

Roderick Ferguson is Professor of African American and Gender and Women's Studies in the African American Studies Department at the University of Illinois, Chicago. He is the author of Aberrations in Black: Toward a Queer of Color Critique; The Reorder of Things: The University and its Pedagogies of Minority Difference (both from University of Minnesota Press) and We Demand: The University and Student Protests (University of California Press.)

He is the current President of the American Studies Association and from 2007-2010 was Associate Editor of that association's journal,  American Quarterly

His 2018 Tuttle Lecture is titled "A Gathering of Sources: American Studies and the Activation of Radical Traditions."

Event flyer

Professor Kevin Young
October 13th, 2016
Emory University

Event flyer (pdf)


This year's Tuttle Lecturer is Kevin Young, who is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Creative Writing and English and the Curator of Literary Collections and the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library at Emory University.  While an undergraduate at Harvard Univerity, Kevin studied with the Nobel-Prize winning poet Seamus Heaney, and while there he became a member of the Dark Room Collective, a community of African American writers.  Later, as a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, he studied with Denise Levertov.  Kevin, who was awarded the Master of Fine Arts from Brown University, has been deeply influenced by the poets Langston Hughes, John Berryman, and Emily Dickinson and by the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. 

More information (PDF)

Professor Tiya Miles
October 22, 2015
University of Michigan 

Native American interrelated and comparative histories (especially 19th century); Black, Native, and U.S. women's histories; and African American and Native American women's literature. Her most recent book, The House on Diamond Hill: A Cherokee Plantation Story, was published by the the University of North Carolina Press in 2010. She also wrote Ties That Bind: The Story of an Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom, published by the University of California Press in 2005, and a co-edited book with Sharon P. Holland, Crossing Waters, Crossing Worlds: The African Diaspora in Indian Country, published by Duke University Press in 2006.

More info »

My Pen, My Voice, My Vote

October 2, 2014, delivered by Frederick Douglass in the Age of the Civil War, Blight the Class of 1954 Professor of American History at Yale University.





The Education of Barack Obama: Race and Politics in the Age of Fracture.

October 10,2013, delivered by Professor Thomas Sugrue of the University of Pennsylvania.





October 2, 2012, delivered by Quintard Taylor, Scott and Dorothy Bullitt Professor of American History at the University of Washington.


Rehearsal for Freedom: Black Professional Women's Health Care Activism before Brown

October 26, 2011, delivered by Darlene Clark Hine, Board of Trustees Professor of African American Studies and Professor of History at Northwestern University.


The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery

October 7, 2010, delivered by Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University.


From Jim Crow to the Civil Rights Movement: the Continuity of Struggle

March 22, 2009, delivered by William Chafe, Alice Mary Baldwin Professor of History at Duke University.


Tuttlefest Inaugural Lecture

March 8-10, 2008, delivered by Leon Litwick, Alexander F. and May T. Morrison Professor of History Emeritus at UC Berkeley.


  • Listen to Margaret Kelley discuss it's not just fear of violence or belief in the second amendment and gun rights prompting gun ownership.  On this episode of WhenExpertsAttack she explains that concerns about Armageddon and "supernatural" evil also are at play.  
  • Congratulations to Bobby Cervantes for being awarded the Harry Middleton Fellowship in Presidential Studies!
  • Read about Afro-Puerto Rican illustrator Eric Velasquez in this piece written by William García-Medina for Teaching For Change.
  • Geoffrey Newman did a podcast for the journal Kansas History that was broadcast on 91.9 KSDB-FM.  It is available online here.
  • Congratulations to Sam Steuart for being named KU's 20th Truman scholar!
  • This article, written by Geoffrey Newman, was published in the August edition of the Kansas History Journal. Congratulations Geoffrey!
  • Congratulations to Ph.D. candidate Kathryn Vaggalis for being awarded the American Studies Association's 2018 Gene Wise-Warren Susman Prize!
  • KU-AUMI InterArts was recently featured by the Commons in a video on improving inclusive communities at KU. You can watch the video, which features our own Sherrie Tucker amongst other founders of the movement at KU, and learn more about AUMI here!
  • Congratulations to Professor Robert Warrior on being elected to a member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
  • This articlewritten by Ph.D. candidate Hannah Bailey, was published in the latest edition of Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Congratulations, Hannah!
  • We would like to recognize Patrick Sumner, 2005 alumni, for his work in this article about the defacement of the John Brown memorial in the Quindaro area of Kansas City, Kansas.
  • Please read this article about Professor Robert Warrior titled: Native scholar uncomfortably at home in American studies field.
  • Congratulations to Daniel Carey-Whalen, an alumni that was recently promoted as UTEP's Centennial Museum director.
  • Congratulations to Josh Parshall, an alumni who was recently featured in this article.
  • How a motion-tracking musical software is breaking down barriers for people with disabilities: click here to read more about the Adaptive Use Musical Instrument (AUMI), a one-of-a-kind piece of inclusive technology that promotes musical improvisation. The article recognizes Professor Sherrie Tucker, who started AUMI jam sessions and helped to bring the grant and symposium for it to Lawrence. Written by Omar Sanchez
  • KU Special Education Department: With Ray Pence
  • Tribute Or Tribulation? How do we commemorate history? What is the best way to remember a conflicted and painful past? And who gets to decide? Listen here »
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