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Jan 19 2022


12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Virtual Only

Artists & Historians series


A conversation between historian William Sturkey and artist Stephen L. Hayes

Join us on Wednesday, January 19, at noon for an exploration of the role of art in creating knowledge and narratives about slavery, the Civil War, and freedom struggles in the United States. Historian William Sturkey will guide this conversation with professor and artist Stephen L. Hayes.

Commissioned by the Cameron Museum of Art in Wilmington, North Carolina, Hayes' sculpture, "Boundless," honors the U.S. Colored Troops - Black soldiers who served in the Union Army in the Civil War. In an interview with the Wilmington StarNews, Hayes said, “As a Black man in America, you see the imagery of a Black person in chains, being whipped, begging, kneeling and helpless. This project is important to me because, as a creator, I get to change that narrative — by giving Black soldiers a sense of honor and pride.”

This event is part of a series accompanying the exhibition, "'To stand by the side of Freedom': Abraham Lincoln and 19th century America," on view at the Rubenstein Library through May 14, 2022.

Free and open to the public. Advance registration required. We have updated this description to reflect that the event is now virtual only. We regret that we cannot yet gather in person.

Sponsored by the Rubenstein Library, Forum for Scholars and Publics, Franklin Humanities Institute, Vice Provost for the Arts, Department of African & African American Studies, Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Department of History, and MFA|EDA Program at Duke University.

ARTISTS & HISTORIANS in conversation

Event flyer



Stephen L. Hayes

Duke University

Stephen L. Hayes grew up in Durham with his older brother, Spence, and his mother, Lender, who were pivotal in shaping and sparking his creative approach. When Hayes was in first grade, he broke a remote-control car. His brother took it apart and attached the motor to a battery, bringing…...

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William Sturkey

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Dr. William Sturkey is an historian of the post-1865 United States at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Specializing in the history of race in the American South, most of his research centers the experiences of working-class racial minorities. His first book, To Write in the Light of Freedom,…...

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