A speaker series moving through time
The Neill-Cochran House Museum inaugurated its speaker series five years ago, naming it Modern Times because when Abner Cook built this Greek Revival residence, it was a state-of-the-art gem. The families for whom the House is named updated the structure when conveniences became available ‚Äď gas, indoor plumbing, electricity, and more ‚Äď keeping it ‚Äúmodern.‚ÄĚ¬† For presenters, these informal talks, or conversations, have drawn on a talented pool of experts throughout Texas.¬† ¬†Audience members began the series by stepping back into the middle of the 19th century to 1855 when the Neill-Cochran House was constructed.
Talks are presented by the Friends of the Neill-Cochran House Museum and are free to members of the Friends.¬† Individual and corporate sponsorships make this benefit possible and keep the price low for new participants.¬† At only $10 per person per program, the ticket price is one of the state‚Äôs best bargains ‚Äď especially since refreshments are included!
Reservations: To make your reservation, you may call the House and make a payment over the phone, send your payment by mail, or use the Paypal button below (no Paypal account needed!). Payments at the door accepted, but please note, some events sell out quickly!
For Paypal users: In the “instructions to seller” box, please include the names of all in your party who will be attending. Remember, admission is free if you are a Friends member.
***Please Note: Jan 13th session is sold out. Thank you!***
Topics for the current season are directly below followed by a glimpse at past series topics and speakers. For the current schedule, please visit the calendar section of our website.
Modern Times: 1900-1915
View the broadside for Modern Times Season 7 HERE!
Sunday, October 21, 2012 How High’s the Water Mama?: Texas, State of Disaster¬† Mike Cox
The 20th century saw its fair share of disasters, from hurricanes to earthquakes to ships going down — and Texas-sized calamities happened in the Lone Star State, some in or near Austin! With all the wind, water, and shaking going on, we need just the person to hold our hands as we enter the 1900s: author and veteran journalist Mike Cox. Mr. Cox has published 21 nonfiction books, including a two-volume history of the Texas Rangers. One of his more recent titles, Texas Disasters: True Stories of Tragedy and Survival, will be the launching pad for the conversation on Earthly havoc near and far. This kick-off talk will be the third Modern Times appearance for Mike Cox, who was elected to the Texas Institute of Letters in 1993. Help welcome him back!
Sunday, November 11, 2012 Get a Horse!: Early Automobiles, From Help to Hazard¬† David Blanke
The burgeoning of the automobile coincided perfectly with the newly turned century. ¬†This crazy conveyance that ran without a horse captured everyone‚Äôs attention, even without the widely publicized, first ‚Äúmodern‚ÄĚ auto show at Madison Square Garden (1900) and the hit song ‚ÄúIn My Merry Oldsmobile‚ÄĚ (1905).¬† David Blanke, Professor of History and Humanities Chair at Texas A & M–Corpus Christi, will take us on a ride back to the early days before cars parked themselves or told you where to turn.¬† Among Dr. Blanke‚Äôs many publications are two pertinent books, The 1910s: American Popular Culture Through History and Hell on Wheels: The Promise and Peril of America‚Äôs Car Culture, 1900-1940.¬† Drive over on a paved road to learn about the dangers of driving in the days before traffic!
Sunday, January 13, 2013 at 2PM Rough-Riding Romantic: T.R. in the White House H. W. Brands – SOLD OUT!
Author, historian, naturalist, hunter,¬† soldier, statesman, orator, President‚ÄĒnouns comprising Theodore Roosevelt. Complex and independent, this 26th U.S. President said, ‚ÄúI did not usurp power, but I did greatly broaden the use of executive power.‚ÄĚ¬† H. W. Brands, author, historian, orator. and Presidential advisor, will share his vast knowledge of the 20th century‚Äôs First Executive. Behind a public face are some surprises revealed in Dr. Brands‚Äô masterful biography and springboard for this talk (T. R.: The Last Romantic): a ‚Äúpsychologically penetrating,‚ÄĚ ‚Äúvivid character study.‚ÄĚ¬† Modern Timers will remember their trip to the Gilded Age with this two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist.¬† U.T. Austin History Professor H. W. Brands, who has written almost as many books as his subject, will mesmerize the Modern Times audience once again!
Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 2PM A Streetcar Named D√©j√† Vu Bruce J. Hunt
Until World War II when the family car became common, the electric streetcar was the most important form of transit in major cities.¬† In Texas, over 30 towns credit their early 20th-century development to these¬† railways; this state had more streetcars than any other west of the Mississippi. Home and town ‚Äď now separated ‚Äď once again became minutes apart. Today, with ‚Äúurban sprawl‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúcarbon footprints‚ÄĚ mass transit is a hot topic in cities that abandoned it for the automobile. Bruce J. Hunt will take Modern¬† Timers for a ride on the first electric interurban transit in Austin and beyond.¬† Dr. Hunt, Professor of History at U.T. Austin, specializes in the history of science and its interaction with technology. The NCHM welcomes back Bruce J. Hunt for another sold-out conversation.
NEW DATE! Sunday, March 24, 2013 at 2PM Jammin‚Äô Preservationists: Texas‚Äô First Foodies M M Pack & Stephanie McClenny
Started in Texas, the first Girl‚Äôs Tomato Club launched a movement that spread through the country changing pre-Great War rural America and, once war began, continued to nourish a distraught nation.¬† Supported by the U. S. Department of Agriculture, tomato clubs (corn clubs for boys), were responsible for the birth of 4-H along with the new connection between county extension agents and citizens.¬† Safe canning practices were taught to women and girls whose wares were for both family consumption and sales; all you needed was 1/10 of an acre!¬† Girls displayed their products from Terrell to the Dallas State Fair (1913), and the Waco Cotton Palace.¬† Writer and private chef MM Pack returns by popular demand to talk about the role that preserving food played statewide and¬† nationally.¬† Lending added flavor ‚Äď literally with a demonstration and tastings ‚Äď is¬† Stephanie McClenny, owner of confituras, a line of artisanal preserves made with seasonal Texas farm products.¬† Ms. McClenny‚Äôs bourbon brown sugar peach preserves won the Good Food Awards in San Francisco in 2011 and 2012. This talk is for everyone with an interest in early preservation in Texas and good taste!
Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 2PM You Call This Art?: Modern Meets America in 1913¬† Dr. Karen Pope
When it‚Äôs time for change, there‚Äôs no stopping it.¬† While the turn of the century heralded a¬† transportation revolution and new governance, the art world experienced the ‚Äúshock of the new.‚ÄĚ¬† Nothing prepared the American art world for 1913‚Äôs ambitious International Exhibition of Modern Art.¬† Held in New York‚Äôs 69th Regiment Armory, the show exhibited nearly 1300 works, mostly by European painters and sculptors, that pleased,¬† inspired, discombobulated, and outraged close to 87,000 attendees Art critics had a field day, particularly with Marcel Duchamp‚Äôs Nude Descending a Staircase (pictured above), calling it everything from ‚Äúan explosion in a shingle factory,‚ÄĚ ‚Äúa dynamited suit of Japanese armor,‚ÄĚ to ‚Äúa staircase descending a nude.‚ÄĚ¬† Even Teddy Roosevelt made fun of all the European ‚Äúisms,‚ÄĚ writing ‚ÄúThere is no reason that people should not call themselves Cubists or Octagonists, Parallelopipedonists, or Knights of the Isosceles Triangle‚Ä¶‚ÄĚ¬†¬†¬† Karen Pope, an NCHM favorite, will take us back to the Armory Show to imagine what a first viewing must have been like.¬† Dr. Pope, Art History Professor for the Allbritton Art Institute at Baylor University and principal in Art inSight, Inc., will pack the House for this bonus talk!
Modern Times: 1890s
Click to view our Season 6 broadside!
The Bicycle Boom: Untrammeled Freedom, with David Herlihy – October 16, 2011, 2:00 PM
Historian and author David Herlihy takes us for a ride to kick off the season since the 1890s saw the burgeoning of the bicycle. In 1896, Susan B. Anthony extolled its virtues saying that the bicycle had ‚Äúdone more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.‚ÄĚ Mark Twain had a slightly more wary view when he urged readers to ‚Äúget a bicycle. You will not regret it‚ÄĒif you live.‚ÄĚ¬† Mr. Herlihy, who penned Bicycle: The History and The Lost Cyclist has won the Award for Excellence in the History of Science; the Sally Hacker Prize of the Society for the History of Technology, and the McNair History Award; his work has been featured on NPR and in the NY Times, the Boston Globe, and Historic Preservation.¬† Bicycle technology has been a passion of his since his days in the Harvard Cycling Club, making him just the man to tell the story (with a Texas twist) of the two-wheeled conveyance that slipped nicely into the 19th century between the horse and buggy and the horseless carriage!
Actung, Baby! Under the Gaiety Are Signs of War,¬† with Andrew Villalon – November 13, 2011, 2:00 PM
When we talk about wars, our focus is usually on the battles, military leaders, soldiers, spies, POWs, and folks keeping the home fires burning.¬† As Modern Times moves through the end of the 19th century, all is not well, and before going into the new century that, early on, saw the Great War, it would be prudent to be armed with information.¬† Countries fight when balances of power shift brewing enmities that fester and eventually explode.¬† It‚Äôs these shifts in balance and the slow burn that they caused that will be addressed by L. J. Andrew Villalon in this section of the series.¬† The term ‚ÄúGay ‚Äė90s‚ÄĚ was coined in the 1920s as people looked back with nostalgia on their prewar days, but sentimentality denies undercurrents, and Dr. Villalon will take us to pivotal points that changed the world.¬†¬† Professor emeritus at the University of Cincinnati and Senior Lecturer in the University of Texas Department of History, Dr. Villalon, did his undergraduate work and earned his PhD from Yale.¬† He is a specialist in late medieval and early modern European history and is currently at work on two book-length studies on the canonization of a saint and the life of an English knight and mercenary in the Hundred Years War and has published on automotive history and the history of World War I.¬† Recipient of many grants, including a Fulbright, he has received two awards from the American Association of University Professors and the Professional Scholarly Activity Award for the University College at the University of Cincinnati.¬† He was an associate editor of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Medieval Warfare and Military Technology.
Beneath the Yellow Wallpaper: Writers, Workers, & Freud Discover the Self, with Pamela Christian & Ev Lunning, Jr.¬† – January 15, 2012, 2:00 PM
The 1890s saw a shift in the way we see ourselves.¬† Freud did his seminal work during this decade, publishing Studies on Hysteria (1895) and The Interpretation of Dreams (1899), and Charlotte Perkins Gillman wrote The Yellow Wallpaper (1892), a beautifully crafted novel that critiqued the 19th-century approach to the treatment of mental illness, along with Women and Economics (1898).¬† Workers examined their individual situations and joined collectively to protest their conditions.¬† The ‚Äė90s‚Äô transition from Victorian styles to modernity permeated literature, painting, music, politics.¬† To explore the fin de si√®cle Equity actors Pamela Christian and Ev Lunning, Jr. make their second Modern Times appearance with their popular staged duet.¬† Dr. Christian, Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor of Voice and Speech for Performance in U.T.‚Äôs Department of Theatre and Dance, was recently voted Austin‚Äôs best actress for her role as Elizabeth I in Mary Stuart.¬† Mr. Lunning, a veteran film actor and voice-over performer, is artistic director of the acclaimed Mary Moody Northen Theatre at St. Edwards University.¬† Explore with them the new introspection that set the stage for the 20th century.
Promises, Promises: The Very White City of the World’s Colombian Exposition, with Karen Pope – February 19, 2012, 2:00 PM
Expositions mark progress and presage the future, and the Chicago World‚Äôs Exposition of 1893 was no exception.¬† Built in Chicago through an act of Congress by America‚Äôs foremost architects, including Burnham, McKim Meade & White, and Sullivan, the fair was a city within a city with each pavilion dressed in white.¬† Texas artist Elisabet Ney was invited to create two sculptures for the event.¬† With all its display of American art, architecture, and technology, though, not all promises were fulfilled, as African-American participation was denied and women were relegated to their own board, facts which set the stage for limited future progress of both minorities.¬† Unlike the Texas Exposition of 1890, the Chicago fair, had a dark side that included murder, epidemic, assassination, and devastating fire.¬† Allbritton Art Institute Baylor professor Karen Pope will take us to Fort Worth to open the century and head north to Chicago to tour the famous ‚Äúwhite city.‚ÄĚ¬† Dr. Pope, author of Homage to the Creative Spirit: the Paintings of Jenness Cortez, has been leading actual study tours for more than 15 years;¬† her firm Art inSight, takes clients and Friends of the Neill-Cochran House Museum around the globe to experience art and architecture first hand.¬† With this talk, Dr. Pope brings Chicago to us.
Measuring Up: Fannie Farmer and Our Food (featuring a Commemorative 1890s Pie-&-Ice Cream Social), with M M Pack- March 4, 2012
M M Pack always adds spice to Modern Times, but this season, she‚Äôs adding ice cream and pie ‚Äď the real thing!¬† The ice cream social and talk commemorate Fannie Farmer‚Äôs Boston Cooking- School Cook Book, published in 1896, to help home cooks expect successful results each time when preparing a dish.¬† Ms. Farmer, who became principal of the Boston Cooking School, prefaced her book by saying, ‚ÄúIt is my wish that it may not only be looked upon as a compilation of tried and tested recipes, but that it may awaken an interest through its condensed scientific knowledge which will lead to deeper thought and broader study of what to eat.‚ÄĚ¬† Ms. Pack is an accomplished writer, scholar of food ways, and private chef who divides her time between Austin and San Francisco.¬† A graduate of Rice University, she‚Äôs a contributor to The Austin Chronicle and Edible Austin and a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals.¬† Her recipes for the 1890s-style goodies will be as close as possible to the originals.
Modern Times: 1880s
Gilding an Age: Magnates and Mayhem, with H.W. Brands – October 10, 2010, 2:00 PM
Historian and Pulitzer Prize-nominated author H.W. Brands kicks off this season by examining the Gilded Age, an era named by Mark Twain (MT, Season 4). At last count, Dr. Brands has 17 books under his scholarly belt;¬† but the late 19th century, a period marked in America by prodigious growth of industry and a few fabulous fortunes, is his prime intellectual real estate.¬† Gould, Frick, Carnegie, Mellon, Morgan, and more magnates of the Gilded Age cast shadow that chills us even today.¬† Don‚Äôt miss this talk!
Resting Along the Way: Texas Railroad & Stagecoach Inns of the 1880′s, with Liz Carmack – November 14, 2010, 2:00 PM
Pack your hump-back trunk to join writer Liz Carmack for an old fashioned journey through Texas. With the speed of modern travel, it‚Äôs easy to forget that moving from place to place used to be a dusty ordeal far beyond today‚Äôs security checks. On these long trips across Texas, stopping to eat, rest, clean up, and feed the horses or stock the coal was a must.¬† Carmack‚Äôs conversation will center around her new book‚ÄĒHistoric Hotels of Texas: A Traveler‚Äôs Guide (with copies available)‚ÄĒbut spare participants the bumps, grinds, soot, and steam!
Practice Makes Perfect: Legal Eagles of 1880s Texas, with¬†William J. Chriss – January 16, 2011, 2:00 PM
The tenets of American law may have been in place by the 1880s, but jurisprudence was just getting a foothold in the great southwest; and that‚Äôs no lawyer joke!¬† Harvard Law graduate, Dan Price Award-winner, and 19th-century Texas constitution scholar,¬† William J. Chriss will speak on Texas law and the State Supreme Court during the decade that witnessed the founding of the University of Texas School of Law.¬† His new book, In Defense of the Noble Lawyer, will be on hand for signing.¬† Be impaneled for this event!
What to Wear to a Gilded Revolution, with Kay Jay – Februrary 20, 2011, 2:00 PM
Can you tell a bodice from a bustle? Whether you are a fashionista or a frump, there is much to discover about the fashion of the 1880s!¬† Modern Times welcomes Kay Jay, Director of the Historical Textiles and Apparel Collection at the University of Texas. Dr. Jay will explore the changing shapes of the Gilded Age and factors that caused them. Come discover how technological advances in fabrics and garment construction during this time further accelerated the ever-changing silhouette of women‚Äôs fashions and how the men were keeping up. Wear your finest, but remember: hoop skirts are out‚ÄĒbig bustles are in!
Tiny Bubbles: The Birth of Coke & Dr Pepper, with M M Pack – March 27, 2011, 2:00 PM
Modern Times welcomes back the popular Mary Margaret Pack. This culinary historian, personal chef, and food writer will discuss one of the decade‚Äôs longest-lasting (and most delightful) inventions: soda! The 1880s saw the birth of both Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper, liquid refreshments that were then considered medicinal. Learn how and why these beverages were enjoyed in the 1880s, how they‚Äôve changed since their invention, and how they‚Äôve covered the globe! Join the reception at 2 and be right on time for your midday Dr Pepper.
Previous Modern Times Events
Modern Times: 1870′s
Naming an Era: The Gilded Age ‚ÄĒ There‚Äôs Millions In It! with Kevin MacDonnell
In 1873, Mark Twain and his neighbor Charles Dudley Warner coauthored a novel based on their perceptions of greed and corruption in the American scene.¬† Their title turned into a moniker that‚Äôs lasted over a hundred years.¬† Rare book dealer and Twain scholar Kevin MacDonnell will talk about the author and the odd circumstances that led to the book and subsequent play.¬† MacDonnell‚Äôs show and tell will include pieces from his own collection ‚Äď including Twain‚Äôs own original manuscript!¬† No homework is required, but if you would like to read the book, Mr. MacDonnell (and, indeed, English professors on the ‚ÄúQ-T‚ÄĚ) recommend the first 12 and last 6 chapters of the Oxford edition.¬† SOLD OUT!
Deep in the Art of Texas with James Baker
Retired Texas A&M professor, James Graham Baker‚Äôs love is Texas art.¬† Originally an anthropologist, Baker developed the Information Services and Technology Department for A&M‚Äôs School of Architecture.¬† Since retiring he and his wife have collected early Texas art that represents every area of the state.¬† In addition, Mr. Baker created the Virtual Texas Art Museum, as website with over 12,000 images of Texas art along with reference texts and biographical entries.¬† His enthusiasm is infectious, and participants will leave with true appreciation of what led to Texas art in the 1870s.
The Iron Horse Gallops In with Ken Fitzgerald
The faux oysters that are part of the NCHM Dining Room vignette would not have graced the Neill‚Äôs table without the train‚Äôs arrival in Texas.¬† With the state connected by rail, modern life could really begin.¬† Award-winning Fort Worth rail photographer and author Ken Fitzgerald will walk us through the history of the steam train and the arrival or the Iron Horse in various parts of Texas.¬† This conversation and the refreshment hour will take place in a vintage excursion car at the Austin Steam Train Association.¬† For directions and details, please see Calendar page.
It‚Äôs What‚Äôs for Dinner with M M Pack
In the 1870s, a cook at the Neill-Cochran House still would have worked in a separate building ‚Äď possibly near the existing gift shop.¬† But, an important addition to the domestic landscape came into its own in that decade ‚Äď the stove.¬† M M Pack is a food-ways expert and writer based in Austin whose lively writing appears weekly in ‚ÄúFood for Thought‚ÄĚ in the Chronicle.¬† She will put us all on a historic diet and place our local meals in the broader national context.¬† Expect some freshly prepared refreshments with an old-time twist.
Invention: The Mother of Necessity with Bruce J. Hunt
The marketplace is flooded by gadgets loaded with bells and whistles that we absolutely ‚Äúneed.‚ÄĚ¬† University of Texas history professor Bruce J. Hunt, whose specialty is the history of science, will introduce us to the period that saw more scientific and technological creativity since cavemen put fire to good use.¬† With his research focusing on the development of electrical science and technology in the 19th century, Dr. Hunt is the author of The Maxwellians (Cornell University Press) on three men whose lives were changed by James Clerk Maxwell‚Äôs groundbreaking work on electromagnetism and the soon-to-be-published Pursuing Power and Light:¬† Technology and Physics from James Watt to Albert Einstein (Johns Hopkins University Press).
Modern Times: 1865-1870
War Is Over:¬† The Picture Changes with David Coleman
War does much to disrupt and end lives.¬† But as we saw in ‚ÄúDoctoring a Wounded Nation,‚ÄĚ war can also serve to advance science and technology, sometimes for the good of its survivors.¬† In this conversation, David Coleman, PhD, Curator of Photography at the Harry Ransom Center, will discuss the development of picture-taking up to and beyond the War Between the States when photography became an art form.¬† Dr. Coleman most recently mounted a show of Victorian photography from the HRC‚Äôs vast collection that includes the first photograph ever made.
Arms and the Men — and Women: Instruments of War and Peace with Bob Corwin
Firearms have been a part of the American conversation since before the Revolution was won.¬† They continue to frighten and fascinate, and Waco physician, historian, and collector Bob Corwin will take the Modern Times audience back to the Texas Revolution through Reconstruction to look at changes in technology and attitudes surrounding small firearms.¬† Dr. Corwin has made a lifelong study of both the Civil War and antique guns and has spoken to groups as diverse as the DAR, Texas Archeological Society, and Boy Scouts of America.¬† This is a pistol-packing event with real examples from Dr. Corwin‚Äôs collection, so come prepared to be entertained and enlightened.
Austin’s Coldest Case: The Great Treasury Raid of 1865 with Mike Cox
With his latest book under his belt ‚Äď The Texas Rangers:¬† Wearing the Cinco Peso ‚Äď Mike Cox will speak about the Reconstruction-era lawlessness that set the stage for a robbery that remains unsolved to this day.¬† A group of about 25 desperados depleted the State Treasury of its gold, which, in today‚Äôs dollars would amount to a king‚Äôs ransom.¬† Mr. Cox‚Äôs research traces the most likely perpetrator to St. Louis, but all participants will be deputized for this ongoing manhunt.
Custer’s Penultimate Stand: Reconstructing Texas with James Donovan
Literary agent and author James Donovan has the latest and best biography of George Armstrong Custer available.¬† His book was deemed ‚Äúthe last word on the Last Stand‚ÄĚ in a Los Angeles Times book review.
Custer, a strong and controversial character, spent time in Austin during Reconstruction along with his wife Libbie.¬† Since the Neill-Cochran House was leased to the government as a hospital for the Federal troops stationed in the Hill Country, we can be pretty sure that the Civil War general graced our building with his lively presence!¬† Join us for a lively talk and book signing.
Free At Last: The Texas African-American Experience in Song & Narrative with Gloria Quinlan & Voices From the Huston-Tillotson Choir
The final topic for Modern Times: 1865-1870 — War Is Over will continue to address the unique situation in Texas during Reconstruction and focus on the surprisingly prominent role of slavery in Austin. Freedman had a lot to say and sing about. Please join us to hear their song. Dr. Gloria Quinlan and her choral ensemble, including singers from the Huston-Tillotson University Choir, perform Free At Last: Texas African-American Experience in Song & Narrative.
Modern Times: 1860-1865
Antebellum Austin in Black & White: The Servants and the Served with Kenneth Hafertepe
Museum Studies professor at Baylor University in Waco, author of Abner Cook: Master Builder on the Texas Frontier, and former resident of the Neill-Cochran House, Dr. Hafertepe has researched carefully the issues surrounding slavery in Central Texas.¬† His book on the Spanish governor‚Äôs palace received awards from the Texas State Historical Association and the Southeaster Society of Architectural Historians.
Mary Lincoln’s Salon: A Southern Heart in a Union White House with Mary Margaret Buss and Felicity Coltman
Acclaimed pianist and founder of the Austin Chamber Music Center, Ms. Coltman returns to Modern Times with Galveston monologist Mary Margaret Buss to portray the much-misunderstood Kentuckian ‚Äď Mary Todd Lincoln.¬† With a scrupulously researched script and period music, Ms. Buss puts you in the room with one of history‚Äôs most interesting first ladies.
Whistling “Dixie” All Over the Map: An Anthem Divided with Coleman Hutchison
Dr. Huthison, University of Texas professor of English, is not just whistling ‚ÄúDixie‚ÄĚ ‚Äď he‚Äôs an authority on the subject.¬† The anthem of the South had its own turf war.¬† As a specialist in the cultural memory and artistic artifacts of the conflict between the North and the South, Dr. Hutchison examines the war and its multi-layered repercussions.
Doctoring A Wounded Nation: Civil War Medicine with Thomas McMasters
War is often the mother of medical invention, and Director of Fort Sam Houston‚Äôs Army Medical Department Museum Tom McMasters will shed light on hospital care, field medicine, the new role of nurses, and the quiet enemy ‚Äď disease.
War Stories: The Wounded Soul Speaks with Pamela Christian and Ev Lunning, Jr.
Memory speaks through stories, letters, and debates.¬† Dr. Christian, professor in the University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance, and Mr. Lunning, director of the Mary Moody Northen Theatre at St. Edwards University, partner again in a staged reading guaranteed to move and enlighten.
Modern Times: 1855
Antebellum Austin: Our World Before the Civil War with Mike Cox
Author of 12 books, including Texas Ranger Tales: Stories That Need Telling, Mike Cox is a recognized authority on Texas in its wild and wooly youth. He is an elected member of the Texas Institute of Letters and an award-winning journalist who currently serves as communications manager for the Texas Department of Transportation.
A Whale of a Good Time: The 1855 Bookshelf with Anthony Hilfer
University of Texas at Austin Iris Howard Regents Professor in English Literature, Tony Hilfer is a lively speaker on music, popular culture, and, of course, literature. Although his most recent book is American Fiction Since 1940, he will take the Modern Times audience back to the world created by Herman Melville in Benito Cereno, which appears in Piazza Tales and is available at local bookstores.
The Chambered Musician: A Little 1855 Music with Felicity Coltman
Austinites know Felicity Coltman as the founding director of the Austin Chamber Music Center, which she built from 1983 to 2006. Mrs. Coltman began her performing career as a teenager on the radio in her native South Africa and has taught piano most of her adult life. Modern Times participants will hear a chamber trio perform the new music of the day in the appropriate setting — an 1855 parlor!
A Domestic Cover-Up: Textiles & Fashions in 1855 with Michaele Haynes
Michaele Haynes, Curator of Anthropology at San Antonio‚Äôs Witte Museum, will talk about what was hanging in your closet and on your windows in the middle 19th century. Author of Dressing Up Debutantes: Pageantry and Glitz in Texas, her most recent exhibition is A Wild & Vivid Land: Stories of South Texas.
The Graveyard Shift: Dying in 1855 with Ed Van De Vort
Recipient of the 2006 Katherine Drake Hart Preservation Award from the Austin History Center Association, Ed Van De Vort is currently a staff member of the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau in the Heritage Marketing department. Mr. Van De Vort conducts historic walking tours of downtown, the Bremond Block, the Capitol, and the State and Oakwood cemeteries. He was recently featured on the highly acclaimed documentary series Downtown, produced by Austin‚Äôs PBS network KLRU.