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History graduate students participate in Historic Natchez Conference: From Civil War to Civil Rights

Posted: April 23, 2013
L to R: Nicholas Roland (History), Karissa Bassse (Anthropology) Chyna Bowen (History).

L to R: Nicholas Roland (History), Karissa Bassse (Anthropology) Chyna Bowen (History).

Co-sponsored by the Historic Natchez Foundation and the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at UT Austin, From Civil War to Civil Rights, the 2013 Historic Natchez Conference took place on April 17-20, 2013. The program offered presentations on centuries of Natchez and the Lower Mississippi Valley’s history, narrowing to a particular focus on the Civil War and Civil Rights periods.

Several UT Austin students presented at the Historic Natchez Conference, including two from the Department of History: Chyna Bowen and Nicholas K. Roland.

Nicholas' paper, "Slave Hiring in the Southwest: New Perspectives from the Natchez Trace Collection," examined the practice of slave hiring in the Lower Mississippi Valley and Texas from roughly 1800 to the Civil War.  He believes “the Historic Natchez Conference is a great opportunity to showcase the resources of the Briscoe Center for American History here at UT, as well as the scholarship of UT History students. The people of Natchez seem to have a very strong desire to preserve and explore the history of their city and region, and the Historic Natchez Foundation does a great job with preserving that history and promoting scholarship that explores it. I had a great experience and will definitely plan to visit Natchez again in the future.” Chyna Bowen's paper "From Slave to Convict: the Criminal Slave Women of Texas" examined research of enslaved criminality.

"All of us from the Briscoe Center were so proud to have them there – to have a student presence from UT. And they did a really, fine job. Very polished presentations" said Brenda S. Gunn, Associate Director for Research and Collections at the Briscoe Center.

The Historic Natchez Conference fosters the study, preservation, and appreciation of the Natchez region by providing a forum for established scholars, graduate students, archivists, and the general public to share research, resources, and ideas. The Briscoe Center’s Southern History Collections feature the Natchez Trace Collection, with extensive materials related to the region and its history.

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