J Matthew WardQuincy University’s Great Books Program will host speaker J. Matthew Ward, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor of history, on Wednesday, February 23, from 2 – 3:15 p.m. in MacHugh Theatre (basement of Francis Hall, 1800 College). This event is free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be served. Masks required.

Ward’s talk, entitled “The 1619 Project – Who Controls History?” will examine the power of history and the politics that surround historical dialogue.  Since the publication of the 1619 Project in August 2019, it has inspired renewed public interest in black history, challenged traditional perspectives of America’s idealistic self-image, and attracted numerous critics who claim that the project is divisive and dishonest. Ward will discuss questions such as what does the 1619 Project say about race and America? How do we determine historical truth? How can historical analysis guide our everyday lives? Who has the authority to control what we learn and understand as a society?

Ward specializes in Southern history and has worked at the Whitney Plantation Historic Site.  He received his doctorate in US 19th century history from Louisiana State University. His research focuses on the Civil War, American political development, military occupation, and gender studies. Currently, he is working on a manuscript entitled “Garden of Ruins: Military Occupation and State Power in Civil War Louisiana.”

Ward’s presentation is part of the Great Conversations Speakers Series, offered in conjunction with Quincy University’s Great Books program, which brings in leading scholars who investigate the fundamental dilemmas of human life and whose arguments challenge us to reexamine our most dearly held beliefs.

Founded in 1860 by Franciscan friars, Quincy University is a small Catholic university emphasizing the sciences, liberal arts and the professions. Quincy University offers undergraduate, graduate and adult education programs integrating practical experience and Franciscan values. Faculty and advisors work with students to design customized success plans to help them graduate on time, find their passion and prepare them for life. QU is a member of NCAA Division II for intercollegiate athletics. For more information, please visit www.quincy.edu or contact the Office of Community Relations at (217) 228-5275 or communityrelations@quincy.edu. Quincy University. Success by Design