James Loewen

James Loewen speaking at CMK 2010

We are pleased to welcome popular historian, academic, and best-selling author, Professor James Loewen back as a guest speaker for Constructing Modern Knowledge 2018, July 10 – 13, 2018 in Manchester, New Hampshire, USA.

“"James Loewen’s gripping retelling of American history as it should and could be taught, Lies My Teacher Told Me, has sold more than 1.5 million copies and continues to inspire K-16 teachers to encourage students to challenge, rather than memorize, their textbooks.

Jim Loewen taught race relations for twenty years at the University of Vermont. Previously he taught at predominantly black Tougaloo College in Mississippi. He now lives in Washington, D.C., continuing his research on how Americans remember their past.

Professor Loewen is the author of provocative books that illuminate current events by honestly confronting our past. In 2010, Teachers College Press published Loewen’s Teaching What Really Happened: How to Avoid the Tyranny of Textbooks and Get Students Excited About Doing History, intended to give K-12 teachers (and prospective teachers) solutions to the problems explored in Loewen’s earlier works. His dystopian travelogue, Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong was published in 1999. The Gustavus Myers Foundation named his book, Sundown Towns : A Hidden Dimension of American Racism, a “Distinguished Book of 2005.”

As the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War approached, Loewen asked thousands of K-12 teachers in workshops and audiences about its cause(s).  Depressed by their replies, he recruited a co-editorand published a comprehensive anthology, The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader: The “Great Truth” about the “Lost Cause,” which sets the historical record straight in the Confederates’ own words.

His other books include Mississippi: Conflict and Change (co authored), which won the Lillian Smith Award for Best Southern Nonfiction but was rejected for public school text use by the State of Mississippi, leading to the groundbreaking First Amendment lawsuit, Loewen et al. v. Turnipseed, et al. He also authored The Mississippi Chinese: Between Black and White, Social Science in the Courtroom, and Lies My Teacher Told Me About Christopher Columbus.

James Loewen has been an expert witness in more than 50 civil rights, voting rights, and employment cases. His awards include the First Annual Spivack Award of the American Sociological Association for “sociological research applied to the field of intergroup relations,” the American Book Award (for Lies My Teacher Told Me), and the Oliver Cromwell Cox Award for Distinguished Anti-Racist Scholarship. He is also Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians and Visiting Professor of Sociology at Catholic University in Washington, DC. In 2012 the American Sociological Association gave Loewen its Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award, for “scholarship in service to social justice.”  He is the first white person ever to win this award.  Also in 2012, the National Council for the Social Studies gave Loewen its “Spirit of America” Award, previously awarded to Jimmy Carter, Rosa Parks, and Mr. Rogers.

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