Strickland Visiting Scholar Program

Spring 2024 Strickland Webinar Series


Poster of Spring 2024 Strickland Webinar with  images of Dr. Nena Moňnik, Dr. Ngozika Anthonia Obi-Ani  and Dr. Małgorzata Łukianow,

"The Memory of Painful Pasts"

Friday, April 19, 2024. | 1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. CST | Teams Webinar

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The spring 2024 Strickland Visiting Scholars Webinar will feature a discussion with Dr. Małgorzata Łukianow, a Polish scholar of memory, migration, borderlands and conflict in Poland, Dr. Ngozika Anthonia Obi-Ani whose scholarship focuses the relationship between women, memory, and conflict in Nigeria, and Dr. Nena Močnik who whose research and humanitarian work addresses collective traumas, gender-based violence, and art-based sociotherapy. They will reflect on the memory of lost terrain over generations in very different areas of the world, remembering painful pasts and reconciliation, and the impact of listening to traumatic stories on oral historians and researchers.


The webinar will be hosted by Dr. Martha Norkunas, whose research explores narrative, difficult memories, and racialized and gendered spaces, and Dr. Aliou Ly, whose work reflects on the meaning of women's participation in national liberation struggles in Guinea Bissau. The question moderator will be Dr. Pankhuree Dube who researches memory and the environmental consequences of migration during partition in India.


Dr. Nena Moňnik is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie EUTOPIA-SIF COFUND Postdoctoral Fellow at the Interdisciplinary Research Group on Immigration, at the University of Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. As a researcher, educator, and community worker, she focuses on collective traumas, gender-based violence, and art-based sociotherapy. In her current participatory action research, she utilizes the rapidly expanding realms of the internet and digital technology to provide reproductive health-related knowledge and community support for refugee mothers in displacement. She authored the monographs Trauma Transmission and Sexual Violence: Reconciliation and Peacebuilding in Postconflict Settings (2020) and Sexuality after War Rape: From Narrative to Embodied Research (2019). Since 2018, she has been collaborating as a project advisor and research fellow with EuroClio – the European Association of History Teachers, focusing on projects related to difficult histories and the teaching of sensitive historical topics.


Dr. Ngozika Anthonia Obi-Ani is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of History and International Studies at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Her research focuses on the relationship between women, memory, and conflict, providing invaluable insights into the socio-political dynamics that have shaped contemporary Nigeria, the complexities of African history, and women’s often-overlooked roles in shaping the continent's past. Dr. Obi-Ani's doctoral research heavily relied on in-depth interviews with survivors of Igbo victims of the Nigeria-Biafra War and influenced her later research on the interconnections between post-war unease in Igboland, trauma, memory, and gender issues and the various socio-political challenges in southeast Nigeria. Her research also explores the younger generation's perception of Nigeria as one indivisible entity, as their grievances stemming from the war continue to fuel current agitations, including the call for separation. Dr. Obi-Ani collaborates with the Conflict Continuities Collaboration Research Group (CRG) at the African Studies Center, University of Leiden, where she works on “A Question of Memory? The Biafran Struggle in Perspective.”


Dr. Małgorzata Łukianow, is Assistant Professor at the University of Warsaw and the 2024 Senior Widzinski Fellow at the University of Michigan. She is co-editor of the volume (with Anna Wylegała and Sabine Rutar) No Neighbors' Lands in Postwar Europe (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022). With a research focus in memory studies, she serves as co-chair of the Polish regional group of the Memory Studies Association.  She is currently conducting research on the Russian Imperial and Soviet heritage in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).


Dr. Martha Norkunas is Professor of Oral and Public History at Middle Tennessee State University. She is the author of The Politics of Public Memory: Tourism, History and Ethnicity in Monterey, California (SUNY Press, 1993) and Monuments and Memory: History and Representation in Lowell, MA (Smithsonian Institution Press, 2002) and a forthcoming book about teaching to listen empathically. Dr. Norkunas’s research examines how memory is represented in narrative and on the landscape, and how those representations intersect with race, gender, class and power. She has written about difficult memories, and narratives of racialized and gendered spaces. She is co-chair of the Oral History Association’s International Committee and has served on the board of the International Oral History Association since 2016.


Dr. Aliou Ly is Professor of History at Middle Tennessee State University. Dr. Ly specializes in the political history of Guinea Bissau, with a focus on the meaning of women's participation in national liberation struggles and anti-colonial movements. In this context, he examines the ambiguous relations between African national liberation movements and their feminine members’ movements for women’s rights and emancipation. He is author of Women of the Portuguese Guinea Liberation War: De-Gendering the History of Anticolonial Struggle Bloomsbury Publishing Company, UK. 2024.


Dr. Pankhuree Dube is Assistant Professor of Modern South Asian History and Environmental History at Middle Tennessee State University. Dr. Dube’s transnational research focuses on the environment and indigeneity, specifically the struggles and strategies of indigenous communities within the context of environmental catastrophe. Prior to joining MTSU as an Assistant Professor, she was Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Leslie Center for the Humanities at Dartmouth College. In 2017-2018, she was Visiting Assistant Professor and Postdoctoral Fellow for “Asia and the Environment” in the History Department at Hamilton College



Fall 2023 Strickland Visiting Scholar

"The War Over History or the War Over Democracy? Making Sense of Russia's Invasion of Ukraine" On October 9th, 2023, Dr. Serhy Yekelchykl gane his talk, "The War Over History or the War Over Democracy? Making Sense of Russia's Invasion of Ukraine". Dr. Yekelchyk was born and educated in Ukraine when it was part of the Soviet Union. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Alberta. He is the author of eight books on modern Ukrainian history, Stalinism, and Russo-Ukrainian relations. His monograph Stalin’s Citizens: Everyday Politics in the Wake of Total War (Oxford University Press, 2014) was the recipient of the Best Book Award from the American Association for Ukrainian Studies, and its Ukrainian translation in 2019 received a special diploma of the Lviv Book Forum.  A professor of History and Slavic Studies at the University of Victoria, Yekelchyk is current president of the Canadian Association for Ukrainian Studies.

Spring 2023 Strickland Visiting Scholar

"Inclusive Approaches to Historic Preservation: Gender, Race, Sexuality and Ability" On March 30, 2023, Dr. Gail Dubrow discussed her thirty years teaching and practicing in the field of historic preservation and public history. As a graduate student, Dr. Dubrow was one of the first to integrate new scholarship in women's history into the identification and interpretation of historic places. She was also among the first to document places significant in Asian American heritage in Washington State. In recent years, she has addressed LGBTQ heritage and places significant in the history of people with disabilities. 

Fall 2022 Strickland Visiting Scholar

"No Common Ground: Confederate Monuments and the Ongoing Fight for Racial Justice"

On October 3, 2022, Dr. Karen Cox spoke about of the efforts to raise, preserve, protest, and remove Confederate monuments, depicted what these statues meant to those who erected them and how a movement arose to force a reckoning. She lucidly showed the forces that drove white Southerners to construct beacons of white supremacy, as well as the ways that anti-monument sentiment, largely stifled during the Jim Crow era, returned with the civil rights movement and gathered momentum in the decades after the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Spring 2022 Strickland Visiting Scholar

“Children and War: Race, Rights, and Rescue”

On March 31, 2022, Dr. Sabrina Thomas, an Associate Professor and the David A. Moore Chair of American  History at Wabash College, spoke to the MTSU campus about her research specializing in US Foreign Policy with a transnational focus on the intersections of race, gender, nation and war through the legacies of children born from international conflict. She is the author of Scars of War: The Politics of Paternity and Responsibility for the Amerasians of Vietnam, (University of Nebraska Press, 2021) which has been nominated for the Bancroft Book Prize. 


Fall 2021 Strickland Visiting Scholar

Xenophobia in America: How We Got Here and What's At Stake"
On November 2, 2021, MTSU welcomed Dr. Erika Lee, one of the nation’s leading immigration and Asian American historians as she drew from her new book, America for Americans: A History of Xenophobia in the United States, to force us to confront this history and to explain how xenophobia works, why it has endured, and how it threatens America.*

*This lecture was not recorded by request

Spring 2021 Strickland Visiting Scholars

Dr. Norkunas led conversations with Mr. Rolf Diamont, Mr. Bill Gwaltney, and Dr. Dwight Pitcaithley, Dr. Maria Franklin, Dr. Kendra Field and Dr. Nedra Lee. These leading thinkers as reflected on the challenges and nuances of presenting history with and for diverse publics; the intersections of memory, history and the silencing of Black and indigenous pasts; race, slavery, and the Civil War in American memory; and the role of the National Park Service in understanding the past. Moderated by Bradley Wright.

Click here to watch the recording on the role of National Park Service.

Click here to watch the recording on race, gender, indigeneity, and the meaning of narrative in excavated pasts.

Fall 2020 Strickland Visiting Scholar

Dr. Hammonds, Chair, Department of the History of Science, Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz Professor of the History of Science, Professor of African and African American Studies,  gave a public webinar, "Confronting COVID-19: Medicine, History, and Public Health" on October 22. In this lecture, Dr. Hammonds shared her current research on the historical factors that have led to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on African American communities in the United States. Click here to watch the recording. 

About the Strickland Visiting Scholar Program

The Strickland Visiting Scholar Program, created out of the Roscoe L. Strickland Jr. Endowment, gives students the opportunity to meet scholars with diverse historical backgrounds. Distinguished scholars visit MTSU's campus for two weeks. During that time, they instruct classes, give public lectures, and offer brown bag talks. These lectures and discussions are opportunities for the visiting scholars to present their own research and areas of expertise to the MTSU community. 

Roscoe and Lucy Strickland

Roscoe and Lucy Strickland

Roscoe L. Strickland Jr. joined the faculty of Middle Tennessee State University in 1949. He was one of the founding members of the University's History Department in 1963. During the department's first year, Professor Strickland also established the M.A. and M.A.T. degrees in History. In 1966, he was elected as the first President of the Faculty Senate, and was a charter member of the Pi Sigma chapter of Pi Alpha Theta in 1970. Dr. Strickland left MTSU in 1972 to become President of Southern Seminary Junior College in Virginia. It was after his death in 1997 that his wife Lucy Strickland established the Roscoe L. Strickland Jr. Endowment for advancing the study of history.

Mrs. Strickland, a one-time faculty member of MTSU herself, was a great supporter of the program and attended many lectures by the Strickland scholars. She was also the first President of the Murfreesboro League of Women Voters. Mrs. Strickland pursued law at the Law School of Washington & Lee University and graduated in 1976. When she and Dr. Strickland moved back to North Carolina, she opened her own law practice. In 1988, the two moved back to Murfreesboro. Mrs. Strickland continued and finished her law career with Kidwell, South & Beasley and served on the MTSU Foundation from 1996 to 2002 as both a Trustee and Member. She passed away in 2008, and the family created a scholarship fund for the music department in her honor.

Strickland Visiting Scholars 1999-Present

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