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Columbia University professor, author to present inaugural Chapman Lecture in the Humanities

Mazower to discuss ‘Crisis of European Union’ Oct. 19

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Dr. Mark Mazower, Columbia University
2016-10-07

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Columbia University professor Dr. Mark Mazower will present the inaugural Chapman Lecture in the Humanities at Wofford College at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, in Leonard Auditorium in Main Building.

Mazower will discuss “The Crisis of the European Union in Historical Perspective.” His talk is free and open to the public.

Mazower is the Ira D. Wallach Professor of History at Columbia University and author of numerous well-received books. He specializes in modern Greece, 20th century Europe and international history. His interests include the history of international norms and institutions, the history of Greek independence and the historical evolution of the Greek islands in the very long run.

“This should be a fascinating talk,” says Dr. Clayton J. Whisnant, associate professor of history and one of the two Chapman Professors in the Humanities. “Given the persistent European debt problems, the political pressures presented by the flood of Syrian refugees, and the most recently the Brexit referendum in which Britain decided to leave the EU, Mark Mazower’s ability to place this crisis within a longer range historical context is more than welcome.

“Mazower is an intriguing historian and writer,” Whisnant continues. “His ‘Dark Continent,’ by highlighting the destructiveness of the two world wars and the crimes committed by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, fundamentally challenged our tendency to see the 20th century as the culmination of a long line of historical progress. His most recent book, ‘Governing the World,’ is an absorbing account of the effort to build international institutions, beginning with the Concert of Europe of the post-Napoleonic world and taking us to the United Nations today. His talk on the current crisis of the European Union will no doubt give us insight into a rarely considered dimension of this global problem.”

The Chapman Lecture in the Humanities at Wofford was created in 2015 through a revamping of the Chapman Program in the Humanities. The new program provided for the creation of two Chapman Professorships with those professors identifying and bringing to campus a noted visiting scholar. Dr. Karen H. Goodchild, professor and chair of art and art history, and Whisnant were named to Chapman Professorships as part of the revamped program.

“The Chapman Lectureship provides annual evidence of the Chapman family’s sustained commitment to excellence in scholarship and teaching,” says Dr. Mike Sosulski, provost at Wofford. “We welcome the enhanced support to our distinguished work in the humanities, and the Chapman Professorships in the Humanities provide valuable professional development resources for our professors.”

The updated Chapman Program in the Humanities is an innovative approach to the Chapman family’s generous support of teaching and scholarship at Wofford. Previously, the family has supported the Chapman Family Professorship in the Humanities. Beginning in the fall of 2015, the program annually will support two Chapman Professorships by providing generous funding for professional development in both scholarly research and pedagogical innovation. Each professorship will continue for a period of five years with the possibility of a second term should the scholarly and pedagogical work suggest continued support.

Members of the Chapman family of Spartanburg have been significant leaders in the historic textile industry and other commerce in Spartanburg County for many generations. Their philanthropic support extends to numerous organizations throughout the region. The family has supported every major campaign or project at Wofford for decades. The downtown Spartanburg showplace, the Chapman Cultural Center, bears the family name as well. The impetus to start the endowed program/professorships at Wofford was led by the late W. Marshall Chapman, who served as a Wofford trustee from 1978 to 1990 and served as board chair from 1988 to 1990, following in the footsteps of his late father, James A. Chapman, Wofford Class of 1913, who was a trustee from 1946 to 1958.

In addition to support given to the professors receiving the Chapman Professorships, each year’s recipients will collaborate to identify and bring to campus a noted visiting scholar who will give a public lecture in the humanities and who also will join their Wofford colleagues in the classroom for both disciplinary and professional discussions. This will be an annual event.