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Date & Time

Friday, April 8, 2016
6:00 PM


Seminary Co-op Bookstore



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Seminary Co-op Bookstore

(773) 752-4381


Alex Lichtenstein & Rick Halpern will discuss "Margaret Bourke-White and the Dawn of Apartheid."

Co-sponsored by the Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture

At the Co-op

About the book: As a photographer for Life and Fortune magazines, Margaret Bourke-White traveled to Russia in the 1930s, photographed the Nazi takeover of Czechoslovakia in 1938, and recorded the liberation of Buchenwald at the end of WWII. In 1949, Life sent her to South Africa to take photographs in a country that was becoming racially polarized by white minority rule. Life published two photo-essays highlighting Bourke-White’s photographs, but much of her South African work remained unpublished until now. Here, these stunning photographs collected by Alex Lichtenstein and Rick Halpern offer an unparalleled visual record of white domination in South Africa during the early days of apartheid. In addition to these powerful and historically significant photographs, Lichtenstein and Halpern include two essays that explore Bourke-White's artistic and political formation and provide background material about the cultural, political, and economic circumstances that produced the rise and triumph of Afrikaner nationalism in South Africa. This richly illustrated book brings to light a large body of photography from a major American photographer and offers a compelling history of a reprehensible system of racial conflict and social control that Bourke-White took such pains to document.

About Alex Lichtenstein: Alex Lichtenstein is an Associate Professor of History at Indiana University, where he teaches US and South African history. His research focuses on the intersection of labor history and the struggle for racial justice in societies shaped by white supremacy. His articles on prison history, US labor and civil rights activism, and South African trade unions have appeared in Labor, Journal of African History, Journal of Southern African Studies, Journal of Peasant Studies, International Review of Social History, and LA Review of Books.

About Rick Halpern: Rick Halpern is a social historian whose work has focused on race and labour in a number of national and international contexts. He has written about meat and meatpacking, sugar and plantations, and regionalism. Currently he is researching the use of photography in documenting foodways. He is the Bissell-Heyd Chair of American Studies at the University of Toronto and, until July 2015, was the Dean at the University 's Scarborough campus.

About the co-sponsor: The Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture aims to develop a new model for graduate education in American culture, to serve as a hub for the exciting multidisciplinary study of America at the University of Chicago.