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Willa Cather Foundation - Red Cloud Nebraska (NE)
 
 
 

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Virtual Author Series: Dr. Will Thomas, Michael Burton, and Dr. Kwakiutl Dreher

Virtual Author Series: Dr. Will Thomas, Michael Burton, and Dr. Kwakiutl Dreher

Thursday, October 28, 2021 - 7:00pm

Join us for a fascinating book and film discussion with Dr. Will Thomas, Michael Burton, and Dr. Kwakiutl Dreher as they share their collaborative process in making the short film Anna and the upcoming documentary The Bell Affair. These film projects connect to Thomas' recent book, A Question of Freedom: The Families Who Challenged Slavery from the Nation's Founding to the Civil War, an award-winning account of the legal strategies used by enslaved people to gain freedom from slave holders. This talk will bring to life many intersections between history and its artistic and literary portrayals, a pursuit Willa Cather herself valued and carried out in her own work. Register for the event here.

You can purchase the book from our website HERE.

About the Speakers

Dr. William G. Thomas III is a co-founder of the Nebraska Digital Workshop/Forum on Digital Humanities, and he has led the development of digital history courses at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The graduate program in History seeks to train historians for and in the digital medium of scholarship and communication. Thomas's most recent book, A Question of Freedom: The Families Who Challenged Slavery from the Nation's Founding to the Civil War, traces the family networks of black and white litigants in early Washington DC before the Civil War and was funded by a National Endowment for the Humanities Collaborative Research grant. With funding from a National Endowment for the Humanities Collaborative Research grant, Thomas partnered with the University of Maryland to reconstruct the case files of the D.C. Circuit Court from 1800 to 1860.

Michael Burton's creative work in film-making and animation focuses on stories from the 19th and early 20th centuries. He is interested in people with extraordinary pasts who have mostly been left out of the cultural and historical record. Burton works closely with historical and literary scholars, costume designers, and production professionals to make historical animated films using a hybrid form of live-action film on green screen and animation to create looks that resemble prints and illustrations of the period. Burton's animated film adaptation of Willa Cather's short story A Gold Slipper and accompanying physical objects used to help create scenes were featured during our 65th Annual Willa Cather Spring Conference in 2020.

Dr. Kwakiutl L. Dreher is Associate Professor of English and Ethnic Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her academic expertise is in African American literature, mass-marketed popular literature, and film and visual culture. She is the author of Dancing on the White Page: Black Women Entertainers Writing Autobiography, and Dr. Dreher has presented this work on an international tour throughout Europe. More recently, she has served as writer and director of the short films Anna and The Bell Affair.