2022 Morris Fromkin Memorial Lecture

The 53rd Annual Morris Fromkin Memorial Lecture, “The Comforts of Heritage: Race, Tourism, and Memory in the American South” was presented by Shevaun Watson (Associate Professor, UWM Department of English) on October 27, 2022 at 4:00 p.m. in the 4th Floor Conference Center in the Golda Meir Library and virtually via Zoom.

A recording of the lecture is available at this link.

About the Research:

“Many Americans profess to learning a great deal about history and heritage through travel to sites of cultural significance. While tourism offers enjoyable encounters with history, these experiences can be problematic when that history involves uncomfortable truths about our shared past, especially in relation to slavery, the Civil War and systemic racism. Heritage tourism of the American South, with its contested memorial landscapes, and its millions of visitors of each year, draws our attention to the complex and unsuspecting ways that leisure travel shapes people’s understandings of race and racism in the United States.

My research, which is focused on Charleston, South Carolina, explores how tourists are invited to remember the South and its role in history in strategic ways through the built environment, heritage displays, guided tours, and other tourist experiences. I find that comfort—physical and psychological ease—functions as a powerful common denominator connecting tourism, heritage, race, and memory. Heritage tourism in the South is an especially salient lens for considering contemporary issues of antiracism and social justice because it compels us to ask how comfort can at once draw so many people into the fraught spaces of the historical roots of racial injustice, yet also undercut the collective will for social and political change.”

Established by Morris Fromkin’s family and supported by an endowment from Fromkin’s grandson, Daniel Soyer, the lecture series, which is dedicated to social justice, is the longest running lecture series on campus.

The 2022 Fromkin Research Grant selection committee included Rachel Baum, Anne Bonds, Rick Popp, Amanda Seligman, Max Yela, and Michael Doylen.

2023 Fromkin Research Grant and Lectureship

The UWM Libraries invite proposals for the 2023 Fromkin Research Grant and Lectureship. The grant encourages and assists UWM scholars in all fields of study to conduct research on individuals, groups, movements, and ideas, in the Americas and elsewhere, which have influenced the quest for social justice and human rights in the United States.

Who May Apply: All full-time UWM faculty and academic staff are encouraged to apply, individually or as a group.

Amount: $5,000 award which is intended to cover costs of research such as support for travel, research assistance, or other appropriate expenses. The award may not be used for salary. The award is disseminated in two parts: $4500 up front to cover the costs of research and $500 once the print version of the lecture is received by the UWM Libraries.

Basis of Award: The award is based upon the importance of the topic to the history of the quest for social justice, the strength of the proposal, and the applicant’s qualifications for research on the topic. Applicants are encouraged to use the Fromkin Memorial Collection in some way toward their research.

Requirements: The grant recipient delivers the Morris Fromkin Memorial Lecture during the Fall 2022 semester, submits a documented manuscript of the lecture to the UWM Libraries, and assists in arranging any subsequent publication by the Libraries of the final research. The recipient may retain copyright, but the UWM Libraries reserve the right to include the paper in a future online or print publication.

Application: To apply for the Fromkin Research Grant and Lectureship, send a formal letter of application to: Michael Doylen, Chairperson, Fromkin Research Grant Committee, Administrative Office, UWM Libraries.

The application needs to include the following elements:

  • Applicant’s name.
  • Department.
  • Title of Proposed Project.
  • A description of the proposed project, indicating the primary and secondary source materials to be used, and location of the sources (please limit to 4 pages).
  • A budget itemizing proposed expenses, such as supplies, travel, or other appropriate expenses.
  • Other financial support received for this project.
  • Other pending applications for financial support for this project.
  • Applicant’s curriculum vitae, including a bibliography of all the applicant’s scholarship that is related to the proposed project.

Deadline: Applications must be received by email (libadmin@uwm.edu) by a date TBD (usually December or January).

Following the receipt of all applications, the Fromkin Research Grant Committee will schedule interviews at which individual applicants can make a virtual presentation further describing the project and answer questions from the Committee.

The Fromkin Research Grant Committee notifies applicants of its decision during the early part of the Spring 2022 semester.

Additional Information: Applicants may review winning Fromkin Grant proposals from previous years. For more information, email libspecial@uwm.edu or call (414) 229-4345.

Click here to view the list of previous lectures in this series.

Recent Fromkin Lectures

2021

The 2021 Morris Fromkin Memorial Lecture was presented on November 4, 2021 by Anne Bonds, associate professor, UWM Department of Geography and Derek Handley, assistant professor, UWM Department of English, with Reggie Jackson, journalist and educator/consultant, Nurturing Diversity Partners, LLC, and Lawrence Hoffman, GIS program manager at Groundwork Milwaukee.

The title of their presentation is “Mapping Racism and Resistance in Milwaukee County: Struggles Over Racism and Real Estate in the Urban North.”

View a recording of the presentation here.

2020

The 2020 Morris Fromkin Memorial Lecture was presented on October 20, 2020 by Lynne Woehrle (Director, Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding Program, UWM College of Nursing) and Darryl Davidson (Director, City of Milwaukee Community Engagement Achievement Collaborative) on behalf of a collaborative team of five other UWM community members:

Julie Ellis (Nursing)
Paru Shah (Political Science)
Sandra Millon-Underwood (Nursing)
Renee Walker (Public Health)
Jeylan Turkoglu (Masters student in Sustainable Peacebuilding)

and two other community partners:

Nicole Brookshire (Brookshire Customized Solutions, LLC)
Marques Hogans, Sr. (Milwaukee County Office on African American Affairs)

The title of their presentation is “Separate and Not Equal: Racism and Health Equity in Milwaukee.”

View a recording of the presentation here.

Click here to view the list of previous lectures in this series.