alabama · Civil War · tuscaloosa

students impress during visit to local Transportation museum

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Bicycles like this could be seen on Greensboro Avenue in postbellum Tuscaloosa.

Great visit today to Tuscaloosa’s Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum. I am grateful to my colleague Katherine Edge, the museum’s Director, for always being so helpful. She generously discussed our shared past. I was also grateful to see how my colleague Dr. Hilary Green’s expertise figured into the exhibit.

The current exhibit is a part two of a homage to Tuscaloosa in honor of the Bicentennial. The students, among other things, learned about the arrival of Union soldiers on April 3, 1865. I am most impressed by how they are pushing their thinking on the complexities of our difficult shared past, which includes attention to “American character” as defined by French judge Alexis de Tocqueville via an assigned reading to which we return again and again as if playing scales on a piano. The more they engage this idea, the more they get to train themselves to think analytically. Does such a character exist? If it does, for whom?Screen Shot 2019-10-17 at 7.36.24 PM.png

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Katherine Edge, Director of the University of Alabama’s Mildred Westervelt Warner Transportation Museum discussing the Civil War in Tuscaloosa.

They are a sharp group and absolutely contribute to this being a great semester for me as an instructor!

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The students learned about how cotton needed to be adequately balanced on boats.
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Tuscaloosa was one of the cities considered when decisions were made about the location of the Confederacy’s capital because it seemed to be in the center of the old South/Southwest.

Next week, we look back and forward via Octavia Butler’s sci-fi novel Kindred


and the 1992 film My Cousin Vinny.


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