Abolition in German Missouri, Niche Blogging, Art and the City: Faculty ‘Talks of the Century’ Feb. 2

| January 23, 2015

The next Centennial Faculty Talks of the Century will be Monday, Feb. 2, from 7-8:30 p.m., featuring Webster University faculty members Brad LoudenbackJulia Griffey and Kristen Anderson. Hosted in the Library Conference Room, the three faculty members will present their talks in separate 25-minute segments with post-talk discussion.

Brad Loudenback: ‘Collages of Central and Eastern European Cities’


While teaching at Webster’s Vienna campus in 2010, I completed a series of collages as impressions of central and eastern European cities where the long story of migration, invasion, and adaptation is visible in the interweaving art, architecture and urban design. Through examples of this work I hope to demonstrate how the method of assembling collages, with overlays of vellum and overlapping bits of paper, is analogous to building cities and particularly well suited to convey the evolution of competing histories colliding with modernity.

About Brad Loudenback:

Brad Loudenback is professor of Art, Design and Art History. He graduated from DePauw university with a double major in European History and Studio Art. He received his M.A. in Intellectual History from the University of Chicago, before completing his M.F.A. in painting at the University of North Carolina in 1982. After teaching four years at The University of Southwestern Louisiana he came to Webster University in 1993 where he continues to teach drawing, painting and art history. He has worked as an free-lance critic and regional editor of the New Art Examiner; his own paintings have been exhibited nationally and featured in an edition of New American Paintings.

Julia Griffey: ‘A Year of Daily Blogging: Why Everyone Should Write a Niche Blog ‘


What happens when you blog every day on a niche topic? Could this experience help you become an expert in your field? Could it lead to other opportunities that may not have existed otherwise? In this talk, I will share my experience blogging every day on a niche topic for an entire year and the impact of this experience. I will also introduce other niche bloggers whose content creation led them in unusual and exciting directions. And, finally I will make a case for why everyone (especially students) should write a niche blog.

About Julia Griffey:

Julia Griffey is an associate professor of Interactive Digital Media and the program facilitator for Interactive Digital Media at Webster University, St. Louis. Her research interest is in physical interactive media and the use of interactive media tools for marketing and promotion. In addition to teaching and academic research, Griffey works as a web and interactive designer and developer, and has created websites and games for many educational and corporate clients. Griffey’s interactive work has been installed in children’s museums around the world and her animation has been screened in several film festivals around the United States. She currently serves as the director of e-commerce for St. Louis based manufacturing company, Nomax Inc.

Griffey holds an M.F.A. in Design from the Massachusetts College of Art, an M.A. in Apparel Design from Cornell University and a B.S. in Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.

Kristen Anderson: ‘Abolitionizing Missouri?: St. Louis Germans and the Debate over Slavery, 1848-1865’


German immigrants played important roles in opposing slavery in the Border South—including St. Louis, Missouri—providing much of the support for emancipation that existed among whites in that region. However, simply categorizing the Germans as abolitionists obscures as much as it reveals.

A more in-depth examination of the racial attitudes of German immigrants and their participation in the debates over slavery during the  1840s-1860s reveals that the Germans’ reputation for being antislavery was for the most part deserved, but that the reasons they opposed slavery and the ways in which they did so were much more complex than that simple statement suggests. In fact, although some German Americans did deserve their reputation for racial egalitarianism, many others were quite pragmatic, in that they shifted their position on slavery and the place of African Americans in American society when it benefited their own community to do so.

When slavery did not seem to affect their lives, they ignored it. Once it began to threaten the stability of the country or their ability to get land, they opposed it. Once it was gone, however, many showed little interest in ensuring that African Americans obtained the rights that they themselves sought as adopted citizens. They had accepted the American racial hierarchy enough to enjoy its benefits, and had little interest in helping tear it down, particularly when doing so greatly angered their native-born white neighbors.

About Kristen Anderson:

Kristen Anderson is an assistant professor of history at Webster University. She specializes in 19th century U.S. social history, particularly the history of immigration, emancipation, and the Civil War. Her first book, currently titled Abolitionizing Missouri: German Immigrants and Racial Ideology in 19th Century America, is under contract with Louisiana State University Press for spring 2016. Anderson teaches a wide variety of classes on the 19thcentury United States, including courses on the Civil War and Reconstruction, U.S. women’s history, St. Louis history, and the history of U.S. Slavery.


Category: Centennial, Faculty, Webster Events

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