Our Next Forum

Our next forum will be June 2 (Friday), from 12:00 to 2:00pm in JRL A-11.
We are pleased to welcome Michael Weaver, Society of Fellows and Collegiate Assistant Professor, University of Chicago.
"Judge Lynch and the Court of Public Opinion: Mapping Lynching Discourses in the Press"
Lynching in the United States was once a violent public ritual that was widely praised and implicitly justified in public, but by the late 1920s lynching was universally portrayed as an abhorrent and deeply shameful act. How did the lynching come to be seen for the atrocity that it is? I will present ongoing work that uses large historical newspaper archives to map in space and time the use of arguments and narratives to justify and condemn lynching.
Michael Weaver's research examines how the legitimacy of state and non-state violence is produced and contested as well as the causes and consequences of ethnic and racial violence. He is working on a book that addresses the question of how violence becomes publicly unacceptable by examining why public support for lynching gave way to outrage and opprobrium around the turn of the 20th century. This project makes use of novel data on the coverage of lynching in more than 9 million newspaper issues between 1880 and 1940 as well as data on the expansion of railroads across the United States.


If you need any additional accommodations to participate in the Forum, please contact Carmen Caswell (caswellc@uchicago.edu).