Kathleen Conti, a doctoral student at UT, spent three months researching and conducting fieldwork at Virginia's Berkeley Planation at the James River, once home to a signer of the Declaration of Independence Benjamin Harrison V and President William Henry Harrison as well the birthplace of bourbon.
Open to the public since 1938 under Malcolm Jamison--known as the P. T. Barnum of the James River--Berkeley struggles to reconcile the complexities of its history beyond the gilded stories of presidents dining and dancing, often ignoring its long tradition of slavery. Conti, the first historian to go through the family records, will discuss the creation of narrative and memory that arose from the paucity of written records as well as the need to increase tourism to keep the lights on. She will share her findings--including a lost painting from the Civil War and a prehistoric bison tooth--as well as her methods for using historic documents and landscape analysis to locate the sites of key parts of Berkeley's history that have since been demolished.
Goldsmith Talks is an open-format series of presentations organized by UTSOA faculty, staff, and students. the series aims to encourage and promote presentations that are outside of the scope of the main lecture series. Examples are: invited seminar presentations, book talks, lectures by designers and scholars who may be in Austin for another engagement, round-table discussions, film screenings, product demonstrations, or any other activity related to research, scholarship, and teaching activities and at the school. The format provides a platform for encouraging the dissemination of work by visitors and members of our community. The goal is to raise awareness, increase access, and better integrate such events within the public life of the school.