February 22, 2013
James Loewen, author of the groundbreaking best-seller, “Lies My Teacher Told Me,” will speak at 7 p.m. Friday, March 1, at UNC Asheville’s Robinson Hall, Room 125. This event is free and open to the public.
Loewen's ongoing work has had significant impact in the field of social studies teaching; in 2012, the National Council for the Social Studies gave him its Spirit of America Award, previously won by Jimmy Carter, Rosa Parks and Mr. Rogers. While in Asheville, Loewen will also host a workshop for educators that will be attended by scores of area teachers.
"Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong" (The New Press, 1995, updated in 2008), was the result of two years Loewen spent at the Smithsonian studying and analyzing the shortcomings of leading high school textbooks. The book won the American Book Award, the Oliver Cromwell Cox Award for Distinguished Anti-Racist Scholarship and the American Educational Studies Association Critics' Choice Award.
Loewen's recent books include, "Teaching What Really Happened" (Teachers College Press, 2010), and he co-edited "The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader: The Great Truth about the Lost Cause" (University Press of Mississippi, 2010).
Last year, Loewen became the first white person to win the Cox-Johnson-Frazier Award from the American Sociological Association, for work embodying the spirit and intellect of pioneering African-American scholar-activists.
He began his teaching at Tougaloo College, a historically black college in Mississippi, and his 1974 textbook, "Mississippi: Conflict and Change," won the Lillian Smith Award for Best Southern Nonfiction. Loewen's "Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism" (Touchstone, 2006) shed light on American towns that systematically excluded African-Americans from living within their borders.
A sociologist who earned his Ph.D. at Harvard, Loewen taught race relations at the University of Vermont for more than 20 years, and he is now visiting professor of sociology at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
Loewen's appearance is sponsored by UNC Asheville's Department of Education and many other university programs and offices. For more information, call 828.251.6304.