Chautauqua Symposium: With a Torch in Their Souls on Campus Sept. 26

Monday, September 23, 2013

The community is invited to engage, observe and explore the ideas historical figures Frederick Douglass, Martin Delany, Capt. Luis Emilio and Robert Smalls as Voices from the Earth, a traveling historical theatre company presents a series of historical symposiums Thursday through Saturday, Sept. 26, 27 and 28.

These symposiums commemorate the 150th year of the Battle for Freedom in the American Civil War and by featuring scholars and storytellers who explore ideas about equality, justice, race, class and gender in 1864. These symposiums are free and open to the public.

The first symposium will be held Thursday, Sept. 26, at Fairmont State University in Colebank Hall from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The schedule for the symposium is as follows:

9:30 a.m. – Welcome and Introduction to Chautauqua format

9:45 a.m. – Portrayal Maj. Martin Delany by Dr. James Armstead

10:15 a.m. – Portrayal of Frederick Douglass by Charles Everett Pace

11 a.m. - Small group discussion

            •Is there a difference between freedom and equality?

            •Do you think everyone's concepts of freedom and equality were the same or different during the war? In what ways?

            •Did the actions of the USCT affect the perceived success of Union?

            •Who were the men of the USCT?

11:15 a.m. - Large group discussion

            •Is there a difference between freedom and equality today?

            •Did wartime attitudes toward race change during peacetime? North? South?

11:35 p.m. - Scholars Panel featuring all scholars

            •What part did soldiers of African Descent play in the strategy for the conduct of the war?

            •How did the perceptions of race, class, and gender change as a result of the actions of the USCT?

12:15 p.m. - Break

12:30 p.m. - Opening Remarks and Welcome

12:35 p.m. - Portrayal of Captain Robert Smalls by Jamal Koram

1 p.m. - Portrayal of Captain Luis Emilio by Joey Madia

1:25 p.m. - Closing Remarks from Scholars and Evaluations

The Greater St. Paul AME Church will host the second symposium on Friday, Sept. 27, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at its location on 61 Beechurst Ave. in Morgantown. The final symposium is hosted by the Marion County Historical Society on Saturday, Sept. 28, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Fleming Memorial Presbyterian Church, 1493 Locust Ave. in Fairmont.

These programs are supported by the West Virginia Humanities Council and Fairmont State Student Affairs.

Each day includes historical portrayals, lectures, a scholars’ panel and small and large group discussion. These Chautauqua-style symposiums are led by Capt. Hari Jones, Col. James Armstead, Professor Charles Everett Pace, Baba Jamal Koram and Joey Madia, seasoned professors and teachers as well as engaging storytellers and actors.

For additional information, contact (304) 463-4561 or visit