Speaker Series


The Special Collections department of the libraries at James Madison University hosts speakers every semester to discuss topics that relate the rare materials in our library to issues that connect with people in our community.

Fall 2019 Schedule:

Shah Mahmoud Hanifi, Professor of History, JMU, “Postcards from Afghanistan: Forging a National Identity through Visual Culture,” Wednesday, September 18, 2019, Carrier 301.


Past Speakers:

Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition (Dave Frye, Sue Rippy, Les Welch, Art Fovargue, Marcia Lampier, Michael Neupauer, Marshall Hammond, Thomas Jenkins), “Bicycling in the Shenandoah Valley & the Rise of the Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition (SVBC),” Tuesday, April 16.

John Rose, Cartoonist and JMU alum (’86), “From JMU to the Funny Papers: With Syndicated Barney Google And Snuffy Smith Comic Strip Cartoonist John Rose,” Thursday, March 14.

Phel JacobsenAuthor, “I married a Park Ranger and became a Park Wife,” Wednesday, November 7, 2018.

John Jennings, Professor of Media and Cultural Studies, University of California at Riverside, “Black Secret Technologies and the Remaking of the Future,” Thursday, October 11, 2018.

Dr. Deborah WhaleyProfessor of American Studies, University of Iowa, “Black Women in Sequence: Re-Inking Comics, Graphic Novels, and Anime,” Thursday, September 20, 2018.

Dr. Gianluca De Fazio, Assistant Professor of Justice Studies, JMU, and Kevin Hegg, Director of Digital Projects, Innovation Services, JMU, “Documenting and Mapping Racial Terror: Lynching in Virginia, 1877-1927,” Thursday, April 19, 2018.

Dr. Meg Mulrooney, Associate Vice Provost & Professor of History, JMU, “Look Away, Shendoland: Understanding Race, Place, and Memory at JMU,” Monday, March 19, 2018.

Austin Shifflett, MA Candidate in English, JMU, Gallery Talk: “Black & White on Bluestone Hill: JMU’s Racial History in the Archives,” Thursday, February 15, 2018.

Dr. Jonathan Gray, Associate professor of English, John Jay College-CUNY, “Superheroes and Super Athletes: Exceptional Blackness and the Contradictions of Race in Post-Civil Rights America,” Friday, October 20.

Dr. Mark Rankin, Roop Distinguished Associate Professor of English, JMU, “Richard Topcliffe (1531-1604): Queen Elizabeth I’s Professional Reader and Torturer,” Wednesday, September 27, 2017.

Dr. David Ehrenpreis, “Exploring ‘Every Inch of Harrisonburg’: The Robert J. Sullivan Jr. Papers,” April 20, 2017.

Carol Barton, Book artist and founder of Popular Kinetics Press, “History of Pop-Up and Movable Books,” March 22, 2017.

Melissa Barton, Curator, Prose & Drama, Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Library, “Gather Out of Star-Dust: The Harlem Renaissance and The Beinecke Library,” February 20, 2017.

Dr. William H. Ingham, Professor Emeritus of Physics and Astronomy, “Please Don’t Vanish without a Trace,” November 9, 2016.

Dr. Mollie Godfrey, Assistant Professor of English and Dr. Seán McCarthy, Assistant Professor of WRTC, “Building Archives, Celebrating Local History: The Lucy Simms Project,” October 27, 2016

Sue Eisenfeld, author, “Researching and Writing Shenandoah: A Story of Conservation and Betrayal,” September 21, 2016.


Eddie Bumbaugh, Dr. Kevin Borg, Professor Emeritus Dr. Bob Bersson, Dr. David Ehrenpreis, “Harrisonburg History: A Deeper Conversation,” February 24, 2016.

D. Lee Beard, “Capturing the Markers of Religion and Life: Stained Glass Windows and Gravestones in the Valley,” December 2, 2015.

Stephanie Gardner, Special Collections Librarian, Bridgewater College, “Rare Books in Bridgewater Special Collections Featuring the Venice Bible, 1482-1483,” November 18, 2015.

Dr. Edmund Potter, Professor of History, Mary Baldwin College, “The Importance of Vernacular in the Valley: Exploring Our Architectural Landscape,” October 28, 2015.

Panel Discussion, “Men of Madison College,” October 22, 2015.

Dr. Stephen Longenecker, Edwin L. Turner Distinguished Professor of History, Bridgewater College, “Shenandoah Religion, Diversity, and American Democracy,” September 16, 2015.

Mary Ann Mason, “SGA at JMU,” April 8, 2015.

Emily Hancock, poet and letterpress printer at St Brigid Press, “A Life in Letters: Traditional Printing in the 21st Century,” March 25, 2015.

Andrew Ferguson, PhD, “Pulp Science Fiction Magazines and the Shaver Mystery,” February 25, 2015.

Madison Brown, PhD, “German Printing in Colonial America: The Case of Christopher Saur,” February 11, 2015.

Lori Dixon, PhD, “Creating the Medieval Codex,” January 28, 2015.

Jeremy Rosen, Assistant Professor of English – University of Utah, “Pride and Prejudice and Scullery Maids: Minor Characters, Romance, and Jane Austen Genre Fiction,” November 12, 2014.

Peter Yates, Editor and General Manager – Harrisonburg Daily News-Record, “Harrisonburg and Rockingham through the Daily News-Record Lens,” October 22, 2014.


Jon Reed, Library Services Assistant – James Madison University, “Carrier and JMU Libraries: 75 Years of Mobility and Innovation,” September 23, 2014.

Katharine Brown, Owner – Lot’s Wife Publishing, “Whiskey Distilling in the Valley of Virginia, 1735-1885,” February 26, 2014.

Jodi Meadows, Author of the Incarnate Trilogy, “Writing for Young Adult Readers,” February 12, 2014.

Gerard Sherayko, Associate Professor of History – Randolph College, “New Woman and Modern Film,” January 29, 2014.

Mark Peterson, Rare Books and Research Services Librarian – James Madison University, “What We Do in Special Collections,” December 11, 2013.


Brooks Hefner, Associate Professor of English – James Madison University, “Pulp Magazines & Popular Culture in Special Collections,” April 4, 2013.

Lauren Fleming, “Printing Technology and Written Culture, or, Nineteenth-Century Publishing,” March 21, 2013.

Meg Mulrooney, Associate Professor of History; Associate Vice Provost of University Programs – James Madison University, “Spreading the News: Historic Newspaper Collections at Carrier Library,” February 21, 2013.

Mark Rankin, Associate Professor of English – James Madison University, “Responding to John Foxe’s Illustrated Book,” February 7, 2013.

Fourth Poster

Dabney Bankert, Professor of Medieval Literature; Head, Department of English – James Madison University, “The Making of the Medieval Manuscript,” January 12, 2013.

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