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  • The Monmouth Forum

    Presented by The Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences

    The Monmouth Forum is an opportunity to showcase Monmouth University's faculty through a series of lectures to members of surrounding communities on a range of academic and popular topics.   This initiative is intended to foster a better relationship between Monmouth University and neighboring community based institutions as well as potential Monmouth students, alumni, and friends within these communities. These lectures will be presented alternatively on campus and in partnership with local public libraries. The Forum will begin this summer and later presented in series format throughout the academic year. Contact Hettie V. Williams for more details. 

    "Uncle Tom’s Cabin: An American Icon"


    Professor Maureen Dorment, ABD
    Monmouth University  
    Department of History and Anthropology

    Wednesday, August 16, 2017 in MU Library Room 206 at 1:15 pm to 2:15 pm

    Uncle Toms Cabin(RSVP to Hettie V. Williams at  – refreshments will be served)

    Abstract: Few, if any, novels of the 19th century have eclipsed the popularity of Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  There are fewer still that continue to resonate 165 years later.  Because of its longevity and continued presence in American culture, Uncle Tom’s Cabin provides a template to demonstrate the biography of book, a life trajectory of birth and afterlife, which reveals the all- important relationship of text to context at given moments in history. As America journeyed from Civil War to Culture War, Uncle Tom’s Cabin journeyed with it, both praised and vilified, yet firmly established as an icon of American culture.


    On Thursday, February 1, 2018 in MU Library Room 206 at  1:15 pm to 2:15 pm  

    (RSVP to Hettie V. Williams at   - refreshments will be served)

    "The King of Love":  Exploring the Legacy, Philosophy, and Memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. 
    (Upon the occasion of the 50 th  anniversary of his death)    

    A Panel Discussion By: Dr. Manuel Chavez, Dr. George Gonzalez, and Dr. Hettie V. Williams

     MLK at MU
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Monmouth University in 1966, Monmouth University Archives

    Folks you'd better stop and think.
    Everybody knows we're on the brink.
    What will happen, now that the King of love is dead?

    -"Why?" performed by Nina Simone, written by George Taylor 

    Martin Luther King, Jr. was slain on April 4, 1968. In the fifty years since his death, the "King of Love" has come to occupy an important place in U.S. history, memory, and culture. King was an ardent supporter of civil rights and economic justice. He called the nation to conscience and spoke truth to power. King's contributions to the black freedom struggle are well known; but, his philosophical legacy is often overlooked. As a consummate public intellectual, philosopher, and civil rights activist, King occupies an expansive place in American history and culture as will be explored by this panel including a discussion of King's philosophy of love and its relevance for contemporary politics, Christian ethics as expressed in the imagery and writings of King, and King in public memory. 

    Envisioning New Jersey in History, Geography, and Culture

    Spring 2017

    "Finding Your Life's Work With Sir George Martin and the Beatles"


    Dr. Ken Womack,

    George MartinDean of the Wayne D. McMurray School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and professor of English at Monmouth University

    Monmouth University Library Room 102  

    Tuesday, March 28, 2017 from 1:15 to 2:15  

    (a light lunch will be available please rsvp to Hettie V. Williams at  )

    Abstract: Dr. Womack will discuss (based on a forthcoming biography about Sir George Martin) "Finding Your Life's Work: Sir George Martin and the Beatles." In this talk, the Beatles' origination story is detailed and the many ways in which Martin was forced to confront his own ambitions and see across the British class system in order to see the talent of four lads from Liverpool. Womack's book "In My Life" is scheduled for publication in April. 
    Summer-Fall 2016

    On Wednesday, July 27, 2016 in  MU Library room 206 at  1:15 pm to 2:15 pm

     "Landscape, Ideology, and Religion in Ocean Grove"

    Ocean GroveBy Dr. Karen Schmelzkopf
    Associate Professor of Geography in the Department of History and Anthropology

    (RSVP to Hettie V. Williams at  by July 7 - refreshments will be served)

    Abstract: I examine Ocean Grove, New Jersey, a religious community established in 1869 by the Methodist Church as a camp meeting site. The founders selected a location and designed the physical and cultural landscapes according to an ideology of perfectionism, autonomy, exclusion, and homogeneity. Even though the community has experienced dramatic changes in the last fifty years, I argue that the physical, cultural, and political geography of Ocean Grove has served to perpetuate this ideology. Ocean Grove's history shows examples of some quite familiar responses to a larger system of political, social, cultural, and economic circumstances.


    On Wednesday, September 28, 2016 in MU Library Room 206 at  1:15 pm to 2:15 pm  

    "Fort Monmouth and Monmouth County in WWI"  

    By Professor Melissa Ziobro
    Specialist Professor in Public History in the Department of History and Anthropology

    (RSVP to Hettie V. Williams at  by Sept. 18 - refreshments will be served)

    Abstract::  The name "Monmouth" has been synonymous with the defense of freedom since our country's inception.   Named for the brave Soldiers who gave their lives just a few miles away at the Battle of Monmouth Court House in 1778, Fort Monmouth was the site of some of the most significant communications and electronics breakthroughs in military history. From its inception during WWI through its closure in 2011, Fort Monmouth's Soldiers and civilians, with the support of the local communities, worked tirelessly to develop technologies and field equipment to protect U.S. forces and enable their victories.

    During WWI, the Army charged Signal Corps Soldiers trained at the base with establishing communications on the front lines of Europe. At the same time, those back on post in NJ made significant strides in the areas of aviation, combat photography, pigeon training, meteorology, and radio intelligence. The neighboring communities took an active role in sustaining these men. For example, the June 6, 1917 Red Bank Register  reported local farmers gearing up to supply large quantities of "straw, hay, oats, and cordwood" to the initial cadre of Soldiers descending upon the site. The June 26, 1918 post newspaper, the Dots and Dashes , shared, "Among the first women workers in the camp (at the "Y;" pictured below) were Mrs. John H. Parker, of Long Branch, and Mrs. J.B. Greenhut, and others associated with them. They did much to relieve the unpleasantness of camp life under such hard conditions." Join us as we explore the unique intersection of Fort Monmouth, Monmouth County, and WWI.

    Fort Monmouth


    On Thursday, October 13, 2016 from 7 pm to 8 pm

    At the Long Branch Free Public Library at 328 Broadway, Long Branch, NJ

    "Envisioning New Jersey: A New (Visual) History of the Garden State"

    Envisioning New JerseyBy  Dr. Richard Veit, Chair, Department of History and Anthropology, and Maxine Lurie (in absentia)

    (RSVP to Hettie V. Williams at )

     Abstract: The Garden state, the Crossroads of the Revolution, the Traitor State, the Suburban State, the Sopranos State, the Sandy State, the home of the Toxic Avenger: what is New Jersey?  In this heavily illustrated presentation, Richard Veit and Maxine Lurie speak about their forthcoming book, Envisioning New Jersey.  In a world where attention spans are sometimes as brief as Instagram photos and Twitter tweets, what role is there for authors and books interested in expanding our understanding of the past?  This presentation discusses the inspiration behind Envisioning New Jersey, and uses a series of carefully selected case studies to illustrate how studying the state's history remains relevant and indeed critical for modern residents and neighbors.  It also discusses the process of moving from author to curator as we worked to select images: paintings, drawings, maps, portraits, and artifacts that reveal the state's history in new and intriguing ways.  We conclude, as historian John Cunningham did decades ago, that New Jersey is indeed a microcosm for America, although we see this somewhat differently than he did.