(Posted February 9, 2004)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- A Juniata College historian will examine how the historical study of slavery has changed over time in a talk, ?The Problems of Slavery Studies Today: The Changing Images of Slavery,? at 7:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 16 in Neff Lecture Hall in the von Liebig Center for Science on the Juniata campus.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

David Sowell, professor of history at Juniata, will examine the different public images of slavery and how society perceived slavery through various photographs, films and texts. By looking, for example, at scenes from the film ?Birth of a Nation,? listeners can see how images from that film affected the public perception of slavery until the 1970s. Likewise, Sowell will show how the television miniseries ?Roots? helped to change the perception of slavery.

Sowell also will discuss how the writings of historians such as Eugene Genovese, Herbert Guttman and Ira Berlin contributed to changing the public perception of slavery.
Sowell's research interests focus on the social history of Latin America, focusing mainly on labor history and the history of medicine. He has written two books exploring these topics, including ?The Tale of Healer Miguel Perdomo Neira: Healing, Ideologies, and Power in the Nineteenth-Century Andes (2001)? and ?The Early Colombian Labor Movement: Artisans and Politics in Bogotá, 1832-1919? (published in1992). He also is researching another book, ?A History of Social Violence in Latin America.?

Sowell joined the Juniata faculty in 1989 as an assistant professor of history. He was promoted to associate professor in 1992 and was promoted to full professor in 2001
From 1996 until 1999 Dr. Sowell served as assistant academic dean and director of international programs.

Sowell received the Junior Faculty Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1994. He earned an A.B. degree in history from Western Kentucky University in 1975, and a bachelor?s degree in history from Grand Valley State College in1976. He earned at master?s degree in 1980 and a doctorate in 1986, both from the University of Florida.

He is a member of the American Historical Association, the Latin American Studies Association, the Southeastern Conference of Latin American Studies and the Conference on Latin American History.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.