Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Salon discussion event to focus on the American family

The American family will be the focus of a discussion at 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 24 in the Stevenson Center Learning Commons at Ohio University-Chillicothe. The featured speaker is Lucia Stanton, the Shannon Senior Historian at Monticello, the home of President Thomas Jefferson; and OU-C student John Harding, a descendant of Jefferson.

The discussion is free and open to the public.

“Family is a fairly fluid term, with a range of definitions that reflect various perspectives and experiences,” said OU-C head librarian Allan Pollchik, the event organizer. “We will discuss both traditional and more modern definitions of family. For example, often friends become as much family members as blood relatives. We look for attendees to share their perspectives. Everyone has a viewpoint, and I look forward to an eye-opening discussion. Jefferson’s family is the American family – African-American, white and mixed. I look forward to hearing our speakers and their insights.”

Stanton’s presentation will focus on the strength of the family, as illustrated in Jefferson’s slaves. “We usually think of slavery as breaking families apart, and this will offer a perspective of how families can find the strength to survive in difficult conditions,” Pollchik said.

The discussion event is part of the Salon Series that strives to engage members of the campus and local communities in noteworthy topics. It is also part of the Kennedy l.ecture Series, which brings esteemed speakers to campus, and is partly sponsored by the David Nickens Heritage Center.

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