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American history expert to keynote at inaugural Lycoming College Undergraduate Humanities Research Conference

American history expert to keynote at inaugural Lycoming College Undergraduate Humanities Research Conference

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Lycoming College will welcome published author and expert on American history Robert Parkinson, Ph.D., as keynote speaker for its inaugural Undergraduate Humanities Research Conference, with a talk entitled “Making Thirteen Clocks Strike as One: Race, Fear, and the American Founding.” Parkinson’s lecture will be held on Saturday, April 1, at 5 p.m., in the Trogner Presentation Room of the Krapf Gateway Center. The event is free and open to the public.

An associate professor of history at Binghamton University, Parkinson teaches about the American Revolution, colonial America, the history of American slavery, Native American history, and nation-making and race in the early modern world. His current research-book project, “The Heart of American Darkness,” explores the building up to and aftershocks of the murder of nine Native Americans on a tributary of the Ohio River in 1774.

His lecture at the conference will reflect these topics in exploring how racial fear helped to unite the thirteen colonies against the British. Parkinson will discuss how Patriot leaders weaponized rumors of British officers enlisting enslaved and Native people against the rebellion to unite Americans under a banner of war. That racial fear, being so prevalent since our nation’s beginning, has shaped it today.

Parkinson graduated from the University of Tennessee with his B.A. and M.A. in history before going on to the University of Virginia for his Ph.D. He is the author of multiple award-winning books, including; “The Common Cause: Creating Race and Nation in the American Revolution” and “Thirteen Clocks: How Race United the Colonies and Made the Declaration of Independence.” Parkinson has held numerous fellowships, most recently serving as the Patrick Henry Writing Fellow at the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience in 2019.

The Lycoming College Undergraduate Humanities Research Conference is a gathering and celebration of the region’s bright minds who are dedicated to furthering the humanities through high-level research. The Humanities Research Center at Lycoming College bolsters educational opportunities for those majoring or minoring in the humanities by supporting joint student-faculty research, internships, guided scholarship, digital humanities, graduate school placement, and fellowships. More information about the Conference can be found at