James A. Cooper Memorial Lecture series to kick off Nov. 13

The inaugural James A. Cooper Memorial Lecture in Cherokee Studies will be held Monday, Nov. 13, at 3:30 p.m. in the A.K. Hinds University Center theater on the Western Carolina University campus.

Raymond Fogelson

Raymond Fogelson, a renowned anthropologist with the University of Chicago and a founder of the subdiscipline of ethnohistory, will speak on “Reminiscences of Cherokee Fieldwork: Vintage Wine from Aged Casks.” The topic draws from his extensive research on the Qualla Boundary with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in the 1950s. His works include “The Cherokee Ball Game: A Study in Southeastern Indian Ethnology” and “The Cherokees: A Critical Bibliography.” Fogelson also edited the Smithsonian Institution’s “Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 14: Southeast.”

The event is free and open to the public. A second lecture will be presented Tuesday, Nov. 14, at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian in Cherokee beginning at 4:45 p.m. Both events are sponsored by WCU’s College of Arts and Sciences, WCU’s Cherokee Studies Program, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian and the Qualla Boundary Historical Society.

James A. Cooper

The series’ namesake, James A. “Jimmy” Cooper (1929-2016), was an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and served on the WCU Board of Trustees. He was active with many community causes and organizations, including the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and was a founding member of the Cherokee Historical Association. He also was instrumental in the establishment of the Sequoyah Distinguished Professorship in Cherokee Studies at WCU in 2003.

The Cooper lecture series is beginning as the WCU campus community commemorates “Cherokee: Community. Culture. Connections.” as the interdisciplinary learning theme for the year. The theme is designed to provide students, faculty, staff and community members with the opportunity to better understand WCU’s relationship with the Eastern Band and to build on it.

For more information, contact Brett Riggs, WCU’s Sequoyah Distinguished Professor of Cherokee Studies, at bhriggs@wcu.edu or 828-227-2443.