Archive for the 'Sheldon Hackney' Category

Sheldon Hackney remembered by Dixie Redux essayists and Chilmark Author Series

Friday, August 29th, 2014 by Brian Seidman

Dixie Redux: Essays in Honor of Sheldon Hackney

Friends and contributors to Dixie Redux: Essays in Honor of Sheldon Hackney came together at a July 31 program to remember Hackney, as part of the Chilmark Author Lecture Series at Martha’s Vineyard.

The panel discussion, lead by journalist and friend of Hackney’s Charlayne Hunter-Gault, included a selection of the Dixie Redux contributors (each authors and scholars in their own right) Vernon Burton, Ray Arsenault, Steven Hahn, and Patricia Sullivan.

Hackney was born in Birmingham, Alabama. During his long career he served as provost of Princeton, as president of the University of Pennsylvania and Tulane University, and as chairman of the National Endowment of the Humanities.

Burton and Arsenault conceived Dixie Redux — a festschrift, or book written in honor of a mentor — prior to Hackney’s recent diagnosis with ALS and death in 2013 at age 79; NewSouth Books published it just weeks after his passing. Hackney had been Burton’s Ph.D. advisor at Princeton and Arsenault worked as Hackney’s research assistant at Princeton. Burton told the Vineyard Gazette in March 2014 that they “wanted to show [Hackney]’s intellectual ideas, and how he influenced others in terms of their ideas and writings of the American South. … [Hackney] was foremost one of the great historians of the American South.”

In response to a Vineyard Gazette obituary of Hackney, Hunter-Gault wrote, “Sheldon Hackney showed the world how to be a great human being, a fine Southern gentleman, and a dear friend who never said no when asked a favor — large or small. He will always be a presence in my soul as one of our greatest teachers of all things good. from great and unpedantic scholarship to the love of a double gin martini.”

The essays in Dixie Redux deal with issues of interest to Hackney and his students, including slavery, the Civil War, Emancipation, the African American experience, and the Civil Rights Movement. The book includes an essay by Hackney himself about his own mentor, southern historian C. Vann Woodward.

Chilmark Author Series Program in honor of Sheldon Hackney

Pictured: From left, at the Chilmark Author Lecture Series event, Lucy Hackney (Hackney’s widow), Susan Wishingrad, Patricia Sullivan, Vernon Burton, Steven Hahn, Waldo Martin, Ray Arsenault, and Declan McBride (Hackney’s grandson).

Four Generations of C. Vann Woodward Scholarship

Four Generations of C. Vann Woodward Scholarship. Pictured: Sheldon Hackney, student of C. Vann Woodward, third from left; Vernon Burton, student of Sheldon Hackney, fifth from left; Woodward, sixth from left; and a half-dozen of Burton’s graduate students.

Dixie Redux: Essays in Honor of Sheldon Hackney is available from NewSouth Books, Amazon, or your favorite bookstore.

Remembering Sheldon Hackney, 1933-2013

Friday, September 13th, 2013 by Brian Seidman

Sheldon HackneyNewSouth Books announces with sadness the passing of Sheldon Hackney, whose life and work inspired a new book — a “festschrift” called Dixie Redux: Essays in Honor of Sheldon Hackney, due out in November.

One of the volume’s editors, Ray Arsenault, and one of the essay contributors, Charles Joyner, each sent these tributes to their friend and mentor.

“Sheldon Hackney died this morning, September 12, at the age of 79, at his home in Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts. He is now at peace, surrounded by his loving family — his wife Lucy, his son Fain and daughter-in-law Melissa, his daughter Elizabeth and her husband Brian, and his eight grandchildren. Some of Sheldon’s colleagues and former students have been preparing a volume of essays in his honor — a volume that will be published late next month. Sheldon knew about this effort and seemed to take great pleasure from it. Last night Pat Sullivan was able to visit with Sheldon and to show him an advance copy of the cover and the introductory chapter that profiles his remarkable life. Perhaps we can take some comfort in knowing that this brought a smile to his face–and that he surely had some sense of how much we love and admire him. Peace to his spirit.”

— Ray Arsenault, editor, Dixie Redux, John Hope Franklin Professor of Southern History, University of South Florida

“Sheldon’s scholarship, his teaching and his leadership left an extraordinary legacy. Many make a mark in one of those, some in two, but few in all three. It has be our privilege to be his students (whether in the classroom or on the page) and to share his friendship. I am saddened at his death, but here on the edge of the Atlantic I look out at the horizon and think of what someone said at my father’s funeral many years ago: On this side of the horizon, we are lamenting ‘there he goes, but on the other side of the horizon they are smiling ‘here he comes.'”

— Charles Joyner, Burroughs Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Southern History and Culture at Coastal Carolina University

Sheldon Hackney’s book The Politics of Presidential Appointment is available from NewSouth Books or your favorite bookstore.

Dixie Redux: Essays in Honor of Sheldon Hackney is available for pre-order from NewSouth Books. The 19 contributors, all distinguished historians, include Arsenault and co-editor Orville Vernon Burton, Joyner, and Drew Gilpin Faust, William R. Ferris, Lani Guinier, Steven Hahn, Randall Kennedy, J. Morgan Kousser, Peyton McCrary, Stephanie McCurry, James M. McPherson, David Moltke-Hansen, Michael O’Brien, Thomas Sugrue, Patricia Sullivan, and J. Mills Thornton.