School of the Arts


Linda Colley
Linda Colley

Linda Colley, the Shelby M. C. Davis 1958 Professor of History at Princeton University, will deliver the nineteenth annual Joanna Dunlap Cowden Memorial Lecture sponsored by the History Department at California State University, Chico. Professor Colley’s talk is based on her work-in-progress on war, empire and the spread of constitution making after 1750.

This event was originally scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 27. It will now take place Thursday, Feb. 20 at 7:30 p.m. in Recital Hall.

Scholars often link the global spread of political constitutions since the 18th century to the rise of democracy in particular nation-states and consider the trend in isolation from other forms of literature. Professor Colley re-examines the contagion of constitutions across continents and its meanings. She also poses questions about the future of this genre in a world where human relationships with words and print are shifting dramatically. 

One of the most distinguished historians of Great Britain in its European, imperial, and global contexts, Professor Colley is the author of many important works of history. Among them are Britons: Forging the Nation, 1707-1837, a pioneering study of the formation of the British national identity, which won the Wolfson Prize for History, and The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh: A Woman in World History, which The New York Times named one of the ten best books published in 2007. In 2008-09, she guest-curated a major exhibition at the British Museum entitled “Taking Liberties,” on the meanings of constitutional texts, which attracted 100,000 visitors.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, takes place on Thursday, Feb. 20, beginning at 7:30 pm in the Recital Hall on the first floor of the Arts and Humanities Building on the CSU, Chico campus.

The Joanna Dunlap Cowden Memorial Lecture honors the memory of a longtime CSU, Chico faculty member and History Department chair.  A specialist in the antebellum and Civil War history of the United States, Professor Cowden was known for her dedication to advancing the life of the mind and her high quality teaching.  Shortly before her death in April 2001, her book, Heaven Will Frown on Such A Cause as This:  Six Democrats Who Opposed Lincoln’s War, appeared in print.