Gordon Mantler, Writing and History Professor at George Washington University, Kicks Off Poor People's Campaign Lecture Series, Feb. 5
January 23, 2018
Contact: Office of Government and Public Affairs
Gordon K. Mantler, author of Power to the Poor: Black-Brown Coalition and the Fight for Economic Justice, 1960-1974, will serve as the lead speaker for the University of Baltimore's public lecture series on Martin Luther King Jr.'s Poor People Campaign, on Monday, Feb. 5. Mantler's talk will take place beginning at 5:30 p.m. in UB's Town Hall, located in the H. Mebane Turner Learning Commons, 1415 Maryland Ave. This event, as are all events in UB's semester-long examination at King's legacy and its impact on social justice today, is free and open to the public.
Mantler's 2013 book, Power to the Poor, received excellent reviews, including being named a top 10 title in 2013 by the Left Eye on Books blog.
Mantler serves as director of Writing in the Disciplines and assistant professor of writing and history in the University Writing Program at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Mantler has taught writing since 2006 including as a lecturing fellow and associate director in Duke University's Thompson Writing Program, where he edited Deliberations, the writing program's journal of first-year writing.
Since 1999, Mantler has specialized in the history and rhetoric of 20th century social justice movements and the African American and Latino experience in the United States, as well as public, oral, and film history. He has received numerous awards and grants, including financial support from the Mellon Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Black Metropolis Research Consortium, and the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library, among others. He received the first annual Ronald T. and Gayla D. Farrar Media and Civil Rights History Award for the best article on the subject.
In addition to his expertise on antipoverty activism and multiracial coalition-building in the 1960s and 1970s, Mantler is working on several new studies. His current book project focuses on Chicago in the 1970s and '80s, and the development of the grassroots multiracial coalitions that brought the city's first black mayor to power in 1983. Another project will explore the different forms of public history in the nation's capital, and how grassroots activists in particular shaped museum exhibits, memorials, monuments, and films in Washington, D.C., especially the ways in which these public spaces narrated the history of race in the United States.
Mantler conducts and writes about pedagogical research on the impact and efficacy of using student publications in the first-year writing classroom. He is also an oral historian, both for his own research and others, such as the Southern Oral History Program's Media and the Movement project. Mantler previously worked in daily newspaper journalism at the former St. Petersburg Times and the Greenville News.
On Monday, Feb. 12, the co-leaders of the University of Baltimore's collective look at King's late work in poverty and social justice—Marc Steiner, director of the Center for Emerging Media, and Lenneal Henderson, distinguished professor emeritus in UB's College of Public Affairs—will discuss their personal memories of the campaign, especially the 42 days of its Washington, D.C. focal point, known as "Resurrection City."
Henderson, Steiner and other faculty and staff members from the University's College of Public Affairs and the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences are conducting this comprehensive look at the roots, actions, and legacy of the campaign, all with a goal of an increased understanding of current issues in the arc of the relevant policies' development.
Mantler's appearance at UB is supported by a grant from Maryland Humanities.