Clinton House Museum to offer lecture series on Arkansas history, politics, culture

by Talk Business & Politics staff ( 66 views 

The Clinton House Museum this fall will launch the Atkinson Speaker Series, featuring talks on Arkansas culture, history and politics from noted leaders in their fields, according to a press release from the museum.

The talks will take place at the museum at 930 W. Clinton Drive in Fayetteville.

Jay Barth, M.E. and Ima Graves Peace Distinguished Professor of Politics at Hendrix College in Conway, will present “The Future of Arkansas Politics” on Aug. 16 at 6 p.m.

The event flyer, which also cites a recent “period of dramatic transformation in partisan politics and governmental institutions in Arkansas,” states: “In this wide-ranging talk, Barth will overview his analysis of the ‘new normal’ and additional changes to come in Arkansas’ politics.”

University of Arkansas English Prof. John DuVal will present “‘Of History and Hope’: Reflecting on Miller Williams’ Inaugural Poem” on Oct. 6 at 6 p.m. DuVal will reflect on his longtime friend and colleague, an Arkansan who delivered the poem at the second inauguration of President Bill Clinton.

Journalist and Arkansas native Evin Demirel will present “African-American Athletes in Arkansas” on Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. Demirel recently published a book by that title that serves as history of African-American athletes in Arkansas. He will tell stories from events including Muhammad Ali’s 1969 tour of Arkansas and the “oft-forgotten ‘Black Razorbacks,’” according to the flyer.

“The Clinton House Museum has recently updated its mission, part of which is offering programs, exhibits, and events that promote the legacy of the Clintons’ commitment to public service and civic engagement,” said Angie Albright, executive director. “As museums across the country are doing, we want to be a resource for our community and a place of learning for all ages.”

The series is named in honor of Richard (“Dick”) Atkinson, longtime friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton and former member of the University of Arkansas School of Law faculty.

“We wanted to name it after someone who had a relationship to the Clintons and to our community. Richard Atkinson was a natural choice,” Abright said. “He was active in our community for more than 30 years, and he is much beloved by his students, colleagues and friends. He was passionate about art, Arkansas and teaching. What better way to honor that legacy than by naming a series for him that will inspire conversations and education about Arkansas?”

Speeches are free and open to the public. Attendees may register ahead of time. More information is available at or by calling 479-444-0066.