Feb. 23, 2001
Back Issues
John Jeffries named new dean of U.Va. Law School
HR realigns, shifts focus to recruitment
Hoos getting new 'help wanted' section

Hot Links -- Academical Village

Surgeon honored for new lung cancer treatment
Correction -- date of U.Va.'s surrender to Union forces
Photographer exposes unusual perspectives
Notable -- awards and achievements of faculty and staff
General faculty sought
Honor referendum seeks to strengthen the system
Hereford principal job opening
You can learn a lot from a cowboy
Symposium series examines presidential selection process
Spanish theater group to perform
Lewis and Clark bicentennial will inspire projects on the American West
Innovative research on Jefferson-related topics to be featured

Lewis and Clark bicentennial will inspire projects on the American West

Detail from E.S. Paxson's 1912 Painting, "Lewis and Clak at Three Forks." Courtesy of the Montana Historical Society
Indian guide Sacajawea lead captains Lewis and Clark on their expedition to the West, 1803 to 1806. The detail from E.S. Paxson's 1912 painting, "Lewis and Clark at Three Forks," is on the cover of Stephen Ambrose's book, Undaunted Courage.

By Robert Brickhouse

The Lewis and Clark expedition into the uncharted American West, a momentous journey that has captured the national imagination for almost two centuries now, will lead U.Va. into innovative educational territory during the next several years.

As the U.S. prepares to mark the bicentennial of the great expedition launched by Thomas Jefferson in 1804, the University will use Lewis and Clark as a jumping-off point for a range of broad-scale programs focusing on the West. They include:

a faculty colloquium in the coming academic year, bringing together leading U.Va. scholars from many fields to examine how expansion into the West has transformed the nation;

a team-taught, interdisciplinary undergraduate course on the West, beginning in 2002, that will likely remain a permanent part of the curriculum;

an authoritative Web site with key research documents about the early history of the West; and

one or more major public conferences on the West, videotaped lectures and teaching units for public schools.

A highlight will be the debut of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Distinguished Lecture Series next fall, with three noted scholars discussing Lewis and Clark and the early West (see related article.)

"We hope that Mr. Jefferson's University can serve as one of the country's main academic centers for the Lewis and Clark bicentennial," said President John T. Casteen III. "This anniversary presents a significant opportunity for teaching and learning. It will allow us to use our scholarly resources to shed light on all aspects of what the American West has meant to an expanding nation in the last 200 years."

U.Va.'s Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Project will bring together resources from centers, departments and schools throughout the University. An advisory committee includes Environmental Sciences chair James N. Galloway, History chair Michael F. Holt, American Studies Program director Alan B. Howard, and History professor and Jefferson scholar Peter S. Onuf. Project director Jenry Morsman, a doctoral candidate in American history, has been meeting with faculty in many fields since last summer to plan and coordinate the programs.

A key element will be the year-long interdisciplinary faculty colloquium in the 2001-02 academic year. The group will examine the acquisition and development of the West and the transformation of America in the two centuries since Meriwether Lewis and William Clark set out from St. Louis in 1804. Some 20 top scholars in the humanities, sciences and social sciences will meet throughout the year to lay the intellectual foundation for a far-reaching effort aimed at the scholarly community, students and the public.

The sessions will provide scholars with unusual opportunities to consider a common theme from a range of disciplines, Morsman said. The work will also lay the groundwork for the interdisciplinary introductory-level course beginning in the fall of 2002. Lectures will be videotaped for public use. Several upper-level courses on the West also will likely be offered.

In spring 2004, when the country marks the bicentennial of the two Virginia-born explorers' setting forth, the University will host a major international conference on the West, the transformed nation, and the environment. Papers presented will be published as a collection. Also in the planning stages is a series of public talks, "The Literary West," to be held in 2003-04.

Project Coordinating Committee

Peter Onuf, History, project chair
Michael Holt, History
Alan Howard, English, American Studies
James Galloway, Environmental Sciences
Jenry Morsman, History, project director

Other Participating Scholars

Edward Ayers, History
Brian Balogh, History
Marva Barnett, French, Teaching Resource Center
John K. Brown, Engineering/Technology, Culture & Communication (TCC)
Bernard Carlson, History, Engineering/TCC
Sarah Corse, Sociology Janet Herman, Environmental Sciences
Earl Mark, Architecture
Maurie McInnis, Art
Frank Papovich, English
Edmund Russell, Engineering/TCC
H.H. "Hank" Shugart, Environmental Sciences
Vivian Thomson, Environmental Sciences, Government
Carl Trindle, Chemistry, Brown College
Jennings Wagoner, Education
Henry Wilbur,  Biology, Environmental Sciences



© Copyright 2001 by the Rector and Visitors
of the University of Virginia

UVa Home Page UVa Events Calendar Top News UVa Home Page