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Rice Lecture Series


The History Department hosts outside scholars in an annual lecture on history and history making, in topics from West Virginia and beyond. This lecture takes place at the beginning of the Fall Semester. It is free and open to students, faculty, staff, and the community.

The Rice Lecture Series began in 2009 in honor of noted historian Otis K. Rice, who served at WVU Institute of Technology from 1957 to 1987. Dr. Rice chaired the history department from 1962 to 1984 and served as Dean of the School of Human Studies from 1984 to 1987.

For more information, email Dr. Paul Rakes at

Past Speakers and Topics:

2019: Dr. Lou Martin, "Guards or Thugs, Miners or Anarchists: Historical Interpretations of the West Virginia Mine Wars"

2018: Dr. Ken Sullivan, "Of Time and the River: The History of Thurmond"

2017: Dr. Kenneth R. Bailey, “Guns, Strikers, Murder, and Federal Courts: Raleigh County, 1903”

2016: Dr. Wayne Appleton, “How far are you going to carry that deer? – Myths and Misrepresentations of the Native American History of West Virginia”

2015: Mr. Richard Childress, “Time, Culture, and Political Choices”

2014: Dr. Connie Rice, West Virginia University, “Nothing but Freedom: Bondage and Emancipation in West Virginia.”

2013: Dr. Fred Barkey “Here Come the Boomer ‘Talys’: Italian Immigrants and Industrial Conflict in the Upper Kanawha Valley (1903-1917).”

2012: Dr. Pamela Edwards, part-time professor of history at Shepherd University – lecture, entitled “Regional Rosies: Appalachian Women in World War II.”

2011: Dr. Craig Warren, Penn State Erie: The Behrend College. “With Blood and Ink: How Veterans Shaped the Course of Civil War Literature”

2010: Dr. Ken Hechler, West Virginia politician and collegiate professor. “Behind the Scenes of America History.”

2009: Dr. William Jones, University of Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom. “With Dust in His Throat: Miner-writer B. L. Coombes (1893-1974) and the history of Coal Mining in South Wales.”