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Speaker Series

Fall 2023 Lecture

"Toward A Cooperative Commonwealth: The Legacy of German 48ers within Texas Agrarian Radicalism"
Tuesday, October 24 at 7 pm, via Zoom
Speaker: Dr. Thomas Alter,
Department of History, Texas State University
Tom Alter Headshot.jpg

A native of Ft. Wayne, IN and an Assistant Professor of history at TX State University, Dr. Thomas Alter II earned his Ph.D. in history from the University of Illinois at Chicago.  A labor historian, he has published several articles on labor history and the related radical movement in the U.S. His award-winning dissertation was published as Toward a Cooperative Commonwealth; The Transplanted Roots of Farmer-Labor Radicalism in Texas.

Academic and community scholars provide valuable perspectives which increase our understanding of German immigration to Texas and its legacy. The GTHS Speaker Series delves deeply into German-Texan history, culture, and heritage. Join us.

The Dallas Goethe Center, German-Texan Heritage Society, and University of TX at Arlington, will co-sponsor an annual speaker series beginning this fall which will follow a theme.  Each series will be over a different topic concerning the contributions German immigrants to TX made in arts & letters, education, politics, religion, the sciences, etc.  Presentations will be via zoom with a presentation in the fall and spring.  The theme for this year will be the impact the ‘48ers had on state and national politics in commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the 1848 Revolution.  

Dr. Tom Alter, Assistant Professor of History at TX State University will present 10/24/23 at 7:00 p.m. over the Meitzen family of Silesia and the generational impact the family had on state and national politics as key figures instrumental in establishment of the Socialist Party in TX.  Dr. Alter’s presentation will trace the influence the Party had on the progressive politics of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era through the career of the Meitzen family, which illustrates the thesis of his book, Toward a Cooperative Commonwealth, that agrarian radicals were prominent in the 1848 Revolution and in TX politics after immigration.

Dr. Walter Kamphoefner, Professor of History at TX A&M, past president of the Society for German-American Studies, and author of numerous books and scholarly articles in immigration history and German-American studies will present in the spring.  Details will be forthcoming but his topic will be over the political alliance in Reconstruction TX of Black and German Republicans, resulting from the progressive politics of the political refugees of the 1848 era.  

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