Boyd Memorial Lecture

2014 Boyd Lecture
Crude Awakenings: A Religious History of Oil and Oil-Patch Politics in America's Century
By Darren Dochuk, Associate Professor in the Humanities, John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics (Washington U. in St. Louis)
February 20, 2014
6:30 p.m.

dWhat does petroleum have to do with Protestantism, wildcatting with religious revival and American Christianity’s global turn? Tapping the story of the Sun Oil Company (Sunoco) for illustration, Darren Dochuk’s talk will explore some of the fascinating institutional, ideological, and imaginative connections that drew the business of oil and the church into one shared history of America’s twentieth century. As Sunoco’silluminating past suggests, God and black gold together shaped U.S. oil-patch communities and global encounters in profound ways, and set the course for persistentdebates about energy and environment, fiscal and family values. Amid this unfolding modern drama, the pursuit of crude acquired sacred meaning as America’s special mission, and the world felt the effects.


2008 Boyd Lecture
After Fidel: Prospects for Improving U.S.-Cuban Relations

April 2, 2008

One of the foremost experts on Cuba discussed the possibilities for improved relations between the United States and Cuba in the aftermath of Fidel Castro’s decision to step down as Cuba’s president.

Peter Kornbluh, director of the National Security Archive’s Cuba Documentation Project, presented “After Fidel: Prospects for Improving U.S.-Cuban Relations” at 7 p.m. April 2, 2008. The lecture took place in the Christopher Center for Library and Information Resources and was free and open to the public.

Kornbluh has written and edited several books sponsored by the Archives, including The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962 and Bay of Pigs Declassified: The Secret CIA Report on the Invasion of Cuba. His articles have been published in Foreign Policy, The New York Times, New Yorker, Los Angeles Times and numerous other journals and newspapers.

He also has worked on and appeared in numerous documentary films, among them the Oscar-winning Panama Deception and the History Channel’s Bay of Pigs Declassified. He served as producing consultant for the Discovery Times documentary Kennedy and Castro: The Secret History, based on his article Kennedy and Castro: The Secret Quest for Accommodation, which appeared in Cigar Aficionado.

Previously, Kornbluh was co-director of the Archive’s Iran-contra documentation project and director of its project on U.S. policy toward Nicaragua. On the 30th anniversary of the 1973 Chilean military coup, his book The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability was published and selected by the Los Angeles Times as one of the best books of 2003.

Kornbluh’s visit is sponsored as part of the Valparaiso Department of History’s Boyd Memorial Fund lecture series, established in honor of former history professor Willis Boyd.

Previous Boyd Lectures:


Chicago's West Side in the Era of Richard J. Daley


Examine the racial transformation of Chicago's West Side
under the Daley Administration, as African American families
moved into this area and whites moved out of it.

By Amanda Seligman
April 11th, 2006


"Making History Come Alive" given by Gary Foreman



"Survivor Memories and Holocaust History: The Case of the Starachowice Factory Slave Labor Camps" given by Christopher Browning of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


2001-2002                                                                   salem

"Forget the Ghouls....
Remember the Grandmothers:
An American Tragedy:  

Coming to Terms with the
Salem Witch Trials"

given by John M. Murrin of Princeton University  



"Conflicting Legal Traditions in Twentieth Century Mexico: An Obstacle to Stability" given by Charles Hale of the University of Iowa.