Award-winning historian to discuss the Great Depression in the Student Center

Katie Kennedy

Cohen to relate the depression to today

Lizabeth Cohen, historian and award-winning author, will speak about the Great Depression at 7:30 p.m. in Student Center Room 204. Cohen’s presentation will offer insight into the current financial crisis and its relationship to history.

Cohen, the chair of the history department at Harvard University, will discuss how the effects of the Great Depression transformed the world’s view on economic crises. Students will gain insight into how previous generations experienced the same difficulties they face today. Kenneth Bindas, chair of the history department, said this may be part of an ongoing trend and students could have tremendous influence over what happens next.

Cohen’s speech is what Daniel Boomhower, performing arts librarian in the University Libraries and Media Services, calls the keynote to the international film series also going on this week. The films look at ordinary people from different cultures and how they strive, work and sometimes suffer in order to make a living. Both the speech and films can be related to the current financial situation.

“This is a real opportunity for the KSU community to view first-rate international films and to hear a publically acclaimed speaker,” Bindas said. “I hope students come out to hear her speak and go to as many of the films as possible.”

A discussion will follow the speech, giving students the opportunity to ask questions.

Cohen’s extensive work on the Great Depression era has changed how historians view economic crises. In the past, historians viewed economic crises from the top down. Cohen’s research shows there is more of a negotiation between the people and the institutions.

Cohen has written several books in the area, including “Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919-1939,” winner of the Bancroft Prize and a finalist for the Pulitzer, and “A Consumers’ Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America.”

Contact libraries and information reporter Katie Kennedy at [email protected].