Historian Lockard reflects on 40 years in a 40-minute ‘Last Lecture’

Prof. Craig LockardLately History Professor Craig Lockard has been ruminating over 40 years of scholarship and teaching, preparing to distill it into a “final” lecture.

Lockard, a Ben and Joyce Rosenberg Professor (1996-2001), will retire at the end of this semester. A native Californian who has been at UW-Green Bay since 1975, Lockard has taught classes on Asian, African, comparative and world history. His scholarly publications have looked at Southeast Asian history, politics, and society; the Vietnam War; world history; folk, popular and world music.

Fittingly the title for this lecture will be “Crossing Borders: Disciplines, Cultures and Histories.” It will be offered at 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 19 in the Christie Theatre of the University Union. The lecture is open to the public.

“A lot of colleges have the tradition of a last lecture and when Kim (Social Change and Development Professor Kim Nielsen) asked me to do so I was pleased,” Lockard said recently sitting in his busy office in Mary Ann Cofrin Hall. “It’s got me to thinking about how UW-Green Bay fit and helped shape my intellectual interests. It made me a broader scholar.”

Now back to that office. Yes, it’s cluttered, but it’s the organized clutter of someone whose academic interests range from the history and culture of Southeast Asia to popular music from America and the world. There are stacks and stacks of scholarly papers and row upon row of musical tapes and CDs. In that way these items say something about Lockard and the themes he has chosen for this final lecture — the interdisciplinary approach, the value of studying other cultures and expanding our understanding of world history.

“I want to encourage faculty, students and administration to get out of their comfort zones and expand their notion of disciplines to integrate a greater global vision.”

While Lockard is retiring as a professor, he thoroughly expects his scholarship to continue.

And how is that last lecture coming along?

So far, so good. Still, Lockard confesses that it will be a challenge to summarize 40 years in 40 minutes. But it will get done. After all, this is a scholar who summarized the history of the ancient and modern worlds into a single textbook.

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