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Public Books Masterclass: Butcher's Crossing

The UT Humanities Center and Union Ave Books are partnering to host a free Public Books Masterclass about the novel Butcher's Crossing, by John Williams.  "Zoom in" with Dr. Ernest Freeberg, UTK Professor of History, to participate in a discussion of the novel!

Along with John Williams’s other novels, this elegantly written 1960 western has recently enjoyed a much-deserved revival. In the 1870s, a young man from Boston goes west, driven by a romantic desire to connect with Nature. He finds it in drastic form when he joins a hunt for the last great buffalo herd. Sometimes compared to Cormac McCarthy’s revisionist westerns, the novel helps us think about the American myth of the West, a place on the frontier of civilization where human nature gets put to the test.  

John Edward Williams (1922-1994) was an American author. He was best known for his novels Butcher's Crossing (1960), Stoner (1965), and Augustus (1972), which won a U.S. National Book Award. He was the founding editor of the Denver Quarterly, a literary journal, and worked at the University of Denver as director of the creative writing program and Lawrence Phipps Professor of the Humanities.

How it works:

Ernest Freeberg is head of the UT History Department and a UT Distinguished Professor. His teaching and research interests center on the cultural and intellectual history of the United States in the 19th and early 20th century. He is the author of The Education of Laura Bridgman, which won the American Historical Association’s Dunning Prize; Democracy’s Prisoner: Eugene V. Debs, The Great War, and the Right to Dissent; The Age of Edison; and the forthcoming A Traitor to His Species: Henry Bergh and the Birth of the Animal Rights Movement.

This free and public book discussion is part of a new partnership between the UT Humanities Center and Union Avenue Books, downtown Knoxville’s Independent Bookstore. The Public Books Masterclass meetings feature a UT faculty expert who will lead the discussion and provide key insights on texts. Check out our entire series discussion schedule at the UTHC webpage, on UTHC social media, or at Union Ave Books media sites or their weekly newsletter.

*Attendance is limited. In the event of technical difficulties,  we cannot provide book refunds or technical assistance.

Dial-In Information

Registered participants will be sent a link to the Zoom discussion.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Virtual Event
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Humanities & Social Sciences


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Humanities Center


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UT Humanities Center

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