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CLA Junior Faculty Colloquium Lecture Series

The Great Earthquake at New Madrid

Dr. Conevery Bolton Valencius (History) will present on “The Lost History of the New Madrid Earthquakes.”

In the winter of 1811-1812, powerful earthquakes shook the Mississippi Valley. These quakes were big news in 1811: some people thought they were bringing God’s judgment, and others thought they might bring about war with Native tribes. People recorded the tremors, argued about them, and tried to discern their causes. Yet by the late 19th century, they had been forgotten. Why? This presentation, from a forthcoming book, traces how environmental transformations, the Civil War, and changes within seismology erased memory of the New Madrid quakes—and how recent science is bringing them back to scientific and civic attention.

Light refreshments will be served.


For disability-related accommodations, including dietary accommodations, please visit two weeks prior to the event.