Love history and want to learn more? Explore a variety of historical topics as authors, scholars, and local historians present the latest research and books, as well as new looks at old subjects. Lectures are open to the public and are free of charge unless otherwise stated.

Previous Lectures

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    January 13, 2016 - 12:00pm to January 14, 2016 - 12:45pm

    In the decades after the Civil War, Lloyd Branson rose from a precocious sketcher on his family’s East Tennessee farm to become an accomplished artist and Knoxville’s most popular portraitist. He is now the subject of a major ETHS exhibition featuring an unprecedented gathering of more than 40 paintings highlighting the ambitions and...

  • Encampment from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Lecture at noon
    January 8, 2016 - 12:00pm to January 9, 2016 - 12:45pm

    In cooperation with Fort Loudoun State Historic Area and the Tennessee Great War Commission, the East Tennessee Historical Society will be commemorating East Tennessee’s contributions to the First World War on Friday, January 8, with a lecture and living history encampment. At noon in the East Tennessee History Center auditorium, National Guard...

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    November 19, 2015 - 12:00pm to November 20, 2015 - 12:45pm

    The great-granddaughter of famed author Frances Hodgson Burnett, author of Little Lord Fauntleroy, The Secret Garden, and numerous other well-known works, will be at the East Tennessee History Center at noon, Thursday, November 19, to speak about the life and career of her gifted ancestor.  The visit marks the 150th...

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    November 10, 2015 - 12:00pm to November 11, 2015 - 12:45pm

    Celebrated author David Madden will talk about his new book, The Tangled Web of the Civil War and Reconstruction: Readings and Writings from a Novelist’s Perspective.  Madden’s new book highlights the interconnectedness of fiction and nonfiction by placing essays reflecting on the work of James McPherson, William Faulkner, and others...

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    October 29, 2015 - 4:00pm to 6:30pm

    Edward T. Sanford was a Knoxville native and University of Tennessee alumnus who served as Eastern District of Tennessee Judge and Associate U.S. Supreme Court Justice.  John Scheb will tell us about Sanford’s remarkable life.  He was a civic leader in Knoxville and an important influence on state politics, and in the 1920s Justice Sanford...

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    October 15, 2015 - 12:00pm to October 16, 2015 - 12:45pm

    Estes Kefauver was a tireless campaigner not only for his own political career, but also on behalf of the public interest.  In a Brown Bag lecture on October 15, Theodore Brown, Jr. will explore the sources of Kefauver’s approach to politics, the motivations behind his congressional investigations, and the methods he used in taking progressive...

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    October 13, 2015 - 6:00pm to October 14, 2015 - 6:45pm

    Kate Brown explores how the world’s first nuclear weapons in the US and USSR spawned model cities and environmental calamity. She argues that the demands of nuclear secrecy and safety reshaped the American and Soviet landscapes by militarizing and compartmentalizing them in order to cordon off secrets of nuclear technologies and the spillage of...

  • @ East Tennessee History Center
    October 12, 2015 - 6:30pm to 8:30pm


    On October 12, Scottish Highland historian and genealogist Graeme Mackenzie will lead a two-hour workshop highlighting records and research tips to trace your Highland Scots ancestor.  Mackenzie is the author of Genealogy in the Gaidhealtachd: Clan and Family History in the Highlands of Scotland and chair of the Association of...