(November 3, 2014)

Alumna returns for book signing

SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary College's Alumni Relations Office will sponsor a book signing and short presentation by alumna V. Elaine Thompson '94 on Friday, November 7, in the Magale Library lobby from 3:00-4:30 p.m.

What: Book signing and short presentation by V. Elaine Thompson '94
Where: Magale Library lobby
When: Friday, November 7, 3:00-4:30 p.m.

Clinton, Louisiana
Clinton, Louisiana: Society, Politics, and Race Relations in a Nineteenth-Century Southern Small Town by V. Elaine Thompson

"The research for this book began while I was at Centenary and enrolled in Dr. Samuel Shepherd's History Senior Seminar course," said Thompson. "It was the first time I had ever delved so deeply into primary resources—letters, diaries, even Federal census data. Never before had the past seemed so real to me, and I knew that I was hooked on the study of history, and on the history of my hometown. In fact, my mother even teases me that I know the residents of Clinton in 1860 better than the people who live there now."

Thompson's book Clinton, Louisiana: Society, Politics, and Race Relations in a Nineteenth-Century Southern Small Town (2014, University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press) offers a new and informative window on the experiences of Louisianans during the periods before, during, and after the American Civil War, a lively and difficult era in the state's history.

"The publication of my book marks the culmination of my research up to this point in my career, and I never would have made it this far without the encouragement and support from my professors at Centenary College," said Thompson. "They helped to hone my writing and develop my research skills, and collectively they have worked to make me a better author and historian."

Thompson is a proud alumna of Centenary where she earned her bachelor's degree in history and graduated summa cum laude, with departmental honors. She earned her Ph.D. at Rice University and embarked upon a notable career as a college professor specializing in southern history and public history. She has been a leader in the Louisiana Historical Association and served on the National Advisory Board of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society. She has served north Louisiana as an instructor for public school teachers as part of the national Teaching America's History program. Thompson is currently an assistant professor of history at Louisiana Tech University.

Refreshments will be provided for this event that is free and open to the public.