__
Julie Flavell
When London was Capital of America

Julie Flavell's latest book, When London was Capital of America (Yale), completely embodies the Wide Angle concept—a far-off metropolis that turns out to be rather close (for our intrepid eighteenth century forbears), a vivid depiction of America's forgotten early influence on London, a fresh perspective on the cultural impact of the American Revolution.

When London was Capital of America is ostensibly a study of London, but the book really starts in the streets of Ansonborough, one of the launching pads for the adventures of many South Carolinians in England. Certain planter and merchant families were very much at home in London's colorful melee. And so were the enslaved African-Americans who traveled to London with them but took, in some cases, the opportunity to embark on new, independent lives once they arrived.

Wide Angle Lunches and the South Carolina Historical Society were delighted to be hosting only the second presentation of Flavell's book in the United States.

Julie Flavell was born in the United States and grew up in Massachusetts, where she acquired a life-long interest in the American Revolution. After graduating from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, she gained her PhD in history at University College London in 1988. She was elected a Fellow of the prestigious Royal Historical Society in 1999. She now lives in Scotland with her husband, who is British, and her two children. She has lectured in American history at Dundee and Edinburgh Universities, where she specialized in the Revolutionary era. This will be her first visit to Charleston.


Julie Flavell

This Wide Angle Lunch was generously sponsored by Bank of South Carolina

__
Jack McCray
Charleston—A Birthplace of Jazz

When we think of jazz, we think of New Orleans. And yet sense tells us that Charleston, as the gateway for enslaved Africans to North America, must have played a role in the development of this great African-American art form. Jack McCray, who has spent decades researching the issue, gave us a new perspective on Charleston's place in musical history, and a new angle on music's unique place in the story of Charleston.

Jack McCray was for many years a reporter and editor for the Post and Courier newspaper and host on WSCI-FM Radio. Now a freelance columnist and musical guru for many, he also wrote "Charleston Jazz" and was an editor of Hans Offringa's "Whisky And Jazz".

He is a leading light in the active preservation of Charleston's musical tradition—co-founder of the Charleston Jazz Initiative, founding president of Charleston's Moja Arts Festival and co-founder of the Piccolo Spoleto Festival Jazz Afterhours series, he is also producer of the Charleston Jazz Orchestra and a founding board member of Jazz Artists of Charleston, a presenting organization.


Jack McCray

This Wide Angle Lunch was generously sponsored by
IFA-Rotorion

__
Ron Atkinson
The New Nation of South Sudan:
The Promise, Possibilities and Problems

After 22 years of civil war between north and south, the people of southern Sudan voted in January to form a new, independent state. This saw the animist and Christian south split from the largely Muslim North to form the world's newest nation in July 2011.

The referendum that produced this result went ahead peacefully, and several nations, including the US, immediately announced that they would recognize Southern Sudan as a sovereign state upon its independence. But ongoing clashes over oil reserves in a disputed border region threatened to derail the process, and Southern Sudan may be born as one of the world's poorest nations.

Internationally renowned historian, Associate Professor at the University of South Carolina and director of its African Studies program, Dr Ron Atkinson has also spent many years teaching, researching and living in East, West and South Africa. During the political transition from apartheid in South Africa, he assisted in establishing and administering a program to train Black educational leaders. Alongside other research, he is currently involved in a large-scale oral history project to record, transcribe, and translate personal and community histories from across Acholi, the epicenter of the northern Uganda war.

He is uniquely placed to offer us a leading expert's view of the context and significance of the historically troubled but potentially promising region of Sudan. We are very privileged to welcome him to Charleston for this talk.


Ron Atkinson

__
Jonathan Green
Gullah Heritage Built on Rice

Jonathan Green's paintings have become the definitive portrayals of Gullah life and Green himself epitomizes the civic-minded artist, involved in all aspects of our community and environment. A gifted storyteller with unique insights into the unseen aspects of the Lowcountry's heritage, Green will talk about the role that rice, the staple crop and basis of Charleston's historic pre-eminence, has played in Gullah culture.

Jonathan Green was born in 1955 in Gardens Corner, South Carolina and graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1982. He has now returned to the Lowcountry after many years of travel in the USA and internationally. His paintings can be found in major museum collections in California, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Vermont as well as Japan, Germany and Sierra Leone. He holds an honorary doctoral degree from the University of South Carolina.

Green's paintings inspired the Columbia City Ballet's "Off the Wall & Onto the Stage: Dancing the Art of Jonathan Green", which has recently toured various locations in the South, and continues to be performed to wide acclaim.

For more information about Jonathan Green, please visit www.jonathangreenstudios.com


Jonathan Green

This Wide Angle Lunch was generously sponsored by
Nexsen Pruet

__
John Pascoe
Gian Carlo Menotti Centenary: Directing The Medium for Spoleto USA

Performed in celebration of the centenary of the birth of the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and Spoleto USA festival founder, Gian Carlo Menotti, The Medium was one of the hits of this year's festival. Director and designer John Pascoe (also of last year's festival hit, Flora) led this previewevent, giving an exclusive insight into his staging of this compelling ghost story, set in the ruins of post-war Europe.

For over thirty years, productions by John Pascoe as director and/or designer have been seen across the globe, from New York's Metropolitan Opera to the Sydney Opera House and London's Covent Garden. In 2009, he was placed by Placido Domingo among the greatest opera directors the singer had ever worked with. After this year's Spoleto, Pascoe's projects will include directing and designing Lucrezia Borgia with Renée Fleming for San Francisco Opera and Manon Lescaut for Washington National Opera.

This Wide Angle Lunch was generously sponsored by Charlestowne Hotels and Gil Evans

__
The Lee Brothers
Southern Food Past and Present

Chefs, authors, journalists, and entrepreneurs—brothers Matt and Ted Lee share the gospel of Southern cooking in their every endeavor. Leaving their Charleston home to attend college in the Northeast, they soon became homesick for the cuisine they left behind. In response, they started The Lee Bros. Boiled Peanut Catalogue: now, no matter how far you are from the South, grits, preserves, benne wafers, Cheerwine, and much more are as close as the nearest phone.

Since founding the Catalogue, the brothers have penned a James Beard Award-winning cookbook, The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook, a bestselling sequel, Simple Fresh Southern, and written for publications such as the New York Times, Food and Wine, and GQ. They gave a colorful talk to Wide Angle Lunches about their experiences.

This Wide Angle Lunch was generously sponsored by Heirloom Book Company


The Lee Brothers

__
Alexandra Mack
Vogue.com: My Experiences in Fashion

Fly-on-the-wall films like The Devil Wears Prada and The September Issue contained enough inside gossip to thrill the most jaded couture front-rowers—but also piqued the interest of political commentators, Wall Street analysts, and the never-seen-dead-in-a-stiletto (Jimmy Who?) brigade. As its value tips over the $300 billion-dollar mark, the global fashion industry is a force to be reckoned with, and "Vogue" marches on its front line.

Wide Angle Lunches were therefore delighted to welcome Managing Editor of Vogue.com and former managing editor of "Interview", Charleston's own Alexandra Mack to the Library Society. Alexandra shared her experiences of the fabled fashion magazine industry from the ultimate vantage point.

Charleston Library Society: The South's oldest cultural institution, founded 1748

__
Next session:
Thursday 25 May

Barry Svigals
Re-Membering Community: Inspiring a Process of Creative Participation

Tickets