Montana State University

Lecture on using biography to understand history set Oct. 29 at MSU

October 11, 2013 -- MSU News Service

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571

BOZEMAN -- A free public lecture about the use of biography to understand and discuss history will be given at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 29, in the Procrastinator Theater in the Strand Union Building at Montana State University. 

Darden Asbury Pyron, a history professor in the Department of History at Florida International University, will present "History and Biography, The Case for Life and Times Writing."

While writers and literary critics love biography, academic historians more often than not spurn the biographical understanding of history, Pyron said. His presentation offers an understanding of the problems involved in this conflict and offers some understanding of resolution through an examination of particular lives and works that Pyron has explored, including the novelist Margaret Mitchell, the entertainer Liberace, and the Civil War general, William Tecumseh Sherman.

Pyron has taught history at Florida International University since the mid-1970s. He teaches a variety of history courses, ranging from The Civil War and Reconstruction to Greek History, from American Cultural History to The History of Hellenism. He is the author of three books, including Liberace: An American Boy, Southern Daughter: The Life of Margaret Mitchell and Recasting: ‘Gone with the Wind’ in American Culture.

Pyron’s lecture is sponsored by MSU’s Department of History and Philosophy, and is presented by the College of Letters and Science's Distinguished Speakers Series. The series, which began in the spring of 2011, brings distinguished scholars to MSU to give a public talk and to meet with faculty and students to enrich the intellectual life on campus and to enhance research connections.

For more information about this and other lectures in the L&S Distinguished Speakers Series, visit or call 994-3601.

Evelyn Boswell, (406) 994-5135 or