University Scholars Series Features Craig Simpson Talk on Kent State Shootings

Craig Simpson

Craig Simpson

The University Scholar Series for fall 2019 will continue on Oct 9. The event will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library Room 225/229. The series is free and open to the public, with a light lunch provided.

The Kent State Shootings at 50: Rage, Reflection and Remembrance

Director of Special Collections and Archives at SJSU Craig Simpson will present his work on Oct. 9. He is the co-author of Above the Shots: An Oral History of the Kent State Shootings, which was nominated for a National Council on Public History Book Award. Simpson and his co-author examined how the detailed, varied and at-times contradictory accounts challenge and deepen the understanding of the events on May 4, 1970, when four Kent State University students were killed and nine others were wounded by members of the Ohio National Guard.

Simpson will explore how their methodology led to both obstacles and opportunities, resulting in a text departing in some ways from its original conception, yet one that fulfilled their objective to show how “The Long 1960s,” and the conflicts from that era that still rage in our own, can be illuminated at the intersection of individual and collective memory. He will also discuss potential avenues for further research as we near the 50th anniversary of this pivotal event in contemporary American history.

Simpson has a master’s of Library and Information Science from Kent State University and a master’s in history from Marquette University. He is a certified archivist and an oral historian. Before joining SJSU in 2018, he served as a special collections librarian at Kent State University Libraries and led the Kent State Shootings Oral History Project, a digital collection of more than 100 interviews about the events that occurred on May 4, 1970. He has also served as the Lilly Library Manuscripts Archivists at Indiana University.