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KNOXVILLE – University of Tennessee students studying Sir Winston Churchill’s life and legacy will hear from one of Great Britain’s Churchill experts on Feb. 2 when he visits their class.

Allen Packwood

Allen Packwood, director of the Churchill Archives –which holds the papers of Churchill, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and others — will speak to students enrolled in a seminar entitled Winston Churchill and America: The Enduring Legacy. After his presentation, Packwood will hold a question-and-answer session with students.

Packwood will be in Knoxville to prepare for a British-American conference at UT in March.

After interacting with Packwood, students will be encouraged to attend the March 29-30 conference which will feature a lengthy list of notable British and American speakers. Students will be familiar with many of the speakers — including former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Winston S. Churchill, grandson of Sir Winston Churchill — because they’ve studied them or read their books as part of the class.

Dr. Michael R. Fitzgerald, chair of the American studies program in UT-s political science department, developed the seminar to coincide with the conference so that highly motivated and academically ambitious students from different backgrounds might enroll. About 20 students, from freshmen to doctoral students in various majors, signed up for the course.
-I think a synergy will come out of coordinating the class with the conference,- Fitzgerald said. -This could be a model for linking future Baker Center events with courses.-

Georgia Varlan, a freshman honors student in political science, said the class provides students the unique opportunity to meet some of the very people they’re studying.

-I-m excited to be learning about Churchill and how his legacy applies to public policy today,- Varlan said. She said she’s looking forward to hearing from the authors of some of the course’s texts to see -how their opinions and thoughts have changed since they published their books.-

Course readings include Kissinger-s “Diplomacy” and Jon Meacham-s “Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship.”

The conference, The United States and Britain: The Legacy of Churchill-s Atlantic Alliance, scheduled for March 29-30 at the Carolyn P. Brown University Center, is a collaboration of UT-s Howard Baker Center for Public Policy and the Churchill Archives Centre, part of Churchill College at Cambridge University in England.

Amy Blakely, (865) 974-5034,

Mike Fitzgerald, professor and chair, American Studies, (865) 974-7049,