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A UT history professor will discuss how the Tennessee Valley Authority’s efforts to overcome poverty in the region made a significant global footprint during the next “Conversations and Cocktails” talk from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. on  Tuesday, March 1.

Tore-OlssonAssistant Professor Tore Olsson will speak at the Grill at Highlands Row, 4705 Old Kingston Pike. The UT Humanities Center is sponsoring the event.

Offered in collaboration with the Grill at Highlands Row, the series provides the community an opportunity to interact with guest scholars as they discuss history while enjoying special dinner and appetizer selections.

Dinner reservations are required and seating is limited. A reservation can be made by calling the Grill at Highlands Row at 865-694-1600.

During the March 1 conversation, Olsson will demonstrate how twentieth-century efforts to overcome poverty in East Tennessee, particularly through TVA, came to serve as a model for accomplishing similar goals in places as far-flung as Mexico, India, and Afghanistan. After World War II, countless governments in the so-called “Third World” looked to TVA for lessons in rationing water, land use, and human society, along the way transforming millions of lives and vast ecologies.

Olsson’s teaching and research examine the twentieth-century United States in a global perspective, with an emphasis on agriculture, food, environment, rural history, and Latin America, particularly Mexico.

The remaining “Conversations and Cocktails” talks include:

April 5—Robert Glaze, doctoral student in history: “‘Hardships, Perils, and Vicissitudes’: The Army of Tennessee in Civil War Memory”

May 3—Mary Campbell, assistant professor of art history: “The Mormon Church’s Polygamous Suffragettes”


Joan Murray (865-974-4222,