BEEBE, Ark. – ASU-Beebe will present acclaimed author and historian Grace Elizabeth Hale’s presentation of her recent book Cool Town: How Athens, Georgia Launched Alternative Music and Changed American Culture in the second presentation of the ASU-Beebe 2020-2021 Lecture-Concert series. This FREE virtual event will be streamed LIVE on the ASU-Beebe YouTube channel at 5 p.m., Thursday, February 25, 2021. Join the program at:

Grace Hale is an award-winning writer, and professor of American Studies and History at the University of Virginia. She is an internationally recognized expert on modern American culture and the regional culture of the U.S. South. Hale has written pieces for the New York Times, the Washington Post, American Scholar, CNN, Slate, Southern Cultures and Southern Spaces. With more than 20 years in academia, Hale has lectured on these topics widely in the U.S., Europe, and Japan for both academic and popular audiences.

Her book Cool Town: How Athens, Georgia Launched Alternative Music and Changed American Culture details how an alternative culture in conjunction with the University of Georgia produced incredible talents like the B-52’s, R.E.M. and Pylon that later became headline artists in music, art and literary works in the 80s and 90s.

In her presentation, Hale relates how she experienced the Athens scene first-hand as a student, small-business owner and band member. She blends personal recollections with a historian’s eye and reveals numerous photos with bands, artists and friends during her time in Athens. Hale drew on personal experiences and things at hand at the time which helped create new art and transforming parts of American culture along the way.

Hale’s book Cool Town has drawn critical acclaim and awards and was named “one of the best books of 2020” by National Public Radio, Rolling Stone magazine and Slate.
Hale has also compiled a playlist of music from bands of the Athens scene on Spotify. You can find the playlist at: Cool Town Athens playlist

Arkansas State University-Beebe is an operationally separate, two-year institution of the Arkansas State University System. With campuses located in Beebe, Heber Springs, Searcy, Little Rock Air Force Base, and online, ASU-Beebe offers associate degrees, certificates, and non-credit training for business and industry.

The ASU-Beebe Lecture-Concert Series presents entertaining and culturally enriching events, including concerts, lectures and theatrical productions for the benefit of ASU-Beebe and the communities we serve. For more information, contact the ASU-Beebe Institutional Advancement office at 501-882-8855.