Speaker: Annette Gordon-Reed, Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History, Harvard University
Sponsor: Graduate Division
Annette Gordon-Reed will present the Jefferson lecture on Wednesday, September 28, 2016, in conjunction with the observance of Constitution Day. The lecture, entitled "Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination," will be held in the Chevron Auditorium of International House and is free and open to the public. No tickets are required.
About Annette Gordon-Reed
Gordon-Reed’s most renowned writings have focused on the relationship between the Founding Father Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, a woman enslaved at Monticello, as well as on three generations of the Hemings family. Gordon-Reed holds several titles at Harvard University including: Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History, Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor for the Radcliffe Institute for Advance Study, and Professor of History, Faculty of Arts & Sciences.
A prolific writer, Professor Gordon-Reed’s book, Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An America Controversy, received much public attention in 1997. Her research for the book utilized historical analysis, manuscripts, and studies of Jefferson’s life to critique the way previous historians had handled the question of Jefferson and Hemings, coming to the conclusion that it was likely that the pair had children together. Gordon-Reed’s writing and historical research changed scholarship surrounding this controversial topic and the validity of Gordon Reed’s claims were supported later in 1998 by DNA evidence. Most recently she released “Most Blessed of Patriarchs”: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of Imagination (with Peter S. Onuf, 2016). Gordon-Reed is presently at work on a second volume about the Hemings family that will take them into the 19th and early 20th Centuries.
About the Lecture
Gordon-Reed’s Jefferson lecture will focus on Thomas Jefferson’s vision for the United States of America, and how race and slavery complicated his views of what kind of society was possible on the American continent.