Auditorium Speaker Series

Sunday, January 22, 2017 - 10:00am to 11:00am
Annette Gordon-Reed

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and law professor Annette Gordon-Reed, author of several books including The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family and most recently “Most Blessed of Patriarchs”: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination (with Peter S. Onuf), is Sunday Auditorium Speaker. Her persistent investigation into the life of an iconic American president has dramatically changed the course of Jeffersonian scholarship, and in disentangling the complicated history of two distinct founding families’ interracial bloodlines, she offers an authentic portrayal of our colonial past.

Gordon-Reed was fascinated from childhood by the Jefferson family, and began a comprehensive re-examination of the evidence about the rumored committed relationship between Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemings. She has continued her inquiry into colonial interracial relations through several books since her first one, Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy. She is currently the Charles Warren Professor of American Legal History at Harvard Law School, a professor of history in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, and the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

Her honors include a fellowship from the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, a Guggenheim Fellowship in the humanities, a MacArthur Fellowship, the National Humanities Medal, the National Book Award, and the Woman of Power & Influence Award from the National Organization for Women in New York City. Gordon-Reed was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011 and is a member of the Academy’s Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences.

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W. W. Norton