- This event has passed.
J. R. McDowell Speaker • Annette Gordon-Reed
September 14, 2023 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
American Historian and Law Professor Annette Gordon-Reed will be the Fall 2023 J. R. McDowell speaker. Free general admission tickets will be available at the Library beginning Monday, August 21st.
Sponsored by the Transylvania County Library Foundation in partnership with Brevard College, the speaker series is designed to present a wide array of viewpoints on challenging and thought-provoking topics. Her talk, “Approaching 2026: The Declaration of Independence and its Legacies,” will be held on Thursday, September 14 beginning at 7:30 pm at the Porter Center at Brevard College. Doors will open at 7:00 pm. Gordon-Reed will discuss the role the Declaration has played in promoting the idea of progress in the United States as it approaches its 250th anniversary. Highland Books will be on site with copies of her most recent books for sale and signing following the program.
Annette Gordon-Reed is the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard University. She won sixteen book prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize in History in 2009 and the National Book Award in 2008, for “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family,” a historical epic tracing the story of the Hemings family, whose close blood ties to Thomas Jefferson had been systematically expunged from American history until very recently. In the book, Gordon-Reed traces the family’s origins from Virginia in the 1700s to their dispersal after Jefferson’s death in 1826.
In addition to articles and reviews, her other works include “Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy,” “Vernon Can Read! A Memoir,” a collaboration with Vernon Jordan, “Race on Trial: Law and Justice in American History,” a volume of essays that she edited, “Andrew Johnson” and, with Peter S. Onuf, “Most Blessed of the Patriarchs: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination.” Her most recent book, “On Juneteenth,” combines personal anecdotes with facts gleaned from the annals of American history showing how, from the earliest presence of Black people in Texas to the end of legalized slavery in the state, African Americans played an integral role in the Texas story.
Gordon-Reed was the Vyvyan Harmsworth Visiting Professor of American History at the University of Oxford from 2014-2015. Between 2010 and 2015, she was the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. She was the 2018-2019 President of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. She is the current President of the Ames Foundation. A selected list of her honors includes 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, the Frederick Douglass Book Prize, the George Washington Book Prize, and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. Gordon-Reed served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Dartmouth College from 2010 to 2018. She was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011 and was a member of the Academy’s Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences. In 2019, she was elected as a member of the American Philosophical Society.
The program is made possible by the Transylvania County Library Foundation in partnership with Brevard College.