Historians' Perspectives on the Rise of Donald J. Trump
The 2016 presidential race and the election of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States revealed divisive social, cultural, and political issues convulsing the United States, many of which have deep historical roots.
The members of the Organization of American Historians, a professional society devoted to the teaching and study of U.S. history, can offer a valuable public service during these fractious times by providing historical perspectives on present events.
Listed below are the OAH Distinguished Lecturers from across the country who stand ready to speak about these important issues.
The OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program, with support and guidance from the OAH Executive Board, has framed this new initiative as a resource for all who wish to foster dialogue on college campuses and in communities nationwide. We hope it will advance critical thinking about both past and present.
OAH Lecture fees start at $1,000, payable to the OAH, plus travel expenses, reimbursed directly to the speaker. We are committed to working with student and nonprofit groups to minimize costs.
Contact us with any questions or to start the invitation process.
OAH Distinguished Lecturer Dan Feller, " Andrew Jackson and Donald Trump: Outsiders Alike?"
For additional insights on U.S. international relations, visit the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations experts directory.
Gar Alperovitz The Democracy Collaborative and University of Maryland College Park • The Election of 2016 as a Reflection of Systemic Crisis
Annette Atkins Saint John's University and the College of Saint Benedict • We've Been Here Before: Dangerous Immigrants and Internal Security during World War I
James M. Banner Jr. Independent historian • The Electoral College: Vexed from the Outset, More Vexed Now
Katherine Benton-Cohen Georgetown University • The "Immigration Problem," 1917 and 2017 • The History of U.S.-Mexico Border Enforcement • When Jews Fought against "Registries"—A Lesson for Today? • Women and the Rise of the Surveillance State in the Progressive Era
Eileen Boris University of California, Santa Barbara • Trump's America in Historical Perspective: The War against Women, the Fight against Unions, and the Assault against Mexicans, African Americans, and Muslims
Kevin Boyle Northwestern University • My Home Town: Donald Trump in the Rust Belt • The Rages of Whiteness: Race, Class, and the Rise of Donald Trump
Sarah Bridger * California Polytechnic State University • Feminists, Social Constructivists, and Well-Meaning War Criminals: Redefining American Science in the 1970s
Jennifer Brier * University of Illinois at Chicago • History Moves and the Mobile Humanities, or How Might We Put the Public at the Center of Public History? • How to Have History during an Epidemic: Can History Make You Healthy?
Albert Camarillo Stanford University • California and the Future of U.S. Politics • Civil Rights and Race/Ethnic Relations in Trump's America • Immigrants and Immigration Policies
Clayborne Carson Stanford University • Where Do We Go from Here? King's Dream and the Trump Presidency
William H. Chafe Duke University • Angry Whites and Donald Trump: The Inequality in America That We Have Not Addressed • How We Define Inequality • Parallels to 2016: Presidential Elections of 1877, 1968, and 2000 • The Problems with the Electoral College: History, Racism, and the Idea of "One Person, One Vote"
David Anthony Chang University of Minnesota • Teaching on Trump: Experiences Teaching a Course on the Far Right in America, Past and Present
Mary Marshall Clark Columbia University • Breaking the Rule of Law and What It Cost Us: Guantanamo, an Oral History
Jelani Cobb * Columbia University • The Half-Life of Freedom: The Civil Rights Movement and the Return of Racial Populism
Dorothy Sue Cobble Rutgers University-New Brunswick • America's Social Democracy and the Global Women Who Made It • Don't Blame the Workers: The Myth of Working-Class Conservatism • Economic Justice For All: American Feminism in Global Perspective
Charles L. Cohen University of Wisconsin-Madison • Jews and Muslims in Christian America
Blanche Wiesen Cook John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York • Refugees and Rescue during World War II and Today • Women's Rights, Civil Rights, and Human Rights from Eleanor Roosevelt to the Women's Marchers
Stephanie Coontz The Evergreen State College and Council on Contemporary Families • The Way Things Used To Be? The Politics of Nostalgia in Contemporary America
Seth Cotlar * Willamette University • Placing Donald Trump in the History of American Conservatism
Edward Countryman Southern Methodist University • "Belonging to America" after the Revolution • The Central Themes of an Ambiguous Revolution
Jefferson Cowie Vanderbilt University • Are We in a New Age? The Techno-Global Meets the Ethno-Fundamental • Defining White Freedom in America, from Andrew Jackson to Donald Trump • The Deep History of Backlash America • The Social History of the Trump Vote, 1968–2016
Karen L. Cox University of North Carolina at Charlotte • After Charlottesville: How the Confederate Monument Debate Became a Game Changer for Historians
Jane E. Dailey University of Chicago • From Civil Rights to Human Rights in Twentieth-Century America • Remembering Our KKK Past • The Theology of White Supremacy • William Mahone: The Confederate General Who Was Erased
Rebecca L. Davis University of Delaware • Brainwashing the King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Nation of Islam • Faith, Sex, Congress, and Celebrity: How Clare Boothe Luce Shaped American Culture • I'm Free to Be Who I Want: How Americans Found Their Truth in an Age of Phonies • Marriage, Sex, and American History
Jennifer Delton Skidmore College • Inequality, Diversity, and the Rise of Trump
Rachel Devlin Rutgers University-New Brunswick • Performing "Civic Decency": The Black Women and Girls who Desegregated American Schools
Bruce J. Dierenfield Canisius College and Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site • Heroes and Heroines of the Civil Rights Movement • Myths of the Civil Rights Movement • A Look at Black Strategies against White Supremacy, Then and Now • Separate and Unequal: Racial Oppression in America • The Black Lives Matter Movement • The Forward Together / Moral Monday Movement
Hasia Diner New York University • Antisemitism: Its American Story • Making America Great: Immigrants and the Making of the Nation
David C. Engerman Brandeis University • The United States and Russia, 1917–2017: From Lenin to Trump
Nan Enstad University of Wisconsin-Madison • From Michelle Obama to Ivanka Trump: The History of Female Populism and the Future of Feminism • The Cult of the Entrepreneur and the Rise of Donald Trump: How Faith in Capitalist Innovation Restructured American Democracy
Todd Estes Oakland University • Populism, Pseudo-Populism, and the Enduring Appeal of Both Forces in U.S. Political Culture over Time • The 2016 Presidential Election and the Transformation of the Blue State—Red State Electoral Map: Retrospect and Prospect
John Fea Messiah College • Historical Thinking in the Age of Trump • Understanding American Evangelicalism in the Age of Trump
Daniel Feller University of Tennessee • Andrew Jackson and Donald Trump: Outsiders Alike? • Fake History: Andrew Jackson, Donald Trump, and the Media
Mark Fiege Montana State University • A Country without Illusions: Wallace Stegner in His Time and Ours • The Significance of the Public Lands in American Life
Paul Finkelman Gratz College • A Nation of Immigrants and a History of Anti-Immigrant Movement • Antisemitism and the Development of American Religious Freedom • Balancing Liberty and Security in our Democracy • Free Speech: The Key to Liberty • Freedom of Thought in America • How the Electoral College Protected Slavery • Nationalism, Nativism, and Fear in American History • Religious Persecution in American History: Quakers, Baptists, Mormons, and Jehovah's Witnesses
Ellen Fitzpatrick University of New Hampshire • A Woman President? Lessons from the Past
François Furstenberg Johns Hopkins University • The Electoral College in Historical Perspective: Antidemocratic Legacies of the American Constitution • Trump and the Republican Party: Continuities and Ruptures
Kevin Gaines Cornell University • American Populism: Its Rise, Fall, and Legacy • Teaching Race in Modern American History • The Post-World War II Black Freedom Struggle
Mario T. García University of California Santa Barbara • The Sanctuary Movement, Past and Present, and the Trump Threat to Latino Immigrants
Malick W. Ghachem * Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Maine • The University, the Constitution, and the Ends of Academic Excellence
Linda Gordon New York University • 45 Years of Arguing about Reproduction Control • Dorothea Lange: The Conflicts of an Ambitious Woman • Impounded: Dorothea Lange's Hidden Photographs of the Japanese Internment in World War II • The Ku Klux Klan and the American Political Tradition • The Much Misunderstood Women's Liberation Movement • Visual Democracy: How Dorothea Lange Used Photography to Promote Equality
Eliga H. Gould University of New Hampshire • The American Revolution and the Making of Religious Liberty • The Coup We Escaped: George Washington and the Newburgh Conspiracy of 1783 • To Keep and Bear Arms: What the Second Amendment Did—and Did Not—Mean in 1791
Cheryl Greenberg Trinity College and University of Helsinki • Civil Rights vs. Civil Liberties: The Case of Hate Speech • Trigger Warnings, Racist Symbols, and Free Speech: American Campuses Today • The Civil Rights Movement as Usable Past • Why "Black Lives Matter" Should Matter to Whites
Daniel Greene Northwestern University and U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum • Desperate Times, Limited Measures: America and the Refugee Crisis of the 1930s • Freedom from Fear: Americans and the Nazi Threat
Julie Greene University of Maryland, College Park • Understanding the Workers of Trumpland: How History Shaped the Politics of 2016 • When Benjamin Franklin Worried about the Swarthy Germans: How Anxiety about Immigrants Shaped the United States • Who Is an American? Belonging and Exclusion in American History (and How It Shapes the Present)
Ariela J. Gross University of Southern California • Race, Citizenship, and the U.S. Constitution • Race, Gender, and the U.S. Constitution • The Past and Future of Civil Rights • White Nationalism in the Twentieth Century and Beyond
Thomas A. Guglielmo George Washington University • White Nationalism: A History • Immigration and Race: A History
Steven Hahn New York University • Reconstruction and the American Political Tradition • The Illiberal Tradition in America • The United States from Inside Out and Southside North
Hendrik Hartog Princeton University • Conservative Constitutionalism and the Strategic Uses of Rights
Paul Harvey University of Colorado Colorado Springs • 1876 and 2016: Civil Rights and Voter Suppression during the 1st and 2nd Redemption • Religious Conservatism and Liberalism in the Age of Trump • White Nationalism in Historical Perspective
Joan Hoff Montana State University, Bozeman • Civil Rights and Campus Sexual Assault • What War Has Done to the Presidency
Michael K. Honey University of Washington Tacoma • Stealing the Dream: Martin Luther King's Unfinished Agenda and the Trump Era
Frederick E. Hoxie University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign • Indian Affairs in the Twenty-First Century
Madeline Y. Hsu University of Texas at Austin • Families across Borders: Illegality and the Ties that Bind • Immigration and Deportation Policy
Michael Innis-Jiménez University of Alabama • Engaged Learning in the Anti-Immigrant South: Building Bridges in a Hostile Environment • Us vs. Them, Then and Now: Understanding Anti-Mexican Rhetoric in Times of Economic Crisis
Karl Jacoby Columbia University • Drawing the Line: Lessons from Thinking Historically about the U.S.-Mexico Border
John W. Jeffries University of Maryland, Baltimore County • The Surprising Candidacies of Donald Trump and Wendell Willkie, and the Changes in American Politics since 1940
William P. Jones University of Minnesota • Labor Rights in the Age of Trump • Race and Class in the Age of Trump
Andrew W. Kahrl University of Virginia • Real Estate Rules: How the Trump Family Built Its Wealth—and What That Teaches Us about Race and Capitalism in Twentieth-Century America • The Art of the Scam: Predatory Capitalism and the Making of Trump's America
Walter D. Kamphoefner Texas A&M University • American Immigration, Past and Present: Myths and Reality
Stephen Kantrowitz University of Wisconsin-Madison • When White Supremacy Won: Pitchfork Ben Tillman and the Battle against Equality
Peter Karsten University of Pittsburgh • The Four "Cousins-in-Law" and How They Are Related: Substantive Due Process and State-Based Prohibition; Slavery in the Federal Territory; Mormon Statehood; and Public School Prayer and Bible Reading • Revisiting the Critiques of Justices who Upheld the Fugitive Slave Acts • The Cuban Missile Crisis, a Very Close Call • The Myriad of Consequences of U.S. Wars
Michael Kazin Georgetown University • What Kind of Populist Is Donald Trump?
Daniel J. Kevles Yale University • Contested Earth: The Science and Politics of Climate and Development
Alan M. Kraut American University • Closing the Gates, Building a Wall: What the History of Immigration Restriction against Jews Can Teach Us about American Nativism • Nativism before Donald Trump: Anti-Immigrant Sentiment in the Early Twentieth Century
Kevin M. Kruse Princeton University • Jim Crow: Race, Rights, and Reaction in Twentieth-Century America
Bruce Kuklick University of Pennsylvania • Fascism Comes to America
Erika Lee * University of Minnesota • Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America • Immigrants Out: A History of American Xenophobia
James Livingston Rutgers University-New Brunswick • F%#* Work, A Manifesto: Why Full Employment Is a Bad Idea, or What Is to Be Done When Work Disappears
Nancy MacLean Duke University • The Origins of Today’s Koch-Funded Radical Right and the Crisis of Our Democracy
Elaine Tyler May University of Minnesota • Fortress America: Fear and its Consequences since the Cold War
Melani McAlister George Washington University • The Politics of Persecution
Micki McElya * University of Connecticut • Finding Common Ground in Arlington National Cemetery • New Right Beauty: Race, Gender, and American Conservatism’s Aesthetic Politics since 1945
Danielle L. McGuire Independent Scholar • Murder in the Motor City: The 1967 Detroit Riot and American Injustice
Ajay K. Mehrotra American Bar Foundation and Northwestern University School of Law and History Department • Populism in America • The Legacy of Progressivism in the Trump Era • The Rise and Fall of Progressive Taxation in the United States • U.S. Fiscal Policy in Comparative and Historical Perspective
Douglas Monroy Colorado College • Intimate Strangers: The United States and Mexico
Khalil Gibran Muhammad * Harvard University and Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study • In Punishment We Trust: The Logic and Legacy of American Punitiveness • The Power Gap: Antiracism as the New Diversity and Inclusion in Post-Obama America • The Unbearable Likeness of Ferguson: An Origin Story of Now
Premilla Nadasen Barnard College, Columbia University • Grass-Roots Organizing and Progressive Social Change: Lessons from History • Where Do We Go from Here? Poverty, the Welfare State, and Economic Justice • Women and Feminism in the Trump Era
Mae M. Ngai Columbia University • A Nation of Immigrants: A Short History of an Idea • Illegal Immigration: Origins and Consequences
Christopher McKnight Nichols Oregon State University and Oregon State University Center for the Humanities • America First? Isolationism and U.S. Global Engagement in Historical Perspective
Michelle Nickerson Loyola University, Chicago • Our Problem with "Truthiness": The Centuries-long History of Fake News in the United States • The History of Our Populist Presidency: Traditions of Anti-Elitism in American Politics
Alice O'Connor University of California, Santa Barbara • Circling the Wagons: Conservative Movement Politics and the Rise of Donald Trump • Divided Democracy: The Politics of Inequality in the 2016 Election • Myths and Realities of the "White Working-Class Voter"
Peter S. Onuf Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies, Monticello and University of Virginia • Thomas Jefferson and White Nationalism
Jason M. Opal McGill University • Did the Founders Want the United States to Follow International Law? • How Donald Trump Is Like Andrew Jackson • Vigilante Nation: The Long History of "Populist" Violence against People of Color
Annelise Orleck Dartmouth College • Donald Trump and the History of Right-Wing Populism in the United States • The End of Medicare and Social Security As We Know Them
Ted Ownby University of Mississippi • Virtue, Corruption, and Household Politics in the Election of 2016
Christopher Phillips The University of Cincinnati • Legacy of Dissent: The Civil War Roots of Populist White Nationalism in Middle America
Claire Bond Potter The New School • Clickbait Nation: How iCampaigns Changed American Politics
Tyler Priest * University of Iowa • Frackenstein's Monster: The Recent History of American "Energy Dominance"
Sherie M. Randolph Georgia Institute of Technology • Black Feminist Political Futures • Race, Gender, and Incarceration • Race, Gender, and Violence: The New American Politics?
Leslie J. Reagan University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign • When Abortion Was a Crime: The American Past, and Present?
Jarod Roll University of Mississippi • A Deep History of White Working-Class Conservatism: The Strange Career of America's Anti-Union Miners
Adam Rome University at Buffalo, State University of New York • Sustainability in the Age of Trump
E. Anthony Rotundo Phillips Academy Andover • Before Trump: White Men, Masculinity, and the Rise of Right-Wing Populism, 1964–2016
Scott A. Sandage Carnegie Mellon University • LOSER! How Trump's Favorite Insult Became Our Hugest Fear
A. K. Sandoval-Strausz Penn State University • Latino Immigrants and the Transformation of American Cities, 1950–2010
Alex M. Saragoza * University of California, Berkeley • Bipartisanship and the Mexican Immigration Issue, from Reagan to Trump • Recent Latino Historical Scholarship: A Critical Perspective • The Mexico-U.S. Interface and Mexicans in the United States
Ellen Schrecker Yeshiva University • Donald Trump and the New McCarthyism
Donna C. Schuele California State University, Los Angeles and UCLA Center for the Study of Women • Not Your Father's Liberty: Reproductive Freedom and the Fourteenth Amendment • The Law of War: Presidential Power on the International Stage • The Supreme Court in the Balance: The Role of the Swing Justice
Donald Schwartz California State University, Long Beach • Dogs and Jews Not Allowed: Antisemitism in U.S. History • Immigration and Anti-Immigration in U.S. History
Manisha Sinha University of Connecticut • America's Rotten Borough Electoral College • Reliving the Fall of Reconstruction in the Age of Trump • The United States of Trumpistan?
Paul Spickard University of California, Santa Barbara • Immigrants and the Undocumented: What's Real, What's Not, and What We Can Hope for in the Trump Years
Marjorie J. Spruill University of South Carolina • Divided We Stand: The Battle over Women’s Rights and Family Values That Polarized American Politics
Randall Stephens University of Oslo • Have We Been Here Before? Trumpism and the Question of Historical Precedent • The Strange Career of Trump-Supporting Evangelicals
Landon R. Storrs University of Iowa • Antifeminism and Cold War Politics • Hidden Convictions: The Second Red Scare and the End of Reform • McCarthyism in Historical Perspective
Jeremi Suri University of Texas at Austin • Populism against Democracy • Right-Wing Politics in America and across the Globe • The New McCarthyism • The Rise and Fall of the American Presidency
Matthew Avery Sutton Washington State University • Trump and Evangelical America: The Rise (and Fall?) of the Religious Right
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor * Princeton University • From #BlackLivesMatter to the White-Power Presidency: Race and Class in the Trump Era
Heather Ann Thompson University of Michigan • Civil Rights in the Age of Trump • Criminal Justice Reform in the Age of Trump • Policing in the Age of Trump
Phil Tiemeyer Kansas State University • Religious Right, Alt-Right, and Neoliberal "Rights": What the Recent Past Tells Us about the State of LGBTQ Rights in the Trump Presidency
Robert Brent Toplin University of North Carolina at Wilmington and University of Virginia • "The Economy, Stupid": How the Clash of Economic Arguments in Presidential Elections Since 1980 Has Affected the Well-Being of America's Working People • Fake News from Thomas Jefferson's Time to 2016
Penny M. Von Eschen Cornell University • Post-1989 Shifts in U.S. Foreign Policy, the Rise of the Global Right, and the Election of Donald Trump
Jessica Wang * University of British Columbia • Falling Apart: American Power in a Failing Global Order, 1919–1939
Louis S. Warren University of California, Davis • The Price of Religious Intolerance: Wounded Knee and the War on American Indian Belief
Marsha Weisiger University of Oregon • Why We Need the EPA, and Other Environmental Matters
Leigh Ann Wheeler Binghamton University, State University of New York • The Politics of Womanhood: From the Progressive Era to Trump World
Allan M. Winkler Miami University • What Informs a Smooth Presidential Transition? Twentieth-Century Examples
Barbara Winslow Brooklyn College, City University of New York • Breaking the Highest Glass Ceiling: Shirley Chisholm, Hillary Clinton, and the Future • Women's Rights and Reproductive Justice
Victoria W. Wolcott University at Buffalo, State University of New York • False Choices: What the 1930s Can Teach Us about Identity Politics • The Legacy of Segregation: Spatial Inequality and White Power
Leah Wright Rigueur Harvard University • "Black Women Will Rally!" Black Women, Intersectional Politics, and the 2016 Presidential Election • How the Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street, and Black Lives Matter Shaped the 2016 Presidential Election
David M. Wrobel University of Oklahoma • John Steinbeck's America: A Cultural History of the Great Depression and World War II • The West and America, 1890–1950
Judy Tzu-Chun Wu University of California, Irvine • Immigration and Illegality in the American Imagination
Rosemarie Zagarri George Mason University • The Murky Past and Contested Future of the Electoral College
Jonathan Zimmerman University of Pennsylvania • Teaching about Trump: Civic Education and the Challenge of Democracy • The Ides of November: Recent Campus Protests in Historical Perspective