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.
For additional insights on U.S. international relations, visit the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations
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
Dan Berger University of Washington Bothell and University of Washington Seattle • A People's History of Law and Order Politics • Racism, Violence, and the American State
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
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 • Latino Voters, Past, Present, and Future • Racial Dynamics and the 2016 Election
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
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
Edward Countryman Southern Methodist University • "Belonging to America" after the Revolution • How the Republic Failed, the First Time
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
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?
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 University of Pittsburgh • 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
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
Linda Gordon New York University • 45 Years of Arguing about Reproduction Control • Right-wing Populism in the American Political Tradition
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
James Horn Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation • Origins of Modern America: Democracy, Diversity, and Race
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
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
Stephen Kantrowitz University of Wisconsin-Madison • When White Supremacy Won: Pitchfork Ben Tillman and the Battle against Equality
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
Ajay K. Mehrotra American Bar Foundation and Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law • 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 Historical Perspective
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? The Significance of Isolationism to U.S. History
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 Campaigns Changed American Politics
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 University of New Mexico • Latino Immigrants and the Transformation of American Cities, 1950–2010
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 R. 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 Northumbria University • 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
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
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
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