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The OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program


Sarah E. Igo

Sarah E. IgoSarah E. Igo is an associate professor of history, political science, and sociology at Vanderbilt University with research interests in American cultural and intellectual history, the history of the human sciences, the sociology of knowledge, and the history of privacy and the public sphere. She is the author of The Averaged American: Surveys, Citizens, and the Making of a Mass Public (2007), which explores the relationship between survey data—opinion polls, sex surveys, consumer research—and modern understandings of self and nation. The book was a New York Times Editors' Choice selection and one of Slate’s best books of the year as well as the winner of the President’s Book Award of the Social Science History Association and the Cheiron Book Prize. She is currently working on an intellectual and cultural history of privacy in the United States from the late nineteenth century to the present.

Igo has held fellowships from the Institute for Advanced Study, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Whiting Foundation, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, including its New Directions Fellowship in 2012–2015 to acquire training in legal history and socio-legal thought. She has been a visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin and a visiting fellow at the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale University. She also founded and codirects the National Forum on the Future of Liberal Education, a national initiative to promote the liberal arts.

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Lectures