THOUGHT

PROVOKING

Book a Distinguished Lecturer from the Organization of American Historians for your next event.

Woman speaking at podium

VMI Photo by - H. Lockwood McLaughlin

WHY A HISTORIAN?

Our OAH Distinguished Lecturers are scholars and storytellers, uniquely qualified to bring historical context to some of today's most provocative issues. They engage audiences, sharing monumental moments and unknown stories from our nation's past that influence and inform our world today. The Distinguished Lectureship Program offers Virtual OAH Lectures (custom-recorded or live with Q&A) and traditional in-person OAH Distinguished Lectures. 

This was the first time we’ve used the OAH Distinguished Lectureship program, and we will look here for speakers in the future. The process was painless and the quality very high.

Diane Gutenkauf, - Robert R. McCormick Museum at Cantigny

Featured Lecturer

Portrait of lecturer

Emily Suzanne Johnson

Emily Suzanne Johnson is an assistant professor of History at Ball State University in Muncie, IN. Johnson’s research focuses on gender, sexuality, religion, and politics in the twentieth and twenty-first century United States. She is the author of This Is Our Message: Women’s Leadership in the New Christian Right (2019). This book provides the first in-depth study of many nationally prominent women who helped to shape the modern religious right during its ascendancy in the 1970s and 1980s. It features analyses of the lives and work of evangelical sex advice author Marabel Morgan, anti-gay-rights activist Anita Bryant, Concerned Women for America founder Beverly LaHaye, and...
Read More

Featured Lecture

"That’s How Jesus Loves": Tammy Faye Bakker, AIDS, and the New Christian Right

In November 1985--when news coverage of the emerging AIDS epidemic was still shallow--televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker interviewed an HIV-positive gay minister named Steve Pieters on her international television network. The interview was surprisingly positive; Bakker did not condemn Pieters, but she did admonish her (largely conservative, evangelical) audience to do more to support people with AIDS. The hell-and-brimstone rhetoric of men like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson became the lasting image of conservative Christian responses in the early years of the American AIDS epidemic. The Bakker-Pieters interview offers another perspective, highlighting the potential for political diversity that existed within the New Christian Right in the 1980s while also clarifying the limits of political divergence in this movement.

"In contrast to Jerry Falwell, who characterized AIDS as a form of divine punishment, Bakker largely affirmed Pieters’s experience that “God was with me through this disease, not having given me this disease.” "