Distinguished Lectureship Program

Book an OAH Distinguished Lecturer for your next event.

Why an American Historian Speaker?

Distinguished lectureship Program Logo

OAH Distinguished Lecturers are scholars and storytellers, uniquely qualified to bring historical context to today’s most important issues. Our dynamic speakers engage audiences and share their insights and expertise on events from our nation’s past that influence and inform our world today.

The Distinguished Lectureship Program offers in-person and online OAH Lectures with Q&A. Explore all OAH Lecture titles by keywords or combined U. S. history topics.

OAH Distinguished Lecturers can be booked as guest speakers for keynote addresses, lectures, and book talks, to headline special events, conferences, and historical commemorations, and to lead workshops and professional development events.


Virtual OAH Lectures Offered

The Distinguished Lectureship Program has coordinated hundreds of virtual events for colleges, libraries, schools, historical societies, faith-based organizations, professional development workshops, museums, and community organizations. Virtual format options include live online presentations with Q&A, custom-recorded talks, as well as hybrid events (for an in-person audience and virtual attendees.)

This program greatly facilitates our annual history lecture series, allowing us to bring in very high-quality speakers at relatively low cost while supporting an important organization. Thanks!

Steve Wagner, Department of Social Sciences, Missouri Southern State University

It was an honor to host Dr. Daniel K. Richter at our event. His insight and knowledge was incredible and the dynamic he helped create on the panel led to genuine discussion. I would highly recommend Dr. Richter as a speaker to anyone hosting a similar event.

Kristina I. Dorsett, Wolfgram Memorial Library, Widener University, Pennsylvania

We greatly enjoyed working with Professor Elizabeth Fenn. She was easygoing and provided an outstanding experience for our attendees. She’s an animated and knowledgeable speaker. She was near the front door before the lecture welcoming guests and speaking with general attendees and sponsor representatives. We also very much appreciated her willingness to sign books before the event and her offer to write a personal note.

Rachelle Littau, Idaho State Historical Society, Idaho

Better than many prior speakers, Caleb McDaniel kept his audience gripped for the entire presentation. Hardly a person left before the lecture and Q&A session finished. And all of the copies of his book were sold -- this is unprecedented.

Branden Little, Weber State University, UT

The OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program was very efficient and helpful to our needs. The website let us easily view possible speakers, and the coordinator was very responsive to our questions.

Lisa Petrovich, Phi Alpha Theta, Illinois Wesleyan University

I would like to use the program again in the future. It was the second largest event we have ever had at our small school, and we would not have been able to do this without the OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program.

Joshua Butler, ABAC at Bainbridge, Georgia

You have an impressive lineup of scholars. As a conference organizer, I like the one-stop-shopping that your program offers.

Renee LaFleur, Department of History and Philosophy, University of Tennessee at Martin, Tennessee

I was so grateful to work with Sally Hanchett at OAH. She was prompt, personable, and professional. She helped connect me with Dr. Rodriguez. And she jumped in to solve some tech challenges, unprompted. She is a star.

Alli Fetter-Harrott, Franklin College, IN

Craig Wilder is a generous, warm speaker who conveyed the material in a compelling manner through the use of visuals and the Q&A.

Courtney McDermott, Tufts University, MA

This is a wonderful program for a small college such as ours.

Spencer Davis, Department of History, Peru State College
Nebraska

Sally Gordon was an awesome speaker. From feedback, listeners wished she had talked much longer as she had the audience engaged from the start.

Roger Lewis, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Florida

Dr. Cooper Owens was an amazing presenter. I really loved her information she shared. This was the BEST webinar I’ve attended. I would love to attend more webinars from her.

Webinar attendee, The Teaching of American Slavery, National Council for History Education, OH

The OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program offers an unbelievable service to the field and the public. The booking process was a breeze.

Patrick Lewis, Kentucky Historical Society, Kentucky

This was one of the best lecturers and presentations that I have had for my series, now in its 12th season. Dr. William Carrigan took an important but complicated topic and made it easy to comprehend its meaning and significance. Very engaging to the audience and enthusiastic about the questions!

Rebecca Urban, G.A.R. Hall Civil War Lecture Series, Peninsula Foundation, Ohio

Dr. Thomas is an engaging speaker and discussion leader who showed us how digital history can help our teaching and provide new mediums for sharing our scholarship. I recommend him wholeheartedly.

Leilah Danielson, Northern Arizona University, Arizona

Our experience with the OAH Lectureship Program was excellent! Sally Hanchett was a great facilitator, and all details were handled with great care. It was a pleasure working with you all!

Roseann Bacha-Garza, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, TX

Our intent on bringing Dr. Downs to our campus was to conduct a multidisciplinary event that focused on an historical aspect of medicine and public health as it related to African Americans during the US Civil War and Reconstruction. Dr. Downs gave a separate talk to history and medical school students as an informal discussion. Both at the informal discussion and at the formal evening presentation, Dr. Downs was very comfortable in front of the audience and was able to engage all present through fascinating historical facts that clearly caused those present to reflect upon what they learned. He is a very charismatic speaker. 

Roseann Bacha-Garza, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, TX

We have always been impressed with the OAH speakers and their ability to interact with students, faculty, and the general public in their presentations as well as in Question and Answer sessions that follow.

Jon Taylor, University of Central Missouri, Missouri

Excellent resource for speakers and educational institutions! I will definitely be reaching out to book another speaker.

Heather Bobrowicz, South Texas College Library, TX

Karl Jacoby's presentation is one of our favorites from the OAH Speaker series, and we have had 2 speakers per year over the last several years so we have had a fairly large number of excellent speakers. We were able to invite family members/descendants of his research subject, and they really added a personal touch that we don't often see with a history lecture. It was much appreciated by our audience!

David Nelson, California Lutheran University, CA

The lectureship program has hit two home runs with us so far; we’ll definitely tap you again.

Timothy D. Hall, Department of History, Central Michigan University

Tyler Priest provided a well-informed and critical lecture that reveals how deepwater drilling continues to play an important role in Louisiana and nationally.

Jacob Gautreaux, Louisiana State University, LA

This lecture was powerful and much needed. I look forward to having other lectures done through OAH.

Dr. Tamika Pollins, Pollins and Associates Educational Specialists, NJ

The OAH was very easy to work with in scheduling this event. The virtual format worked very smoothly. Everyone was cooperative and collaborative. For us it was a very successful event and we had a good audience.

Caroline B. Brettell, Southern Methodist University, Texas

We couldn’t have had a better Presidents’ Day lecture. Thanks again for all your help.

Allison Graves, Phi Alpha Theta, Oakland University
Michigan

Working with OAH is like working with a most trusted partner. They get the job done efficiently and effectively.

Roger Lewis, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Florida

The evaluations for Professor Zagarri's lecture were stellar. Audience members found her approachable and her lecture easy to follow. That's no mean feat considering the technical nature of her topic.

Danielle Dart, Minnesota Historical Society, Minnesota

As an historian and a medical anthropologist, Dr. Downs' research knowledge was made quite clear through his command of the topic(s) that he discussed. We had no time constraints, so he continued to speak based on the interest of the audience longer than originally expected. This was not an issue as all attendees were glued to their seats. Many had commented about how captivating he was.

Roseann Bacha-Garza, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, TX

This is a great service that provides an additional level of vetting for groups that want a speaker on a historical subject.

Catherine Winters, New Hampshire Humanities Council, NH

The OAH Lectureship Program put us in touch with an excellent speaker. The OAH representative kept in contact every step of the way. The practice session was an excellent idea. Thanks to all who made our annual history lecture a success.

Charlotte Gradie, Sacred Heart University, Connecticut

It was tremendously easy to work with OAH and they did a fantastic job promoting the lecture!

Andrew Gardner, Baylor University, TX

I can’t thank you and the organization enough for the great experience.

Valorie A. Woerdehoff, Arts and Culture Series, Loras College
Iowa

Dr. Wu did an excellent job giving a thorough presentation about Patsy Mink and her politics, answered questions thoroughly and thoughtfully and was a fantastic presenter.

Heather Bobrowicz, South Texas College Library, TX

I have worked with the OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program since 2004 because it helps me connect the public with excellent scholars who make history accessible and relevant.

Danielle Dart, Public Programs, Minnesota Historical Society

The OAH is a valuable resource for finding speakers!

Christopher Miller, Community Programs Manager, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

That was one of the best presentations in recent years. I enjoyed Lara Vapnek's presentation, but the Q&A was outstanding.  I found myself wanting to pick through her brains even more.  Thank you for a great evening!!

Event attendee & Waukesha Reads committee member, Wisconsin

Dr. Danielle McGuire is a fabulous scholar and speaker! She is just as engaging in Zoom as she is in person. She explains complex material in a manner that is absolutely enthralling. I even received an email from a complete stranger after the event thanking us for hosting it and commenting on her excellent lecture.

Sarah Lirley, Columbia College, Missouri

Steve Woodworth is a great story teller. Almost everyone I have spoken to remembers the story of the soldier at Gettysburg who held a family photo as he was dying and how that photo was used to find his family.

Roger Lewis, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Florida

We couldn't have planned the event we did -- which was a great success -- without the help of Sally and the OAH Lectureship Program! We will continue to work with the OAH Lectureship Program for future events. Sally worked with us closely to make sure we found the right speaker for our event, and Dr. Nadasen was a perfect choice!

Jordan Pouliot Latham, YWCA of Southeastern Massachusetts and New Bedford Whaling Museum, Maine

Dr. Downs did a fantastic job, and we received many compliments from several of the attendees afterward. The family of the main sponsor (Rondel V. Davidson Endowment) was also present, and they were extremely pleased with Dr. Downs and the material that he covered in his presentation.
 

Roseann Bacha-Garza, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, TX

As a small church in Boca Grande, FL we could not have accomplished the zoom lecture without OAH. They made the process easy and understandable.

Roger Lewis, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Florida

I just wanted to take a moment to let you know how very pleased we were to have Dr. Jane Dailey speak at our college. She was a delight to work with and a wonderful lecturer. Thank you for helping to make our event possible!

Sarah Silkey, Department of History, Lycoming College, Pennsylvania

The stellar reputation of the OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program and the warm services we've received when I've contacted you are the best advertisements possible for your program. It's the first place I go when we need a speaker for any event.

Sandra Slater, Department of History, College of Charleston, South Carolina

This has been a great experience and I am looking forward to being able to bring more speakers from the OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program to our district.

Bonnie Belshe, Monta Vista High School, Fremont Union High School District, Cupertino, California

We’ve used the OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program twice and both times it has been incredible. The organization of the program, the assistance faculty receive booking just the right speaker, and the reimbursement process - all are made so simple! I would highly recommend the program to all universities and colleges.

Sarah Griffith, Department of History, Queens University of Charlotte, North Carolina

It's an incredibly valuable program, especially as state schools like mine are facing major budget cuts. Access to experts like Dr. Erika Lee is incredibly valuable and might not be within our reach without this program.

Jennifer Hildebrand, SUNY Fredonia, NY

Our audience included K-12 educations, some of whom do not teach the history of slavery in any depth. They appreciated Dr. Cooper Owens' engaging presentation style and her use of visuals and stories to make the content accessible to all participants.

Kathleen Barker, National Council for History Education, OH

As a leading scholar in the field, Dr. Erika Lee provided a most informative and inspirational speech. The feedback from the audience was very positive and confirmed the importance of the topic.

Lisong Liu, Massachusetts College of Art & Design, Massachusetts

We have come to depend on OAH for first-rate service, and you have never disappointed us.

Russ Heller, Boise Public Schools and Idaho Council for History Education

Your speaker's presentation at our luncheon was fantastic! We will definitely look to the OAH for future speakers.

Jennifer Plick, Rye Historical Society, New York

Evaluations showed that the audience found Allan Lichtman to be an interesting and personable speaker and they especially appreciated hearing about the "bonus content" about his Keys to the White House.

Danielle Dart, Minnesota Historical Society, Minnesota

There are many speaker sources, we chose OAH based on the quality of the speakers and, importantly, the ability of OAH to guide a small organization through the process of sign up, connectivity, q & a. We could not have done this series on "Faith And..." without OAH.

Roger Lewis, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Florida

The OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program has been a great way for us to reach beyond our own networks to find nationally recognized speakers. Every speaker that we’ve hosted has been outstanding in both content and presentation. The OAH and the speakers have been very easy to work with on the details. Thank you!!

Rhonda R. Newton, Managing Director, Pennsylvania Heritage Society

This program does an exceptional job of coordinating and facilitating expert speakers for events. The program is very easy to work with and I would recommend it to anyone hosting a history event.

Kristina I. Dorsett, Wolfgram Memorial Library, Widener University, Pennsylvania

It was tremendously easy to work with OAH and they did a fantastic job promoting the lecture!

Andrew Gardner, The Baptist History and Heritage Society, Alabama

Cathleen Cahill was a very engaging speaker, making it easy for attendees to understand and ask questions. She offered a lot of information, references, and also worked topics in that are specific to our present times.

Dorothy Szefc, SUNY Orange, New York

I love the OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program. It is an easy way to get high-quality historians who can also speak to a crowd.

Kevin Sheets, Department of History, SUNY Cortland
New York

Professor Julie Greene described the development of Class studies and related historiography in her lecture "Conceptions of Class in U. S. Labor History." She explained clearly the causes, characteristics, and impact upon subsequent efforts in the field. Her lecture helped students and young scholars in China have a better understanding of research and its developments in the U.S.

Liang Maoxin, Institute of American Studies, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, China

Erika Lee was the perfect lecturer. She is clearly very intelligent. Erika has the ability to clearly communicate in a very accessible style. But she is also incredibly gracious and just a lovely person to work with. The program exceeded our expectations.

Rabbi Victor Appell, Temple Emanu-El, NJ

The OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program enables the Department of History at my school to consistently offer high-quality professional presentations.

Turk McCleskey, Department of History, Virginia Military Institute, Virginia

The lectureship program is great. We have used it several times, and always with an outstanding result.

Michael Mayer, Department of History, University of Montana

The program has a variety of speakers to choose from and Sally Hanchett will communicate clearly about pricing, lecture topics, and logistics. I will definitely use this program in the future!

Sarah Lirley, Columbia College, Missouri

I will continue to use the OAH Lectureship Program. It is such a wonderful way to bring top notch scholars to students and our community. Sally Hanchett is a treasure and an asset. She goes above and beyond as we navigate this new virtual format.

Sarah Langsdon, Stewart Library Special Collections, Weber State University, Utah

One of the most impressive things about Erika's presentation was her ability to communicate sophisticated concepts in a way that everyone could understand them. I can only imagine that her students must appreciate this ability. So many of those in attendance commented that they would love the opportunity to take a class with her.

Rabbi Victor Appell, Temple Emanu-El, NJ

Caleb McDaniel's vast insights into the dynamics of American slavery and its detractors illuminated the contours of the ways in which people could escape slavery only to be reenslaved once more.

Branden Little, Weber State University, UT

We have brought numerous OAH Distinguished Lecturers to the Virginia Military Institute, and every one of them has been a winner. This is a great program--thank you!

Turk McClesky, Virginia Military Institute, VA

The OAH Lectureship Program gave us a wonderful opportunity to bring a nationally known scholar to campus. It’s a tremendous service to the historical community and to the public at large.

Melissa Walker, Department of History and Politics, Converse College
South Carolina

Working with Sally to schedule and walk through the webinar was excellent as was working with Dr. Dumenil on the virtual guest lecture. The lecture engaged undergraduate, graduate, and faculty in a meaningful manner and the live Q and A session was excellent.

Jon Taylor, University of Central Missouri, Missouri

The OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program provides the community with the best speakers in the country at a time in which we desperately need to interpret and understand the past to create a better future.

Dr. De Anna Reese, Africana Studies Program, California State University, Fresno, CA

Dr. Cooper Owens is a polished speaker, and she used many wonderful visuals to support her virtual presentation.

Kathleen Barker, National Council for History Education, OH

We couldn't be happier with our experience with OAH, as well as the lecture itself. Sally was great to work with: efficient, responsive. Professor Toplin was lively and engaging, and made a virtual lecture come alive. Thanks to OAH DLP for the opportunity to work together!

Heather Urtz Amendolare, Village Library of Cooperstown, NY

I work with dozens of speakers every year and Professor Kimberly Hamlin was one of the best.

Danielle Dart, Minnesota Historical Society, Minnesota

The Distinguished Leadership Program makes finding and booking a speaker so easy! Their roster of potential scholars is phenomenal, and we were able find the perfect person to address our group of K-12 educators. The entire process of using the OAH DLP was excellent, and our organization will absolutely be working with the DLP team again in the future.

Kathleen Barker, National Council for History Education, OH

Many thanks to the OAH for making it possible to schedule scholars such as Professor Elizabeth Fenn. The OAH’s facilitation of scheduling the lecture and initial contact with our speaker went very smoothly.

Rachelle Littau, Idaho State Historical Society, Idaho

My experience of working with the program coordinator was wonderful. She helped us every step of the way and gave clear guidance. I highly recommend this program; it was a great experience.

Alison McCaffrey, First Congregational Church of Cheshire, CT

Ms. Hanchett did an outstanding job scheduling this virtual OAH lecture. We did a technical check prior to the event and this was extremely helpful. I felt prepared for the event and would do another hybrid lecture with OAH.


 

Dr. De Anna Reese, Africana Studies Program, California State University, Fresno, CA

I am pleased to report that we had an excellent Maine Town Meeting at the Margaret Chase Smith Library last week with OAH Distinguished Lecturer Robert Brent Toplin as our featured speaker. The topic of fake news and the role of the media in modern American society proved highly popular. Comments afterward have been very favorable. One man remarked as he left at the end of the day that it had been a “world-class” program.

David Richards, Director, Margaret Chase Smith Library, Maine

Your program is wonderful. It is of great help for small institutions like mine in particular. You have a good range of topics and the fees seem affordable. Thank you for making these lectures possible.

Patrick Hotle, Department of History, Culver-Stockton College
Missouri

Thank you for introducing us to an outstanding historian who not only was a superb speaker but also has become a great ally of our archives.

Dee Thompson, Board of Directors, Friends of Georgia Archives and History

The OAH Lectureship Program is an invaluable resource for making preeminent scholars available to smaller institutions and academic communities. It's a pleasure to work with the OAH staff, and the quality of the speakers is incredible.

Meredith Clark-Wiltz, Director of American Studies, Franklin College, Indiana

Not only does Katherine Marino demonstrate command of her subject, she can explain the material to an audience that is not familiar with it in a way that is very engaging. Great slides that helped visualize the important individuals in her talk. Held our attention throughout!

Charlotte Gradie, Sacred Heart University, Connecticut

Jennifer Morgan is a pleasure to work with and an excellent speaker and presenter. She communicates complicated and nuanced ideas with an ease that shows both how knowledgeable she is on the topic and how good she is at explaining these topics to learners.

Heather Bobrowicz, South Texas College Library, TX

The topic was more than just a history lecture, it demonstrated the importance of critical thinking. Patrick Rael also showed the audience the importance of evaluating events based on primary resources as well as reevaluating previously held concepts that may not stand up to the primary resources/facts.
 

Rebecca Urban, Peninsula Foundation, OH

The OAH Lectureship Program is a great program connecting leading scholars with individual institutions and the general public. The program coordinator has been very helpful in organizing the event and ensuring its success from the beginning to the end.

Lisong Liu, Massachusetts College of Art & Design, Massachusetts

The OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program was great to work with. Ease and timeliness of communication throughout the process were outstanding. I contacted the OAH on a whim and we will be using this program more in the future.

Denise Alexander, Galveston Historical Foundation, Texas

The OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program has been an excellent resource for speakers while we have converted to virtual programming! Sally is always a pleasure to work with and helpful as a co-host on Zoom webinar.

Rebecca Urban, Peninsula Foundation, Ohio

Professor Kloppenberg's knowledge is wide and deep on history and democracy. This was evident during his presentation, analysis and Q&A. He was able to communicate clearly and break down difficult concepts masterfully.

Neelangi Gunasekera, Bentley College, MA

This wonderful program affords us the opportunity to bring to our small campus a nationally known speaker and truly enhance the liberal arts experience of our students. Without this program we would have been unable to afford the cost of bringing a speaker of this rank to our campus.

Tonia M. Compton, Department of History and Political Science, Columbia College, Missouri

Professor Judy Wu was a joy to work with both before and during the event. I felt she had our audience's best interests in heart and really focused her talk on what we were hoping she'd cover. She was extremely professional, so well-spoken, and clearly an expert in her field!

John Brunner, School of Professional Studies, Columbia University, NY

Thank you for your assistance in bringing yet another wonderful speaker!

Lyn Ellen Bennett, Department of History and Political Science, Utah Valley University

The OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program is excellent. It features a variety of historians who can speak to a number of topics in an engaging, informative way. I highly recommend it!

Sarah Lirley, Department of History, Columbia College, MO

Professor Kimberly Hamlin deftly covered the dense timeline of the ERA by centering it in her question, "Are women people or are women mothers?" That question helped learners to navigate the changing coalitions and detractors and to stay grounded in the most essential reasons ERA has yet to be ratified.

Danielle Dart, Minnesota Historical Society, Minnesota

We have been delighted with the speakers recommended and sent by the OAH. You do a great job!

Joseph Graves, Superintendent, Mitchell School District
South Dakota

Sally made this entire process so easy! Communication with DLP was excellent. I felt that I had all the necessary information to integrate Dr. Cooper Owens into our existing webinar structure. Instructions for marketing the event, sharing links, and the payment structure were all very clear.

Kathleen Barker, National Council for History Education, OH

It was easy to work with OAH and I was delighted with the incredible quality of the roster of speakers. Dr. Adriane Lentz-Smith was a superb contributor to our panel program, very articulate and agile in how she engaged with questions.

John Ulmschneider, VCU Libraries, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia

Angela Dillard is an informative, engaging, and polished speaker. She is a top scholar on this topic, and we look forward to her future work.

Dr. De Anna Reese, Africana Studies Program, California State University, Fresno, CA

The lectureship program is a win-win for organizations and for OAH.

Melanie Goan, Kentucky Association of Teachers of History

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, Illinois

This is a timely topic and was well presented by Dr. Elizabeth Pryor. I work in the space of diversity, equity and inclusion and this was a great way to support the work that I do and help people understand the work that still needs to be done.

Dr. Tamika Pollins, Pollins and Associates Educational Specialists, NJ

Angela Dillard did a great job of examining race and power from the lens of Black conservatism and how it has shaped American political culture. She addressed a non-specialist audience by framing her talk around the AP African American Studies curriculum debate, a topic in which many in the audience had some familiarity.

Dr. De Anna Reese, Africana Studies Program, California State University, Fresno, CA

Erika Lee and the OAH were a delight to work with. She spoke with everyone and was so generous with her time. The feedback I received from our members has been extremely positive.

Rabbi Victor Appell, Temple Emanu-El, NJ

About the Speaker

Margaret Salazar-Porzio is Curator of Latinx History and Culture and Chair of the Division of Home and Community Life at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. She co-curated Many Voices, One Nation (2017) and produced the exhibition book, Many Voices, One Nation: Material...

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Co-Curation by Communities of Courage

In this talk, Salazar-Porzio explored a powerful paradigm shift in the world of museums and cultural institutions. This presentation explores the transformative practice of co-curation, where communities with lived experiences take an active role in shaping their own narratives within the context of...

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